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Wine Wednesdays with Adam: Lesser Known Varietals

Written by: Adam Sternberger

Wine Wednesdays with Adam: Lesser Known Varietals

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. This week, we’re looking at my favorite lesser-known varietals.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir... these varietals have dominated the US wine world for quite some time. That makes them really easy to find, but there are lots of benefits to enjoying varietals that are a little off the beaten path. For one, an unfamiliar but tasty bottle of wine is way more interesting! If you're enjoying it with a group, it can be a great conversation starter. Better yet, less popular varietals tend to be easier on the wallet than well-known wines of the same quality.

Here are four of my favorite lesser-known varietals -- enjoy!


Think of Gamay as Pinot Noir’s more wallet-friendly cousin. It comes from the Beaujolais region of France, and, like Pinot Noir, it’s light in style. It’s also very food-friendly, so it’s a great option for big, rich holiday meals. We enjoy serving it with a slight chill (15-20 minutes in the fridge will do the trick) to enhance its flavor. We recommend:

Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fil Beaujolais

Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fil Beaujolais - $12.99/bt

Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois

Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois - $15.99/bt

Touriga Nacional 

Napa Cab drinkers will love the taste and price point of Touriga Nacional. This Portuguese varietal has a bold, full-bodied flavor, and it ages well. A couple of our favorites are:

Casa Santos Lima Colossal Reserva

Colossal Reserva Red Blend - $10.99/ bt

Quinta Do Portal Colheita Tinto

Quinta Do Portal Colheita Tinto - $16.99/bt

Melon de Bourgogne

Melon de Bourgogne (aka Muscadet) comes from the Loire Valley in France. This light white wine has a citrusy flavor without being fruity, and it has great minerality and acidity. It also has a slightly salty flavor, which makes it perfect for pairing with seafood--especially oysters. Give these two bottles a try: 

Chateau de la Gravelle Muscadet Sevre et Maine

Chateau de la Gravelle Muscadet Sevre et Maine - $11.99/bt

Jo Landron Amphibolite Muscadet Serve et Maine

Jo Landron Amphibolite Muscadet Sevre et Maine - $14.99/bt


If you like Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll probably enjoy Albariño. These light white wines hail from Spain and are acidic, dry, and refreshing. We suggest trying:

Burgans Albarino

Burgans Albarino - $12.99/bt

Eladio Pineiro Albarino

Eladio Pineiro Albarino - $20.99/bt


*Prices reflected are correct as of 11/6/2019 and are subject to change after that date.

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