Uncorked: What are some underrated wines from around the world?
I always recommend veering off the established vinous map when searching for new wines and experiences, and certainly some of my own personal discoveries derive from wine regions most cartographers would categorise under the nomenclature “Here be Dragons”.
Here are a few wines which absolutely need to be on your radar, and you can even find a few of them in the Independent Wine Club’s Around the World Explorers case, a fabulous six-pack well-worth seeking out.
Q. What are some underrated wines from around the world?
A. Tokaji, Hungary
Tokaji (pronounced To-Kai, although I’m never quite sure), the esteemed “Wine of Kings”, is one of Europe’s most historic sweet wines from Hungary, usually made from grapes affected by noble rot.
Tokaji has arguably the most impressive list of drinkers in history, with die-hard fans including Louis XIV and Victoria, a few popes, Beethoven, Goethe, Bram Stoker and many more… fortunately today sweet wines are so criminally out of fashion that you can pick up some excellent Tokaji for a song.
Fiano d’Avellino, Italy
Italian whites are hands down some of the most fresh, distinctive and downright delicious wines out there, and while most of us have at least heard of Gavi or Pinot Grigio, regions off the beaten track like Fiano d’Avellino are still yet to be picked up by the wider wine drinking public.
Cultivated predominantly in Campania, Fiano’s history goes back to ancient Rome (and perhaps even Greece), and in its best examples are incredibly textured and vibrant, with great freshness and honeyed notes alongside a core of bright fruit.
Italy is so full of hidden gems that I could hardly not include a red, so here’s another grape to put on your bucket list – Aglianico. Perfect for lovers of bold reds, Aglianico is often thought of as “the Barolo of the south”, although it really is a unique, ancient variety grown primarily in Campania that is an insider favourite of the cognoscenti.
Stylistically expect bold dark fruit flavours – blackcurrant, cherry and figs – alongside some classic leather notes from oak ageing, all knitted together by some mouth-puckering tannins. This is always a standout at tastings!
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