Look, I don't blame you. We grow up around Penfolds and Rosemount, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. So why would you know anything about Chianti, Malbec, Pinotage or any other international grape variety?
I thought I'd put a little guide together to help you in finding wines that may taste 'familiar' to you while your palate adapts to new varietals from all over the world.
If you like your soft, Shiraz, get your hands on Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Cote du Rhone wines (or Syrah from the South of France). Malbec may also be an interesting for you if you like peppery shiraz (like those from the Hunter Valley)
If you prefer Cabernet Sauvignon, try and find some Carmenere from Chilé, Primitivo or left bank Bordeaux - look for names such as Magaux, Pauillac, St Estephe, Medoc and Pessac - as these are Cabernet dominant. You may also enjoy a Tempranillo from Rioja or a Pinotage from South Africa to really challenge the palate.
If you prefer Pinot Noir, give Sangiovese a try! I've always found Sangiovese and Pinot Noir to have similar characters. If you want to stay in Italy, try Nebbiolo. Red burgundy is pinot noir as well so trying any red with the word "Bourgogne" written on the front should do the trick.
If you prefer Merlot, try Grenache. OORRR, if you have the cash to splash, a right bank Bordeaux (St Emillion is my jam!)
If you prefer Chardonnay, try chardonnay from different countries or give Viognier a go. Or even a Marsanne/Roussanne blend from the Rhone Valley.
If you prefer Pinot Grigio, give Albarino from Spain a try.
If you prefer Sauvignon Blanc (and let me tell you, it's definitely time to move on haha), give Torrontes from Argentina go.
When you have completed your international trip with wine, we would love to know what you thought. Do you have any new favourites?
And thank you WineFolly.com for our featured image!