Indigenous and Obscure
Carignan may seem adventurous and exotic to the average wine consumer, but we in the wine world are having to learn how to pronounce grapes such as Rkatsiteli, Scheurebe, Valdobbiadene, and Roupeiro. Renewed interest in ancient and indigenous grapes is leading sommeliers to explore the Old World and the New with an eye to the unexpected. And willing consumers are following. Lesser-known Old World regions are finding value in promoting the wines hitherto drank by the locals, and New World regions have the freedom to experiment by planting these varietals. We were excited to come across Loin de l'Oeil from Gaillac, France, Scheurebe from California, and Rkatsiteli from upstate New York in the past year. Experimentation towards the future and research into the past make it an exciting time for the wine lover. There's always a new grape or wine style to try, and we will. But lest we get carried away, Terry Theise reminds us that the classics (Burgundy, Bordeaux, Barolo) are like "tantric sex between grape and ground" and classic for a reason. So we'll search for balance in our wine selections. Meanwhile, it's still fun to say Txakolina, Obaideh, and Gemischter Satz.