Sam’s take on the classic grape varieties (1/2)
More From: Curious Facts & Fun
Posted June 28th, 2012 by Matt Kane
Something we just had to share. Sam Brannigan, who runs Blake’s Fine Wines in Derrylin, Northern Ireland, has allowed us to republish his hilarious, even insightful, take on the world’s most popular grape varieties. In the first of two posts, we’ll start with three whites and two reds. We’ll save the best to last, so keep your eyes peeled next week for part two.
If you want your tongue to feel like it’s been speared by an atomic sized army of French archers then drink European Sauvignon, especially French numbers like Sancerre, Pouilly Fume or some crazy assed classic like Menetou-Salon. Bordeaux has some pretty good gear as well! If you like tropical fruit, grapefruit, mangoes, Hawaiian pizza and steel drums then drink Kiwi Sauvignon – seriously, it’s like a liquid 10p mix-up. Sauvignon is just lovely, but make sure you’ve plenty of Gaviscon for the 4am agonies.
Fancy of glass of beige? That’s Pinot Gris at its worst. Look for either seriously crisp, dry numbers with plenty of attack, spritz and aromas of ripe pear (Italian Style), or treat yourself to the Alsatian (French) style – like an overripe fruit bowl, dangerously fleshy and ripe with a slight hint of gorgeous pink – silky and long with endless waves of complexity. Or just buy the cheapest bottle you can find and wallow in nothingness. The choice, as ever, is yours.
Another astonishingly versatile grape variety. Again, stop buying cheap muck – it is impossible to make quality dirt cheap Chenin Blanc – kapiche? Next time, just save yourself the money and go lick a rusty bar dipped in car battery acid. Spend a few quid more and trade up to racy Saumurs, ravishingly lush Vouvrays, or even a bottle of mindspanglingly amazing Loire fizz – from bone dry to brain-squelchingly sweet through still and fizz, Chenin Blanc has it all. Look at you with your Chilean Sauvignon, you sad git!
Big Cab Sauv is the towering giant of the wine world. Tight, mean, lean and green when young (think Merlot with five o’clock shadow and cajones) with notes of green pepper, pencil lead, cedar and mint, like a gutsy Jimmy Cagney but with age it gives a winning Cary Grant smile – chocolate, musk, deep cassis and often heady herbal notes take this beauty to another realm, especially if blended with…
If Cab Sauv is Bogey, Merlot is Bacall. Merlot is flamboyant, fleshy, sexy and flirty – deep damson and plum often with dollops of creamy softness. Blends astonishingly well with Cabernet Sauvignon because, as Paula Abdul sang, opposites attract. Oh yes. On its own it’s pretty good as well. Ever heard of Petrus (thousands a bottle)? Pretty much 100% Merlot…
A big thanks to Sam Brannigan, to whom complaints can be directed. Part two will be posted next week.