There's no fancier feeling than pouring yourself a glass of wine. Although you may be familiar with some top wine-producing regions, the most adored concoctions come from places like Chile, Napa Valley, and Tuscany.
We asked US sommeliers which wines were at the top of their recommendation list. Whether you're dealing with a bottle of Pinot Noir or Syrah, their overall advice was simple: keep an open mind and don't stay married to any one brand.
France is the world's second largest producer of wine, so it's not surprising to see a bottle listed here. Bianco Gentile, a grape used for making white wines, was indigenous to Corsica but considered extinct for a period of time until some vines were discovered and replanted.
Kristie Petrullo Campbell, the founder of the Petrullo Wine Company, recommends trying a bottle of Antoine Arena Bianco Gentile Vin de France.
"The richness of the wine is balanced by its acidity and minerality," she told INSIDER. This wine has notes of almond, citrus, and wildflowers, which is great for anyone looking for a slightly nutty flavor.
Climate isn't a one-size-fits-all when it comes to wine. Some varieties, like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc, ripen to perfection in cooler climates since they are able to stay on the vine longer.
Those looking for an earthy, black tea taste should try Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir. It's a red wine that also packs a slight cherry punch to it.
Crystallum is a small, family-run winery in the Walker Bay region near Hermanus. Two brothers, Andrew and Peter-Allan Finlayson, started producing wine in 2007. The wine's name come from the first names of the two growers (Peter and Max) who supplied the fruit for the first vintage of this wine.
You can get a bottle of Peter Max Pinot Noir 2016 for around R235.
The Dezaley wine region is located on a steep hillside along Lake Geneva, which allows it to take advantage of the sun's reflection coming off the lake. The wine is made from the Chasselas variety, which can have a mineral-y taste due to the wine's ability to take on the character of its soil.
Petrullo notes that this wine has a more delicate taste, however, this one is harder to find since Switzerland only exports 2% of its wines.
The Finger Lakes region of New York is emerging as a region of unique wines made by locals who farm and up and coming talent. The rocky soil in the area and cool, breezy weather allows Rieslings to flourish.
Nathan K. Wines Riesling has hints of candied citrus, ginger, and sweet smoke.
Syrah is a dark-skinned grape variety that's widely used in red wines. It contains high levels of antioxidants, and the taste can range from tart to jammy. The aftertaste has often been described as spicy or peppery.
If you're up to the challenge, Von Siebenthal Carabantes is a top-rated Syrah with notes of blackberry, blueberry, and chocolate.
Commando G was started when three friends from college began their journey towards creating the best Garnacha. Garnacha, or Grenache, is a red wine grape that requires hot, dry climates, like the one in Spain, ripen. The friends sought out vineyards from Madrid and eventually settled on the Castilla Y Leon area of Spain.
Comando G La Bruja de Rozas is a wine that's full of floral notes like jasmine, lilac, and rose. You can also taste dried cherry, strawberry, and cocoa dust in this bottle. It can quickly become a favorite of those who enjoy a silky wine.
Tejo is known for being one of the oldest wine producing regions in Portugal. The region produces crisp white wines, but red grapes are native to the area. Portugal typically experiences mild winters and warm, dry summers, which makes the wine less acidic.
Sommelier Alpana Singh recommends trying this dry red wine from Tejo.
Xinomavro wines are known for having fruity notes in addition to notes of anise and allspice, according to Singh. Boutari Grand Reserve Xinomavro blends these dried fruit and spice flavours in a bottle.
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