PHOTOS: ROB LAWSON
TASTING&MATCHING INDIGENOUS VARIETIES
TO LOOK AT MANY RESTAURANT WINE
LISTS, YOU'D THINK THERE WERE NO MORE
THAN HALF A DOZEN GRAPES OUT THERE,
BUT EUROPE'S VINEYARDS ARE FULL OF
UNDISCOVERED INDIGENOUS VARIETIES.
CLINTON CAWOOD JOINED A PANEL OF
SOMMELIERS TO SEEK OUT SOME HIDDEN
GEMS FROM THE MED AND THE BALKANS
t's not easy for a wine grape to break out into the
mainstream. A handful of A-list international varieties
continue to command the hearts and minds of the
wine-drinking public, not to mention the vast majority
of spots on the nation's wine lists.
But there are countless undiscovered indigenous
varieties in Europe's vineyards. Less consistent, perhaps,
and sometimes with undecipherable names, but with
fascinating characteristics and flavour profiles nonetheless
- and often at amazing prices.
So for sommeliers looking for hand-sell wines to add
real interest to their list, the potential is obvious. We
called in some of these potential rising stars that are
already available in the UK, and put them to the test.
HOW IT WORKS
We asked UK agents to submit wines made from indigenous varieties in
Hungary, Greece, Croatia, Romania, Macedonia, Georgia, Slovenia and
Bulgaria. Our only additional criterion was that the wines were already
available to the UK on-trade. Tasters were aware of each wine's price,
grape variety and country of origin. Each wine was scored out of 20,
taking value for money into account. Scores were then collated to
obtain an overall percentage score. All prices listed are ex-VAT trade.
Andrea Briccarello, Galvin Restaurants, Megan Calvert, Galvin La Chapelle, Clinton Cawood, Imbibe, Jonathan Cellier, Wild Honey,
Mark Deamer, The Wine Lovers Collective, Donald Edwards, Peckham Bazaar, Enikő Heidenwolf, Corrigan's, Michael Moore, Room 24,
Marcin Oziebly, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, Igor Sotric, China Tang at The Dorchester, Gergely Barsi Szabó, Bread Street Kitchen
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