Red grapes making red wine without skin contact, rarer then you might think

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

At the last tasting I was at, Bill [the General Manager and Sommelier] through out some wines from grapes that most people over here are not ever exposed to.† One of the red varieties is called Gaglioppo which is usually compared to Barolo.† While describing the wines, Bill noted that this grape is one of the few red wine grapes that actually has red pulp/flesh, producing red wine without the need for skin contact.† As he was asked about the other ones, he mentioned to the crowd that I might know them.† Weirdly enough, I was actually able to call one of them; the Saperavi grape, of which I recently have tasted two wines from Telavi Cellars (Kindzmarauli and Akhasheni).† These wines were sweet despite being red. †

Well, these types of grapes are referred to as teinturier grapes, from the French word meaning to dye or to stain (think tincture).† And while you might rarely hear of them here, they can easily be found all over Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.† A few of them are Alicante Bouschet, Carmina, Deckrot, Dunkelfelder, Gamay Teinturier, Grand Noir de la Calmette, Kolor, Petit Bouschet, Pinot Teinturier, Royalty 1390, Rubired, Salvador, Sulmer, Tannat and Siebouschet.† If you go on to really start learning about wine grapes, youíll actually find a plethora of grape varieties that have been derived from crossing teinturier grapes with other grapes, just as horticulturalists come up with new varieties of roses and other flowers. †

Tannat you can easily find in South America, where it is one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay.† It is sometimes used to produced rosť and also Armagnac, as itís also easily found in France. †

Well, thatís the article.† Not too much to say, but an interesting thing to know about wine.

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Our Mission: The Black Winer strives to expose African Americans [and others] to wines, without the flair, stuffiness, and airs of elitism and snobbery that you get from sommeliers and high level wine enthusiasts. We believe in finding something that you like the taste of, outside of the basic brands that you have been force-fed over the years through a combination of ethnically targeted advertising, and what people in your family have historically been drinking.

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