“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” Benjamin Franklin
As you may have seen from our Explore page, we’re scouring the globe to check out the best places to eat, drink, stay and play for our Gourmet Food Guide 2019. Lately our focus has turned to wine, and we are inviting you to give your input. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an amateur wine buff, a sommelier, a producer, brand ambassador or a wine connoisseur. We want you to let us know who and what we should check out.
For example, we adore Italian wines but when looking for nominations of a great Italian red, it’s so hard to choose between those well known delights like Barolo, Amarone and Brunello di Montalcino; and let’s not forget Chianti. Are there other unsung heroes and artisan producers out there that we should know about? And, what exactly is it that makes these particular wines so deliciously special?
Bordeaux vs Burgundy?
“Burgundy is for those who want to be intrigued by wine, not offered certainty in a glass” (Jasper Morris in his 2010 book Inside Burgundy).
“For me, the superiority of Bordeaux comes from its naturalness: it is born of my earth, of my sun, and of the attentive love that my people devote to it. The primary virtue of Bordeaux is honesty” (French novelist François Mauriac).
New World Wines
Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon v’s Penfold’s Grange Hermitage? When it comes to new world wines and traditional verses modern methods, the battle also rages.
Wines and the winemakers in the New World embody the entrepreneurial spirit you’d expect from descendants of immigrants that struck out searching for a new and better life in another place. In these regions the winemaking practices vary dramatically, and there is much experimentation. The New World generally places less emphasis on making wine the same way it has been made for centuries, and more emphasis on making wine that takes advantage of modern advances.
Among our own personal new world favourites are Penfold’s Grange which we featured recently on our Instagram page @gourmetfoodguide but then again we’re looking for nominations great South African, New Zealand and South Americans too.
Krug v’s Dom Perignon, Ruinart v’s Moet and more.
Actually we’re really interested in checking out the claim that a good grower-cooperative (producers who are owned and run jointly by its members, who are growers), can produce outstanding quality Champagne. Although Champagnes made by cooperatives are often believed to be of lesser quality, such producers can apparently achieve outstanding results, and even make superior cuvées than the famous Grandes Marques.
For those who know the Champagne region well, however, such an outcome may not surprise, with cooperatives being major suppliers of grapes and wine to many well-known names in the region, who own few vineyards themselves.
Not only that, but, unlike grower-Champagnes, who make delicious fizz from just their own holdings, the cooperatives can source from a large area, and tend to select the best grapes and wines for producing their own branded Champagnes. This gives them the chance to blend wines from across vast swathes of Champagne, vital in the strive to create something consistent in style, and complex in character.
Get on Board
The call is out. Nominations are open to everyone, so nominate your personal favourites and recommendations for our international wine selection and join us as we film and share the exquisite experiences and places nominated by you for inclusion in the International Gourmet Food Guide Awards.