Are you what I call a "Grape Groupie"? I have encountered many wine drinkers who claim they only drink one varietal of wine. "I only like cabernet sauvignon" or "merlot" or even worse, "chardonnay" they tell me. I have yet to understand the reasoning around this one-grape addiction. It may possibly be the overwhelming wine shop choices, a fear of the unknown or even a lack of adventure. Some go so far as to consistently drink the same grape from the same winery. Even those who explore past the confines of Californian wines will search for the same one-grape in another country. To me, this is the equivalent of only eating, let's say, pizza.
Many wine regions use multiple varietals in production of their one wine. Five different grapes can be used in Bordeaux, France. In Chateauneuf-du-Pape they use up to thirteen grape varieties. The delicious port wines of Spain mostly use five varietals but are approved to use up to one hundred. And what about clones? Do "Grape Groupies" like every clone of a varietal? In Burgundy, their wines are made from the one grape Pinot Noir and can include twenty to thirty different clones of that same grape. Isn't diversity the spice of life?
For me, the wine I choose each night depends on where I am, what I'm doing, who I'm with and definitely what I'm eating. I usually don't drink the same wine two nights in a row and I don't have pizza two nights in a row either. The world of wine is meant to be explored. There are over 10,000 grape varietals used to make wine. For all you "Grape Groupies", you have 9,999 to go.
To receive counseling on your grape addiction or to schedule your next wine experience, contact Maria Baniel at
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