Here at Vinhood we never tire of saying it: each to his own!
For instance, everyone has their very own way of considering the concept of bravery as a quality to be rightfully envied.
Some associate it with the masculine art of boxing like Stephen Seagal, or with Janis Joplin’s scratchy voice, and others find it in the superhuman ability of little Matilda as she calculates complicated sums in her head.
But if you’re a sommelier, an aspiring sommelier or even just a competitive enthusiast, nothing, simply nothing at all, is sexier and more macho than knowing how to guess which grape varieties have been used to make a wine, in a blind test.
And obviously someone has to be a spectator, a witness.
This is why we decided to dedicate a whole Wineshow to revealing some tricks you can use to recognize grape varieties, based on the colour, aroma, and structure of a wine. So that you can lord it over your know-it-all wine-loving partner, friends or relatives.
We started with the autochthonous grape varieties, which are famously difficult to pinpoint, in the belief that after that it would be plain sailing from then on.
HERE’S WHAT WE TASTED AND WHAT WE FOUND OUT:
A Vermentino that was very well-liked, above all for its sapid, mineral taste.
Recognizing a Vermentino is never simple because there are no unmistakable aromas that characterize it. So how can we identify it? Vermentino wines are produced on the coast, in Liguria, Tuscany, and Sardinia, and for this reason, they are characterized by a strong sapidity. They are also very alcoholic considering that they are white, but not particularly structured.
The aroma is quite strong, containing fruity and floral notes.
Excellent is the only way to describe the Grignolino made by Beatrice Gaudio, a girl who has completely dedicated her life to producing wine for the last 10 years. The Grignolino is an autochthonous grape variety from Piedmont and specifically from Monferrato, as its DOC indicates. It is normally used to produce wines with a rather light alcohol content and an almost rosé colour that are easily recognizable because they leave a tang of bitterness in the finish, despite their very fruity nose. Beatrice’s Grignolino was sort of in a class of its own because it had a fuller body and more structure than the traditional version. We loved it!
Here we go: Aglianico. Aglianico is a pain in the neck to decipher. It’s so structured and rich in tannins that at first sip you think it might be a Barbaresco, or sometimes a Barolo. Instead, this grape variety, typical of South Italy, is used with perfect results in prestigious DOC wines from Campania, Lucania and Molise.
But how can we know that it’s definitely Aglianico? It’s a question of thinking with your head and then answering with your heart.
The colour is distinguishable for its intense, purplish hue, it is alcoholic, important and structured with an aroma that always remains focused on red berries, even though it can be spicy and full of woody highlights.
Yep, we know, we know!
We told you it was a tough one to understand. Unfortunately you’re going to have to practise hard!
Hands up if you’re not familiar with the Malvasia by Casorzo. No need to feel like a dummy, you’re definitely not alone. We’re talking about a unique grape variety that is only grown in the Monferrato area. The good news is that, on the other hand, it’s quite easy to recognize.
Yes, because it’s a sweet, sparkling red wine and these are few and far between in Italy: we only have Brachetto, certain versions of Lambrusco and the Vernacchia by Serrapetrona. Overall, it’s a very elegant wine, sweet but not too sweet.
We’ve got lots more to say …but for now we can close here with our tips and leave you with the photos of the winners.
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