We're asked about 'alternative grape varieites' at our Cellar Door and I read heaps of wine articles about them...perhaps because journos are always looking for 'something new' to fill their column?
For many people Verdelho & Chenin Blanc are 'alternative varietals', they are both classic grape varieties, with a history of making world class, age-able wines.
Verdelho & Chenin have always been Swan Valley super-heros, both are textured, layer fruit driven wines.
Great drinking on their own, but fabulous with food too.
I'm thinking grilled octopus, creamy risotto, middle-eastern marinated chicken or even the family favourite apricot chicken.
Grenache is another classic grape variety that has been grown in the Swan Valley for at least 65 years.
Tempranillo is newer to the Valley, it has only been grown here for around 15/20 years.
Both Grenache & Tempranillo are beautiful, medium-bodied wines with characteristic firm tannins; this makes them very food friendly.
Food & wine matching is all about matching the weight of the wine with the weight of the food, so that all the flavours work together to complement and enhance each other, and nothing overpowers the other.
Tempranillo & Grenache are fantastic food red wines, especially as the weather warms up and we start to eat lighter meals. I'm thinking rolled roast pork (with lots of crackle), a classic roast chicken, anything charred on the barbeque and of course paella, especially good if when you throw in some sweet seafood!
If you're looking for a big red wine, that'll make an impression for that 'special dinner' Petit Vedot or Durif.