The ongoing Clink Different promotion is a pair up of an unlikely duo - wines of Bordeaux and wines of Germany. While France and Germany may seem like unlikely partners, in fact both have long, esteemed histories in wine dating back over 2000 years. And with those long histories comes a level of confidence in what grows well in certain terrain.
I attended a fun media tasting led by the very knowledgeable and engaging Cristie Norman, Co-Founder and President of the United Sommeliers Foundation and Wine Enthusiast's 2020 Educator of the Year.
Cristie led us on a taste journey across some lesser-known grape varieties that she encourages consumers to try.
First up was the Weingut Strum 2019 Silvaner Trocken, which retails for $19. Cristie recommended this white wine made from the Silvaner grape with sushi, fish dishes, salads, and stir fry. I found it delightful - with a fresh, grassy nose, high acid, good weight, and a long finish.
Next we went to Bordeaux for the Dourthe 2019 La Grande Cuvee Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc. This affordable wine retails for $14. With a very aromatic nose of lemon and vegetal notes, the wine delivered fresh tart citrus flavors and high acid - perfect for goat cheese, creamy pasta, and shell fish.
Moving on to the reds, we tried the Schnaitmann 2017 Steinwiege Lemberger. This grape is also known as Blaufrankisch. With a nose of bramble fruit and bell pepper, the palate was structured with perceptible tannin, a stewed red fruit flavor, and a long finish. This wine retails for $37.
Finally, we were treated to a fascinating wine made from 100% Petit Verdot - a 2018 from Chateau Belle-Vue. The opaque, inky purple color of the wine struck me immediately. The flavor delivered on the promise of the color - this is a big wine, with lush black fruit and grippy tannins indicating that the wine can certainly age. Cristie suggested gouda cheese, dishes with mushroom, or a nice steak to pair with this bold wine, which retails for $25.
I enjoyed these wines made from some lesser known grape varieties and appreciated that this campaign is encouraging consumers to drink "outside the box" and experiment with new varieties. You can follow the @clinkdifferent campaign on Instagram and Twitter to see what's next.