Join Sommelier James Weingartner as he guides us through a virtual wine tasting. He has provided a mouth-watering list of less familiar varietals to amuse our taste buds! All of these should be available at Total Wine or other large wine stores. You may choose to purchase all of the wines listed here, or just a small selection of them. There is a recommended producer for each type of wine, but you are not limited to that producer. We have also provided you with some suggested food pairings, should you desire.
Torrontes from Argentina (Susana Balbo)
Food Pairings: Lighter proteins like shrimp and chicken.
Great with asian and latin spices and aromatic herbs.
Cheeses: Gruyer, Feta, Pecorino, Asiago, Manchego
Albarino from Spain (Martin Codax or Burgans)
Food Pairings: Shellfish and light seafood. Ceviche is a popular pairing.
Grilled vegetables, green herbs.
Cheeses: Manchego (my favorite with this wine), Burrata, Feta
Gruner Veltliner from Austria (Domane Wachau)
Food Pairings: Veal (like wienerschnitzel) pork, I prefer sushi to go with subtle flavors of the wine. Spices like Tarragon, dill, cumin, coriander, citrus, Madras curry. (one of the only wines that pairs well with asparagus and artichoke)
Cheeses: Soft creamy cheeses like Camembert
Tannat from Uruguay (Pisano)
Food Pairings: Savory meats like Lamb, duck confit or sausage.
Classic paring with a cassoulet. Rich and savory dishes are best.
Cheeses: Aged cheeses, Roquefort or Chaumes
Priorat from Spain (Cesca Vicent)
Food Pairings: Hearty roasted or grilled red meats. Stay away from chili-like spices. Lentil or other legume based dishes go well.
Cheeses: Manchego is good, stronger goat cheeses or blue cheeses go great.
Lebanese red blend: Chateau Musar Jeune red (Cinsault/Cabernet/Syrah)
Food Pairings: Lamb or beef with Morroccan spices, asian spices.
Cheeses: Mature sharper cheeses like aged cheddar, or gruyer.