“Doing for Forgotten Grapes what Dancing With the Stars does for forgotten celebrities.”
Thus reads the tag line of Chris Kern’s website ForgottenGrapes.com, the purpose of which should hopefully at this point be glaringly obvious to you.
You’ve got to like a tag line like that.
Chris contacted me to invite me to one of his upcoming events in Arlington, VA, during which five different off-the-beaten-path wine varieties will be poured while Chris will “tell stories, cracks jokes, sings songs, dress up in costume, and relate each varietal [sic] to a pop culture icon as a way to introduce D.C. wine lovers to these exceptional wines that they really should be drinking.”
I don’t promote local events often enough here on 1WD – mostly because as the blog has become more successful, the chances of you not being in my general neck of the woods have increased. But it feels good to “go local” once in a while.
I can’t make the event, but I really dig what Chris is trying to do in highlighting some of the more unsung grape varieties. On his website, Chris pulls together fun info. about each grape including trivia and food pairing recommendations from chefs, and thoughts on the wine grape from winemakers (see an example).
According to Chris, “We’ll be pouring a dry Semillon, a Gruner Veltliner, a Carmenere, a Mourvedre/Monastrell, and a Brachetto d’Acqui. A pretty eclectic mix, to be sure, and something I really think the DC wine lovers’ community will enjoy.”
Vital details on the event are below. If you go, I’d love to hear about the experience!
“First pour for “Getting Friendly with Forgotten Grapes” will be at 6:30 p.m. sharp Wednesday, August 18th, and the cost of the event is only $35 per person, which includes the two-hour show, generous pours of each of the five Forgotten Grape wines, and a cheese plate paired with the wine. Reservations can be made by calling Twisted Vines directly at (571) 482-8581, but please note that seating for the event is very limited and it is expected to sell out, so if you are interested in attending, call Twisted Vines as soon as you can to make your advanced reservation. Twisted Vines is located at 2803 Columbia Pike in Arlington.”
All this got me thinking about “unsung” grape varieties – the “ABC: Anything But Chardonnay/Cabernet” set. What are YOUR fave “unsung” varieties? Shout ’em out in the comments!
21 thoughts on “Lost Grapes Get Found: Forgotten Grapes VA Tasting Event – August 18”
Ho Boy, Dude Joe, don't get me started…tried one italian white made from Pecorino…Arneis is my regular splurge as made by Giacosa…nearer to y'all, Chambourcin from Chateau Morrissette in Floyd, VA is a head-turner & arguably their best deal…what about perennial Rodney Dangerfield of the wine world, Carignan? Hey, are you a member of the Century club yrself?
Thanks, David – I am indeed a WCC member!
Chambourcin – great pick! Chambourcin is one of my go-to "pizza wines" though the prices for the local stuff have gone up around here.
Well, I am definitely gonna need to get me some more Arneis now!
I was thinking about Bonarda… the Italian one, I mean… probably time to try some more of those as well…
I love obscure grapes… As WCC member struggling to get to treble level (I really thought I'm done after doppel, sigh), I truly appreciate obscure grapes. Let's get some Pigato and Schiava going ! :)
…<bows, chants "I'm not worthy!!!">
LOL :) It is fun! Just added 3 new grapes to the "collection" – it is in my "treble journey" post
I've become really interested in wine made from American native grape (or hybrid) varieties recently. They don't get much play and everyone disses concord even though it must taste good if you consider the amount of jelly and juice made from it.
Thanks, MuteDog – I've tasted plenty of wines made from Concord grapes and can tell you that the nice sweet flavor doesn't translate as well when you pass that fermentation phase :-).
I'm just finishing up Wild Vine, the book about the Norton grape – it's fascinating reading, likely I will be doing a review + giveaway of that in the very near future. If you're interested in native grapes, it's a good read.
Oh yes! Glad you mentioned the Norton grape and Tod Kliman's book 'The Wild Vine'. Such a very fascinating read indeed. I reviewed it on my blog as well
Thanks, Wilf – I think I'm gonna do a giveaway next week of a copy of TWV; I really enjoyed it.
Interesting, I'll have to check it out. I've not heard of the Norton grape. I've made some Concord wine of my own, it's still bulk aging (2nd year) but it seems to be turning out well (IMO at least), have you had dry Concord wine?
MD – No, only sweet Concord (so far, anyway!).
As much as the Argentinians beg to differ about it being a forgotten varietal, I'll go with Torrontes as my favorite unsung wine. I know it's building steadily here in CA so much so that Cost Plus World Market has 3 of them and most wine stores have at least one or two. It's more 'never been' in the US than forgotten. It's a varietal that if people tasted blind they'd buy more of it. It's certainly the un-Chardonnay (a good ad campaign if some producer wanted to fund it).
Bringing inexpensive white wine into California is like bringing coals to Newcastle.
You know, Nick, I *love* Torrontes right now for the QPR factor. I think it soon will gain enough traction that it won't be "obscure" in the U.S. for very long…
My favorite obscure grape is probably Pinot Meunier, though if you're a sparkling wine fanatic, it's not that obscure to you. I've only been able one winery in the US that makes it as a single varietal wine, and that's Domaine Chandon. It's my go-to Thanksgiving wine. Can be difficult to find, but worth seeking out.
Pinot Meunier – GREAT call. I've only had one still wine made from that, I think.
Richard, that is awesome! I also recommend the Pinot Meunier with that Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas dinner.
Here in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, there is only one winery that makes it into a single varietal wine. It is the St.Hubertus Vineyard and it is absolutely beautiful, especially after you decant it.
Hey Kimberly – funny, when I see that list I think, "well, those grapes aren't too obscure" but then I realize that I'm a geek and to the normal person who's not wine-obsessed, they've probably never heard of Brachetto.
Enjoy the dinner!
I know, I think exactly the same thing! But working in a wine store and having people stare at me blankly when I suggest something a little off the beaten path convinces me that not everyone pays attention to these things like we, the wine-obsessed, do. : )
Hey Kimberly – have you ever been so passionate about having customers try something new that you're like "look, you try this and if you don't love it come back here and I'll give you a refund!" ?
I've had that happen to me and I was like "f–k yeah I'm gonna buy this now!" Turns out, of course, that I did love the wine he recommended.
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