During the Norwich Wine Festival we are encouraging people to use the Norfolk mantra “Do Different”, and change it to “Drink Different”. Follow our suggestions and take yourself out of your comfort zone and try something a bit unusual, rather than sticking to the usual “safe” Sauvignon Blanc or Shiraz.
If you’re a fan of Pinot Grigio, why not give a Gavi or a Trebbiano a try? Both are still dry Italian white wines, but Gavi is full of soft fruit flavours, while Trebbiano tends to be light and crisp.
For Chardonnay lovers, if the reason you like this grape is because of the oak and the big mouth feel, why not try a Viognier? This native variety of the Rhone Valley has great apricot and peach flavours, and won’t leave you wondering where the body went.
As for Sauvignon Blanc aficionados, how about visiting the Gascony region of the south west of France, famed originally for Cognac production. The Cotes de Gascogne whites have the familiar crisp acidity, but accompanied by lively citrusy flavours, rather than the typical gooseberry of the Sauvignon.
Like Merlot? Why not try a Tempranillo? This early ripening Spanish grape is much planted in the Rioja region, and is full of stewed dark fruit flavours with just a hint of spice. Find one grown in a region other than Rioja and there’s a great chance you’ll have found yourself a bargain.
Is Shiraz your thing? If so, why not try a Mourvedre (Monastrell in Spanish) – this grape is used in the making of Chateauneuf du Pape and in the Corbieres region, and makes a big gutsy red wine that goes very well with food.
And if you want an alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon you could try a Sangiovese based wine, such as the famous Tuscan wines Chianti or Vino Nobile de Montepulciano – wonderful wines that have all the complexity you might be hoping for.
During the Wine Festival if you discover a real gem of a wine, do tell us about it (email us on ) – we always want to know which wines you’re enjoying.
When you buy your wine festival programme, you will not only receive a guide to all the participating venues, but discount offers from each of them – getting you great prices for wine and meals with wine. Each venue is offering its own special offer for festival customers, so you can try different things throughout the month.
After the success of last year’s festival events, we have expanded the number and variety of events for the 2011 festival.