Exploring Different Varietals

Category: Drink

At Winc, exploring wine is our exercise in wanderlust

The delivery of unique wines straight to your door is the perfect avenue for discovering, enjoying and savoring the world of wine.  By often procuring and producing lesser known delicious and exotic grapes, we hope to help satisfy and excite the adventurer in you. It’s our goal to expose you to the more obscure winemaking regions and wine varietals, and better enable you to explore and taste new wines.

Take a look at a few grapes you might not know, but we know you’d enjoy:

Carignane

Carignane is high on everything.  Acidic, colorful, tannic, austere, and even a bit sour, this late-ripening varietal is only missing one quality: subtlety. 

The black-colored fruit is said to have originated in Spain where it’s primarily used as a blending grape and known by its Spanish name, Cariñena.  Until recent years it was widely planted in many parts of France, but has recently been pushed out by Merlot, a preferred blending varietal.

Carignane produces an earthy, natural, and potent flavor.  If you’re a lover of eccentricity, check out our 2016 Capuchon Reserve Carignane from Mendocino County.

Chenin Blanc

The chameleon of white grapes, Chenin Blanc is a versatile fruit that traces its roots to the Loire Valley of France.  Though some of the finest examples of the wine’s potential are still produced there, it has found a much larger home in South Africa’s Western Cape—where 50% of the grape’s worldwide plantings exist. 

When produced on its own and in a fresh style, it can be mineral, refreshing and sharp.  A riper flair reveals nutty and wooly aromas while still maintaining its staple acidity.

We’ve partnered with South African winemaker Ernst Storm to illustrate the fresher side of South African Chenin Blanc.  Enjoy our 2017 Cape Route Chenin Blanc from the Western Cape like Ernst would: at lunch and with friends. 

Aglianico

Aglianico has the potential to be the best red wine in Italy. This full-bodied varietal has the age-ability of any Cabernet Sauvignon, the strength in acid and tannin to support a full spectrum of flavors, and is virtually unmatched in food-pairing.

Known as an Italian grape, it’s actually been traced to ancient Greek settlers that brought the fruit to southern Italy in the early 7thcentury. 

A fascinating feature of the grape is that many sought-after examples are grown in volcanic soils, most notably in and around Italy’s extinct volcano, Mount Vulture.  Try our 2016 Field Theory Aglianico from Paso Robles, CA for a look at our version of the underappreciated grape.

Gamay

If you love Pinot Noir—but loath the heavy price tag—Gamay wine might be your new go-to drinker.

You may have even had it before without knowing it.  Gamay is an old vine (nearly 1300 years old) and the primary grape in Beaujolais—an area of France known for affordable, fruit-forward, and light reds.

Gamay is best young, yet has a gravity that will compel a seasoned wine-lover and novice alike.  Enjoy a glass of our 2016 Les Bobos Gamay from Beaujolais.


We know that trying new things - and more specifically tasting new wines - can be slightly intimidating for those who like to stick to what they know best. But cast any hesitations aside, and feed the wanderlust that dwells in us all. 

-Robert Daugherty, Assistant Winemaker at Winc