Wanting to try something different? Here are some alternatives to classic grape varieties.

Wanting to try something different? Here are some alternatives to classic grape varieties.

Wanting to try something different? Here are some alternatives to classic grape varieties.

Stuck in a rut with your wine choices and always find yourself playing it safe? This handy guide will help you find alternatives to some of the most well-known grape varieties.

Often when spending our hard earned cash we stick to what we know to avoid picking up a bottle of something that is not our style. However, if you want to try something different but similar then this article will provide some alternatives.

If you like Sauvignon Blanc...

Over the years Sauvignon Blanc has become a failsafe option for so many wine drinkers. From the green fruit forward often floral and steely Loire Valley Sauvignons to the more intensely flavoured Marlborough Sauvignons with riper, tropical fruits notes. There are often herbaceous notes to Sauvignon Blanc as well as mouth watering acidity.


Verdejo – native to Spain and found in the Rueda region this is super fresh packed full of lime and grapefruit often with floral, grassy and fennel notes.





Gruner Veltliner – ‘Groovy Gruner’ a favourite amongst the Field and Fawcett team. Austria’s most important white grape variety. Think lemon, lime and grapefruit with notes of pepper and high acidity.




Picpoul –  from the south of France this wine often has notes of apple, citrus, thyme and saltiness with lip smacking, fresh acidity.



If you like Chardonnay...

Chardonnay varies hugely in style from crisp unoaked flinty Chablis grown in France’s cooler Burgundy climate to warmer climate buttery rich tropical fruit flavoured Californian chardonnay. So, depending on the style that you like here are some alternatives.

Chenin Blanc – South Africa’s most important white grape variety. This example has mouth filling flavours of lychees, ripe pears and white peach. 




Viognier – Originating in Northern Rhone, Viognier is rich and oily often aged in oak which gives it a Chardonnay like richness. Viognier is aromatic and full bodied with intense notes of tangerine, peach, honeysuckle. Oaky versions will have subtle spice.


If you like Malbec...

Malbec originally from France has become the flagship grape of Argentina. It is full bodied with plenty of dark fruit flavours with hints of vanilla, dark chocolate and tobacco.


Nero D’Avola – If you don’t know about Nero D’Avola then get to know. The most widely planted grape variety in Sicily. Full bodied often with intense plum, herbal aromatics and smooth tannins. 


Carmenere – Originating in Bordeaux but now mostly found in Chile it is related to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It also makes an interesting more savoury and herbaceous alternative to Malbec. Think plum, raspberry, vanilla and often green pepper and with age some leather and earthy notes.


If you like Pinot Noir...

Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grape varieties tracing its roots back to the Roman era. It is grown all over the world but predominantly thrives in cooler climates. From earthy and floral Burgundian Pinot Noirs to vibrant, earthy and fruit forward Central Otago Pinots.

Zweigelt – Austria’s most planted red grape. Medium bodied with a hit of acidity. Tartness from the cherry and raspberry flavours but well balanced with hints of herbs and chocolate.





Bardolino – Often a Corvina led blend from the south eastern shores of Lake Garda. Largely fermented in steel tanks. This wine is light, juicy and aromatic with notes of berries and cherries.

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