For some reason, some people feel the same way about wine. Put anything other than mass-produced Chardonnay or Merlot in front of them and they just don't know what to think. It's just wine and it's supposed to be fun, but it can stress people out. I find it interesting that this phenomenon doesn't exist to the same extent in the beer world. Yes, Budweiser is exceptionally uncomfortable with the growth of craft beer, but that's why they've been buying craft breweries like their lives depend on it (just a few weeks ago Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased Breckenridge Brewery - just a 2.1 mile bike ride from my front door). Yet, I don't see the same sort of discomfort when beer drinkers are confronted with the choice of a brown ale, IPA, stout or a pilsner. I think beer drinkers are even more willing to try a lambic, gose, or just about any type of flavored beer than your common wine drinker would be willing to knowingly put Teroldego, Mencía, Blaufränkisch or Chambourcin into their wine glass. I can only imagine the resistance is related to language barriers and excellent marketing by the big wine producers.
|Bodegas Ameztoi 2014 Rubentis|
If accents and umlauts are enough to get people's panties in a bunch just imagine what kind of discomfort a completely unique language could cause. While the Bodegas Ameztoi Rubentis (11% abv, Purchased $23) is Spanish by law, it is Basque at heart. This lovely rosé hails from the Getariako Txakolina - gesundheit - region in northern Spain from the grapes Hondarrabi Zuri (50%) and Hondarrabi Beltza (50%). With all that information on the label the average wine consumer is sure to be 100% confused. If you focus on only what's in the glass, this wine is a pretty pastel pink color and slightly effervescent - just a touch more than you might find in your average Portuguese Vinho Verde. Prominent aromas of citrus and a hint of mint entice the nose. The palate is awakened by the bubbles to greet bright flavors of lemons, grapefruit, strawberries and sea salt. The Rubentis is an exceptionally refreshing wine that pairs well with anything from seafood to barbeque, or just as lovely on its own. This wine is the perfect example of why unfamiliar grapes should cause you discomfort, but may actually bring pleasure.