Everybody knows a glass of great wine goes down well with pretty much any meal, well, besides breakfast, that would be a tad bit too early or not, depending on your lifestyle. One this is for sure though, everybody loves wine that is rich in taste. Whether you are a connoisseur or not, whether or not you know the difference between a Chianti and a Rioja or a Bordeaux and a Burgundy. But even for those of us who are not wine aficionados, we have tried a glass or two from the great wine producing areas like France and Italy. The distinct difference in taste from any other bottle is very apparent.
But these great wine producing giants have recently come under siege as New World award winning wines come into play. Places like New Zealand, California, Austrailia and even Asia and the Middle East are joining the race for the top of the wine…’food chain’ for lack of a better phrase.
The worlds biggest wine awards organization, Decanter, that has more than twelve thousand entries has in the past awarded these coveted medals to wines that we may not have seemingly heard of before from regions just as unlikely to produce them. But believe it or not, they are available in our local stores and online retailers at very affordable prices.
Let’s take quick look at some of the previous award winning wines and where they are from:
2010 Sula Sauvignon Blanc, Nashik from India
When the Persians introduced grapes to India around 4 B.C, they immediately started producing wine which was immensely boosted by the centuries of European occupation and influence that led to an increase in winemaking. This was slightly altered by their independence in 1947 that almost brought about alcohol prohibition.
But not to worry though, in the 80′s, Château Indage was created by Shamrao Chowgule who successfully cultivated quite a number of grape varieties from Europe with the help of non other than wine experts from France.
From Sula’s Nashik facility, comes this Silver Medal winner and as Decanter experts would put it, this Sauvignon Blanc is a very enjoyable, rather light bodied wine showing notes of flowers, stone fruits and herbs with only a slight hint of beeswax and honey. And believe it or not, this white still retails for as little as $13 a bottle.
2007 Topiary from the Boxwood Winery, Virginia
We all know of Napa in California. It is considered the home of the wine industry in the US. But Virginia, a much older state has been producing wine since the 17th century, of course influenced by European colonization.
Now, the Boxwood Winery, has a knack for only producing red wines from only five grape varieties that have been certified by non other than France. Topiary, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc was described by our trusted judges from Decanter as, very supremely alluring. Offering very attractive and smokey plum and cherry fruit, with notes of savory and cocoa, coffee and violet aromas.
And yet again, rather unbelievably, it goes for only $25 a bottle.
2009 Jia Bei Lan, Helan Qing Xue, Ningxia, China
The North Western region of China, Ningxia has been targeted by Pernod Ricard and Moet Hennessy for nothing else than their wine producing operations.
Jei Bei Lan, was said to be, by non other than the author of the very first guide to Bordeaux in Chinese, Ch’ng Poh Tiong, stunning!
This red still is medium bodied not flashy yet ripe and supple. They said that with it’s restraint akin to Bordeaux and four square tannins and excellent strength, this minty perfumed and delightfully leafy black fruit wine could age for six years.
2008 Special Reserve, Recanati Winery, Upper Galilee, Israel
Ever since Biblical times, Israel has been producing wine. No, Jesus’ miracle doesn’t count, but it didn’t hurt either. In the 1980′s there was an influx of wine experts from all over the world to Israel. This greatly improved the production and quality. Israel is now what you could call the preeminent wine producer in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Although it’s a little bit pricey, $40 a bottle, this red still comes from a region in Israel where both the climate and soil are perfect for wine grapes cultivation.
The judges at Decanter gave it a gold medal the highest accolade of all the award winning wines saying it was a very finely crafted wine. It has ripe notes of blackberries, blueberries, cherries and only a hint of spice.
2009 Heritage Syrah, Granmonte, Khao Yai, Thailand
You might associate Thailand with the super brand energy drink Red Bull. Which is a rather far cry from finely crafted wines. But Thailand grapes are popularly planted in between canals. This is to make sure that they do not wither off and die in this humid and very hot climate. And as a result, quite a few wineries have inevitably sprang to life, with no other than experts from France at their helms. And now it is said that to supplement the spicy cuisine the Thai nation is well known for, they have their wine!
This Granmonte red still won a silver medal and was described by our Decanter experts as surprisingly complex. It’s red currants concentration is supported by tasty vanilla oak, it’s soft yet ripe tannins is rounded off by fresh acidity.
2008 Turtles Vineyard Red, Alpha Estate, Greece
History has painted the Greeks in great color and accordingly, their wine enjoyed a very prominent reputation in the ancient capital of Rome as well as fetched a very high price in middle age Europe.
But the emergence of France and Italy as wine giants has sort of cast a shadow on Greece’s wine producing prowess. Despite this fact, mainland Greece produces a rather rich wine variety.
This particular red still was said to boast a beautiful structure by the Decanter judges. It is a blend of indigenous and international varietals (Merlot, Syrah and Xinamavro) that goes for only $15.
These great blends are readily available and affordable. Calling all great pallets out there, what say ye?