A few weeks ago, I read a Wall Street Journal article about “hipster wines.” I’m a wannabe hipster at heart (let’s be honest though, I could never pull off those skinny jeans), so this caught my eye. The gist of the article, as you might imagine, was simply about wines that aren’t exactly the mainstream, California cabernet/chardonnay type of bottles that people drink everywhere. You can find extremely good, interesting wines from overlooked regions all around the world. And at great prices, I might add.
I’ve decided this is an excellent idea for a personal wine theme for 2013: The year of hipster wines! I already live in the somewhat hipster wine region of Virginia (I’m being a little kind, I know, but I’m biased. Deal.), so we can go ahead and mark that off the list. I get enough VAVINO already. Instead I’m thinking about places like Greece, Romania (what the British call “Cheap and cheerful” wines), Switzerland, New York. You name it. On top of that, my 2013 hipster wines will include bottlings that are simply unexpected. For example, the other day I bought a Nebbiolo made in Oregon that had been aged in large wood vats for 34 months. NOT what you’d expect from that state.
Tonight however, I’m kicking it off with something from France. France? HIPSTER? Hardly, you would think right? But tonight I’m drinking a red from Southern France – Bandol. You’ve prooobably never heard of it (*hipster voice).
If you enjoy full-bodied, intense, red wines, then hold on to your thick-rimmed glasses. This is for you. Bandol is a region in the south of France, southeast of Marseille. The wines are always at least 50% Mourvedre, with the rest being Grenache, Syrah, or Carignan. On paper, it’s a lot like a Cote du Rhone, but ends up being so much different. It’s a wine whose flavors will make you pause. The one I’m drinking tonight (pictured above) is a mass of stone dust, leather, earth, and solid tannins. You’ll notice I didn’t mention any fruit or oak. This is all secondary aromas and flavors that I love. It would also go really well with just about any meat, pasta, or heavier dish.
Stayed tuned for more hipster wines as 2013 progresses. Feel free to join me. Let’s get out of our shells and try something new this year, before it’s cool. Cheers.