How is your bracket holding up? Mine is not doing so well. I am sad Texas lost though I did not expect them to win and I am completely heartbroken SMU lost in OT to UCLA. However, we are super happy Wisconsin won handedly and will advance to the next round.
We lost some strong grapes in our opening rounds as well: both Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are gone, as well as Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. Furthermore, based on the next round of tournament play I suspect a few lesser known grapes will be gone by Sunday’s end. Let’s take a look at some of those grapes now while they are still around.
Fiano: A White Italian grape variety grown in the Campania region of southern Italy and on the Italian island of Sicily. It is characterized by flavors of citrus, quince, spice and hazelnuts and is known for its minerality and high acidity. It’s sweetness makes it popular in a sparkling wine enjoyed mostly by Italians; however, in its dry form it holds a DOCG status.
Kekfrankos: This Hungarian and Austrian variety is also known as Blaufränkisch; it has black skin and typically produces an intensely dark violet wine with rich flavors of black fruit, pepper and spice. The grapes tend to ripen late and produce high levels of tannins.
Norton: This grape variety was introduced in the US by Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton of Richmond Virginia in the early 19th century; it is largely considered an American grape variety. It is the official grape of Missouri and is also cultivated in Virginia, Georgia, California and the Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states. Norton grapes produce deeply pigmented wines, rich in red berries, spice, coffee and dark chocolate.
Garganega: This is Italy’s sixth most planted white grape; growing predominately in the Veneto region. It is known for its vibrant flavors of stone fruit, orchard fruit and honey and almonds and is used to make Soave, the most famous white wine DOC in Italy.
Antão Vaz: This white grape variety is one of Portugal’s most popular and is grown in the Alentejo region. It is a versatile grape allowing for production into a variety of wine styles. It is characterized by flavors of tropical fruit, citrus and honey with good acidity.
Saperavi: This is a dark skinned grape native to the country of Georgia. Due to its intense color and high acidity it is most frequently utilized in lower priced blends. It is a hardy varietal and does well in cold temperatures and high elevations. Though this grape is predominately used in Georgia it can also be found growing in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. It is characterized by flavors of black fruits with spice, cassis, coffee and chocolate.
Good luck on your next round of games. Things are heating up and someone big could fall this weekend. Thank you for following along in my Wine Madness fun, I hope you learned about a new grape or two. Remember, the best wine is the wine you like to drink; however, there are so many great varietals and wines produced in the world, don’t ever be afraid to seek out and try something new!