The well-known wine critic Jancis Robinson MW has just co-authored what must be the definitive guide to the world’s grape varieties, entitled Wine Grapes, which will be on my Christmas list.
It highlights just how many grape varieties there are and how we only just scratch the surface, so here are a few new ones to try. Montenovo Godello 2011 Valdesil, Valdeorras (Majestic £9.99 but £7.99 if you buy 2 bottles) from Galicia in Northern Spain. The grape is Godello and this is very fresh with notes of tinned pineapple and a lovely texture – it’s one of my favourite white wines of the year.
Or Picpoul de Pinet 2011, Villemarin, Coteaux du Languedoc (Majestic £7.99 but £5.99 if you buy two bottles) – an obscure variety, but it’s a fresh dry white with lemon zest and almost a salty tang.
Goes great with plain grilled fish.
Ten years ago, Malbec was virtually an unknown variety but now it’s widely enjoyed. This is a great example from one of Argentina’s best producers. It shows dark fruit, spice and mocha, followed by ripe tannins and a surprisingly elegant finish. Perfect with a steak on a Saturday evening.
Waitrose, £9.99 until December 4