Welcome to the latest installment of Wine Wednesdays with Adam! Each week we'll explore some of my favorite wines and what makes them stand out from the crowd. In honor of our first Off The Beaten Path event, we'll be exploring some of my favorite lesser-known wines.
There are lots of benefits to enjoying wines that are a little off the beaten path. For one, this is generally where you find your best values. You can find great wine at great prices if you're willing to explore lesser-known regions, try new varietals, embrace blends, and stay away from larger well-known brands. Plus, an unfamiliar but tasty bottle of wine is way more interesting! And if you're enjoying it with a group, it can be a great conversation starter.
Here are some of my favorite lesser-known wines -- enjoy!
This biodynamic cava is from a family-owned vineyard in Spain and is made with Xarelo and Chardonnay grapes using the Champagne Method. As a "Brut Nature" Cava, it has less residual sugar than Brut so it's one of the driest sparkling wines you can get.
This light white wine is from a sustainable family-owned farm in North Canterbury on New Zealand's South Island--not exactly the most well-known winemaking region imported to the US, but a hidden gem nonetheless! This Sauvignon Blanc isn't your typical punch in the mouth of red grapefruit; it's much more balanced with a bit of weight on the palate and notes of minerality and stone fruit. The incredible richness in flavor is achieved by meticulously hand-tending and hand-harvesting the vines.
Brandon Allen of Slo Down Wines is so confident in his product that he puts his cell phone number on every label. Billed as "seriously good wine that does not take itself too seriously," this rose is made from 100% Sonoma Coast pinot noir and bursts at the seams with ripe peach, fresh-cut watermelon, crushed ginger, and white grapefruit.
This super fresh and fruit-forward light red wine is made primarily of organic Gamay, a grape from the Loire Valley in France (one of my favorite regions). It comes from a family-owned vineyard that's known for utilizing old practices of viticulture and vinification: starting with old vines, never using synthetic herbicides or pesticides, harvesting late, rigorously sorting to remove all but the healthiest grapes, and adding minimal doses of sulfur dioxide or none at all.