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Good Wines from Unexpected Places

Good Wines from Unexpected Places

Like the United States, Brazil has been going through a rough patch recently — in its case, political intrigue, unhealthy waters, and disease borne by a mysterious mosquito. But Brazil has some bright spots on the horizon as well, among them the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and a wine industry that is just beginning to break out. Finding new sources of good to great wines is always exciting, and we have here examples not only from Brazil, but also Turkey — a country whose leader is a wine-hating teetotaler but whose ancient wine industry just gets better and better — and northern Greece, whose wines are less well-known that those of the Greek islands or the Peloponesse (though in fact Greece's Macedonia region makes some of the country’s best wines). As some of these wines are fairly new to the U.S., you may need to go online to find sources for them.

BRAZIL:

Lidio Carraro “Dádivas” Serra Gaucha Chardonnay 2013 ($15)

From one of Brazil’s premier producers — full, spiced apple flavors with a touch of creaminess.

Lidio Carraro “Agnus” Serra Gaúcha Merlot 2014 ($12)

Beautiful black raspberry flavors with a savory, fried-herbs finish. A bargain.

Lidio Carraro “Agnus” Serra Gaúcha Tannat 2014 ($12)

Nice ruby fruitiness blended with refreshing acidity and tight tannins in the finish

Casa Valduga “Raizes” Cabernet Franc 2011 ($16)

Warm, generous, well-balanced with dark cherries and a touch of cream.

Pizzato Vale dos Vinhedos Alicante Bouschet Reserva 2008 ($19)

Good depth of flavor, with rich, dark berries, integrated tannins, savory notes and fine acidity.

Lidio Carraro “Quorum” Serra Gaúcha Red Wine ($50)

A blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, tannat, and cabernet franc, with the merlot giving enjoyable cherry flavors and the tannat providing a pleasant “bite” at the end. You may want to decant a couple of hours early for all the flavors to blossom.

GREEK MACEDONIA:

Biblia Chora Pangeon “Areti” White Wine 2014 ($24)

Crisp, green, sauvignon-like flavors that are quite refreshing.

Biblia Chrora Pangeon “Areti” Red Wine 2009 ($24)

A good steak wine – well-structured, lean fruit and a tart finish.

Biblia Chora Pangeon “Biblinos Oenos” 2011 ($43)

Dark cherry flavors, medium body, hint of crème fraiche with soft tannins in the finish.

TURKEY:

Vinkara Ankara Kalecik Karasi Reserve 2012 ($20)

Nice creamy purple fruit with some spiciness – well-balanced.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


Wines with an unexpected twist

Xerolithia White, Crete, Greece 2012 (£9.50, Oddbins) Oddbins's love of Greek wines dates back to its 1990s heyday, when the retailer's funky approach to wine was a feature of many high streets. Having emerged from its own mini Greek-style financial collapse, it's good to see that Oddbins has retained the link with this unjustly neglected wine country. I've written before about the gently floral Semeli Feast White 2012 (£8.50) and Hatzidakis' zesty assyrtiko from Santorini (£13.75). At an impressive recent tasting of the latest Oddbins range I also fell for this rippling, spring-fresh white made from the local vilana, in Crete, with its notes of fennel and lime.

Château Maris Vieilles Vignes La Livinière Minervois, France 2011 (£10.99, Waitrose) Biodynamics is an extreme form of organic farming that adds such practices and concepts as the burying of cows' skulls and the following of the lunar calendar. The lack of hard science would bring out the stern Richard Dawkins side of me if it weren't for the fact that so many of my favourite wines are made by followers of the creed. Down in the Languedoc, Robert Eden is one such true believer. With their mix of liquoricey depths and aromatic top notes, his reds, like this syrah-grenache blend and his Maris Organic (£9.99, Armit), are delicious advocates for his beliefs.

La Luna del Rospo Grignolino d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy 2010 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) "This is wine like it would have been before the Black Shirts came along," Guillaume Aubert of Aubert & Mascoli, a specialist importer of wines, told me as he showed off his favourite bottles. He meant that it's a bit of a stylistic throwback: made from the rare Piemontese grignolino variety, it's not a wine that fits in with modern fashion. Instead its slug of sour cherry acidity and friendly grip of tannin are designed for thirst-quenching with food, which it would do beautifully – although, be warned, the slight touch of bitterness in this fluent red could, like Campari, get very addictive.


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