Wine issue 3 – unusual regions

We all tend to be aware of the big wine producers, I mean even if you don’t give that much thought to where your vino comes from, if you found yourself on Pointless you would know that to say France, Italy or Australia would get you a pretty high score, right?

OK, so how about those countries that might get you a lower score, and more importantly are the wines worth trying?

Well, within Europe there are the slightly less obvious countries like Austria and Romania who produce some lovely stuff, although Romania make some sweeter reds (not pudding wines, just sweeter red wines) that aren’t to my taste personally. But how about Moldova? They’ve been making wine there for centuries but it’s never been on the mainstream list. Or at the other end of the spectrum, both weather and wine history-wise, Denmark has fairly recently come onto the wine scene. I’ll admit I have never tried a Danish wine, however, and I’m not sure how well you’d fare trying to get some from your local Tesco, but you might get a nice low score on Pointless!

And further afield? Well one of the very nicest wines I’ve ever tasted was from Canada. There’s an area in British Columbia which has a very similar micro climate to the Alsace region in France, and their ice wines are phenomenal. In Japan a third of the wine consumed is locally made. But interestingly (or not, depending on your view point) only a quarter of that is from grapes grown in Japan.

On the list of wine producing countries by quantity for 2014 (I can’t find a more recent one), Italy produces the most, only just ahead of Spain and then France. You might be surprised to discover Australia is 8th on the list, producing less than a quarter of Italy’s total – certainly if you look in any UK supermarket you’d be forgiven for believing the Aussies churned out a lot more!

And at the bottom of the list? Here’s your Pointless answer: Reunion. Yup, that little island in the Indian Ocean. Still a French territory, so I suspect that might explain a bit of it.

What wines have you tried from unusual places? I’d love to know in the comments.

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