Indigenous grapes of Europe.

Indigenous Grapes of Europe

“Wine Down” your work week and get your week-end off to a good start with Asheville’s Best Wine Tasting every Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. This week, we’re boldly going where many wine shops never go — into the world of obscure, hard to pronounce, but delicious native, indigenous grapes of Western Europe. Up until about ten years ago, these types of wines could only be enjoyed if you were visiting the countries of Western Europe — they were regional specialties enjoyed by locals and tourists, but few of them were imported into the US. Over the past several years, the greater American wine scene has evolved and grown and what were once considered eccentric, odd wines are now accepted with open arms by many……….including us! Join us as we introduce you to some grapes and wines you’ve probably never had nor heard of.

To start, the 2012 Visintini Friulano comes from a tiny family estate in the Colli Orientali region of Friuli of Northeastern Italy. Very beloved by the locals of the region, more and more of these wines are making their way to our country. This one is ripe and exotic, with notes of quince, dried honey and flowers on the nose and palate. Following that, the 2012 Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso is a native grape of Italy’s Piemonte zone. This one abounds in aromas and flavors of herb, mineral, green apple and lemon and makes a great substitute for Pinot Grigio. To round out the whites, the 2012 Piedmont Wine Project Asinel Bianco is made by the Alberto Cordero di Montezemolo of the famed Barolo house of the same name. A fun and playful blend of Cortese, Arneis and Dry Moscato d’Asti, this one is packed with ripe peach, apricot and white floral notes.

Moving on to the reds, the 2013 Erich and Maria Berger Zweigelt is made with Austria’s most planted red grape, aka Zweigelt. It’s a classic, bistro-styled wine that pops with juicy red fruits, spices and light earth — it will remind some of Pinot Noir. To finish up, the 2012 Piedmont Wine Project Gambai Red is a blend of Barbera, Ruche and Pelaverga — I bet most of you haven’t had those last two! Fresh berries, violet and light spice inform the bouquet and taste of this fun and affordable red blend from Northwestern Italy. This promises to be an enlightening and fun tasting, and you’re invited! We hope to see you.

Tasting wines are 10% off by the bottle, 15% off if you mix six of them, and 20% off if you mix twelve of them!

The Wines
Prices range from $15 to $20 per bottle

1. 2012 Visintini Friulano Colli Orientali
(Friuli, Italy)

2. 2012 Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso
(Piemonte, Italy)

3. 2012 Piedmont Wine Project Asinel Bianco
(Piemonte, Italy)

4. 2013 Weingut & Gastehaus Berger Zweigelt
(Kremstal, Austria)

5. 2012 Piedmont Wine Project Gambai Rosso
(Piemonte, Italy)