Look to new (to you) growing regions for exciting new wine frontiers
We have all experienced major growing regions around the world: California, Australia and Italy to name a few. Try a wine that pushes those boundaries a bit. Riesling from Alsace is bright and crisp, perfect for early fall sipping. The Finger Lakes region of New York is growing into a powerhouse region for Eiswein and other dense, perfumed dessert wines. Right here in South Dakota, hybrid grapes are sticking through our tough winters to create everything from delicate whites to dense port-style reds. It doesn’t have to be a new growing area to be new to you!
Explore new grape varietals and interesting blends
Single varietal wines made from classic varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, etc.) can be tough to produce and expensive to procure. Try a blend or a grape varietal that is new to your repertoire. Blends are a great choice for easy sipping as the grapes can help each other to create a well-balanced wine. Maybe the Cabernet crop suffered with too much sun. Instead of making a flabby wine, the producer can blend in some cool climate Merlot and add some much needed acidity. The same applies for lesser known grape varietals. Grapes have been developed to survive in tough climates without needing “perfect” weather to make great wine. Try a hybrid grape wine that can shine even in the toughest circumstances.
Find a buddy at your favorite wine store or winery
Do you have a wine retailer that you enjoy talking to and trust for suggestions? This relationship can be a great asset to expanding your palate. Make sure your wine store contact knows the flavors you like, knows what kind of food you like to eat and knows your price point. This is a perfect example of a Gen5 Wine Club perk. Our staff is always here to answer questions about Prairie Berry wines and beyond!
Consider your food
What kind of food do you like to cook at home or order when you go out? Do you head straight for traditional Italian flavors like tomato and basil? Look for an Italian wine you HAVEN’T tried. Skip the Chianti and try a Montepulciano from the same region. Let the food you love guide you to different wine pairings for a completely new experience!
Find flavors you love
Learn how to describe the flavors and sensations you like in wine. Do you enjoy sipping a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc on a hot summer day? Understanding and being able to describe what you like is 90% of the battle. Once you know some general styles that tickle your taste buds, you can find new wines to try. If you enjoy that bright, fruity white to cool you down, why not try an Albarino from Spain or Brianna from South Dakota? Your description will help guide restaurant servers, tasting room associates and wine retailers wherever you visit and will help open doors to new tasting experiences!