Wine Blogging Wednesday #62: A Grape By Any Other Name

This post originally appeared Oct. 15, 2009. When I moved to Tumblr, it was lost in the move. It’s my pleasure to resurrect it & say cheers to all my fellow Wine Blogging Wednesday peers.

Wine Blogging WednesdayIt’s been my pleasure to participate in the now time-honored tradition that is Wine Blogging Wednesday but this is the first time I’ve had the pleasure to host!

“A Grape By Any Other Name” is a semantic challenge to wine drinkers, thinkers, & linkers. Grape varietals often have more than one name & the aim is to taste wines labeled with their lesser-known varietal synonyms. Writers are encouraged to stretch & really find new varietals they’ve never tasted before. I’m awarding extra points for trying BOTH the traditionally named grape & its alternative. And you deserve extra geek cred for the most obscure grape review!

I’ll kick things off with my review, but first I want to encourage everyone who enjoyed this challenge to continue trying new grape varieties & stretching their palates. Not only might you find your new favorite, you could also earn yourself a membership in the Wine Century Club by tasting at least 100 varieties. I’m proud to be a member & encourage you to become one too!

This post will constantly evolve with new tasting notes as they roll in, so check back often!

Lexia/Muscat of Alexandria
Muscat of Alexandria (also called Moscatel, Moscatel Romano, Moscatel de Málaga, Muscat Gordo Blanco, Hanepoot, Lexia, Moscatel, Gordo, & Zibibbo) is used for sherry, moscatel or muscatel wines, Moscatel de Valencia, Muscatel Passito & other Muscatel liqueurs & also as a raisin & table grape. I had a half dozen sample bottles of Alice White wine sitting in my fridge forever, untouched. I cracked this 2007 South Eastern Australian Lexia open & after tasting it, I couldn’t wait to pour it down the drain! Seriously, it was crap. Don’t waste your money on this. Honestly, friends don’t let friends buy this wine. It’s that bad. I sampled it with a simple chicken pad thai, as recommended on the bottle. The floral fragrance fooled this fellow! It was light & sweet & not much else. I’m fine with a sweet wine if it’s refreshing, has some depth of character, & makes me smile. This bottle strikes out by going zero for three. Full disclosure: This wine was sent to me as a sample.

Blaufrankisch/Lemberger
Lenn Thompson, my pal & creator of WBW, not only taught us about two underrated grapes, he managed to drink local while doing it!

Tom Mansell gets extra credit for tasting both grapes & drinking local while he’s at it!

Bonarda/Charbono
Jason Mancebo is still trying to decide which of his grapes has the more obscure name!

Breton/Cabernet Franc
Greg Dyer schools us on the differences between Cab Francs in the Loire Valley in France.

Cannonau/Garnacha/Grenache
Jim Wilkerson started us off right by tasting a 100% Cannonau from Sardinia.

Richard scored bonus points by sampling both a Garnacha blend & a 100% Cannonau.

Michelle Lentz combined WBW with Drink Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness & Research & sampled a Garnacha Rosado!

Kori Vorhees gets extra credit for sampling both a Grenache & a Garnacha. Sounds like the latter edged out the former.

Fume Blanc/Sancerre/Sauvignon Blanc
Matthew Horbund scores extra points by sampling both a Sancerre & a Fume Blanc – & getting his fiancee Robin to join the fun!

Johannisberg Riesling/Riesling
Michael Gorton, Jr. undertook not only the WBW challenge, but (like Lenn) also managed to drink local!

Monastrell/Mourvèdre
Tom Johnson gave us some great background & tasting notes on a Spanish red he dusted off from his cellar.

The BrixChicks are total overachievers this month by not only sampling both Mourvèdre & Monastrell – but tasting a total of three bottles. Nice!

Pinot Noir/Spatburgunder
Mary Cressler reminds us that German winemakers sometimes grow grapes other than Riesling.

Primitivo/Zinfandel
The Chronic Negress traveled to New Orleans to sample the “rugged caress” of Primitivo.

Gwendolyn Alley’s mom almost forgot to tell her that her Primitivo arrived in the mail!

Sauvignon Vert/Tocai Friulano
Victoria Gutierrez’s entry sent me straight to Wikipedia to confirm she’s right that Tocai Friulano is another name for Sauvignon Vert.

Schiava/Vernatsch
David McDuff turns us on to what might be the most obscure grape varietal that anyone’s come up with this month!

Shiraz/Syrah
Sonadora sampled a Washington state Syrah with bacon & chocolate syrup on the nose!

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