Tired of the same old reds, whites, and rosés? Join the (wine) club. Rest assured, there are countless unique wines out there to motivate your next wine search and energize your next soirée. Some are easy to find at your local liquor store, while others are something to tuck away on your ice-bucket list. From vino infused with 6,000-year-old meteorites to hybrids designed to unite beer lovers and wine enthusiasts, here are some of the coolest wines out there.
Give these oddball blends a try the next time you’re craving notes of inspiration, better yet—use them as an excuse to bring your friends together with a sampling party sure to excite.
Blue sparkling wine
Sure, you’ve probably sampled red, white, pink, and even orange-hued wines, but did you know your favourite beverage also comes in blue? A surprising number of blue wines exist, and ‘Fratelli Saraceni Blumond’ is just one popular option. This Italian sparkling wine is the colour of a blue-raspberry snow cone. It boasts a sweet, fruity, refreshing flavour without being syrupy or saccharine. You can be confident you’ll wow your guests with this one.
Hot and Spicy
A quick drive outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and you’ll find a unique Jalapeño pepper wine. If you or your guests are a fan of anything and everything muy picante, this wine is for you. Cardinal Hollow Winery makes this best-selling vino, as well as 24 other unusual varieties such as dandelion and blackberry. Brave sippers can drink it on its own, or use it to add a kick to your next meat marinade or salad dressing.
No need to draw the line between beer drinkers and wine drinkers! As of late, many brewers are creating beer-wine hybrids by adding the juice and skins of wine grapes to the beer fermentation process. Toronto’s own Burdock Brewery just released ‘ERO III’: a sour cherry beer enriched with pinot noir.
This pick-me-up of a pick is sure to leave your senses invigorated and energized. ‘Apothic Brew’ is one popular version made at E. & J. Gallo Winery in California. This smooth infusion is part red wine, part cold brew coffee—its full-bodied flavor and bitter notes lend itself perfectly to a cranberry-topped, baked brie or a thick slab of dark chocolate.
Sweets for after dinner
While you may be used to port or ice wine as part of the digestif dessert course, there are many other delectable sweet wines on the market. ‘Manitoulin Maple Apple’ is a white dessert wine: crisp with a maple nose. Made by Boreal Berry Farm & Winery east of Sudbury, Ontario, it blends St. Joseph Mountain Maple Syrup with apples from Manitoulin Island and Georgian Bay. If that doesn’t sound delicious enough to convince you, it won gold at the 2015 All Canadian Wine Championship.
While not readily available at your local liquor store, this Chilean wine is worth mentioning: it’s a cabernet sauvignon fermented in a vat with a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite. This astronomical beverage was created in 2012 by a manager at Tremonte Vineyard in the Cachapoal Valley in Chile. Aptly named ‘Meteorito,’ the stone was believed to have crashed into the Atacama Desert more than 6,000 years ago.
The British Royal Rose Society commissioned a small winery in West Sussex to make this blush-coloured variety. Made from handpicked rose petals, Lurgashall Winery created a one-time batch of medium-dry and aromatic wine with a luscious pink tone. While it was only available for a short time, we can be sure it was sweet.
Black Currant Wine
Wine enthusiasts travel from all over the world to taste the tart black currant wine produced at Cassis Monna et Filles, a black currant farm on Île d’Orléans, an island located just outside Quebec City. Here you can sample their wine with berry-infused homemade goods, such as jams, honeys, marshmallows, mustards, and even soft-serve ice cream. Beginners will want to try the summer-fresh Fruité on its own or as the base of a tangy sangria. Bold wine lovers ought to try the Capiteux, a port-style wine with notes of vanilla and prune.
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