Well, my Fabulous Foodie Friends, 2012 is off and running and if you're looking to make some changes in your food and wine routine, The Glamorous Gourmet has got you covered! Whether it's breaking out of your ho-hum wine routine, experimenting with healthy new ingredients, or possibly finding a career in the wine world I've got some creative suggestions and fabulous interviews that I'm very excited to share with you this month. I hope you enjoy January's focus on new food and wine discoveries in the new year.
Before reaching for the same bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, remember what Newt Gingrich will probably tell you, "variety is the spice of life!" Here are three fabulous grapes you need to know in 2012:
If you are a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or even unoaked Chardonnay, give Argentina's signature grape Torrontés a try. Torrontés produces white wines that are fresh, aromatic and brimming with notes of citrus, apricot and peach. This grape thrives in the arid climate of Argentina, especially in vineyards located at altitudes of over 5,250 feet. There are actually three varieties of the Torrontés grape (Torrontés Riojano, Torrontés Sanjuanino and Torrontés Mendocino) however, Torrontés Riojano is the highest quality and most widely planted. This is a great wine for sipping on its own, yet is very versatile and pairs nicely with a variety of dishes.
If you prefer lighter-bodied red wines, give the Gamay grape a whirl. While grown in other areas of the world, Gamay is probably best know for its history in France's Burgundy wine region where it is used to produce Beaujolais, a light, fruity red wine made primarily using the carbonic maceration method. Instead of reaching for that bottle of Beajolais Nouveau however, try one of the region's cru offerings which are noted for their distinctive style and quality. Keep an eye out for bottles bearing the name of one of the ten Cru Beajolais communes including Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly and Côtes de Brouilly.
If you enjoy medium to fuller-bodied reds like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, give Mourvèdre a try. This international grape variety can be found around the globe answering to aliases such as Monastrell (Spain) and Mataro (Australia). Mourvèdre is a late-ripening variety that does best in warm climates where it produces wines with big tannins, high alcohol and flavors of red fruit, mocha, earth and game. Originally from Spain, Mourvèdre found success in France's Rhone Valley where it is a primary component of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It has also been grown in California for over a century where it is currently gaining popularity as a varietal wine.
So stop reading and start drinking already! I hope you enjoy these three new wines to try in 2012. As always, I'd love to hear what you think of them.