Whether planning a romantic night at home with your partner, a dinner party among friends, or simply relaxing after a long day, choosing the perfect wine for your situation can be a complex process. The choices are seemingly endless, which may lead you to choose reliable and common options. However, there is a long list of underrated wines that also deserve your attention. If you are looking to branch out, try some of our wine recommendations below.
Gamay is likened to Pinot Noir and is oftentimes referred to as the cousin of Pinot Noir because the Gamay grape is grown in France nearby world-renowned Pinot vineyards. Hailing from the Beaujolais region of Burgundy, Gamay holds its own within the region. This light red wine features an earthy, red fruit taste. Because Gamay is not aged, it is a more affordable option than Pinot Noir, which is aged for long periods.
Grüner Veltliner is a white wine almost exclusive to Austria. It is highly acidic with strong citrus flavors; thus, it is often enjoyed during the summer. It is compared to Sauvignon Blanc, but for only around $15 a bottle, it’s a much more affordable alternative to Sauvignon Blanc.
Tempranillo features a bold, big, structured taste, like that of Cabernet Sauvignon. Tempranillo is a Spanish grape and is, in fact, one of Spain’s most prominent grapes. It is the predominant grape of the Rioja region, which is known for producing some of the best wines in Spain. It offers a dark fruit flavor, specifically black cherry, with notes of spice and tobacco. It pairs well with filet mignon or any steak or barbecue. Look for a label that says “Rioja” to know you have the right bottle.
Falanghina is an ancient wine grape that is grown off the Amalfi Coast in Campania, Italy, which borders the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its flavor is just how you would imagine it—full of essences of lemon, pear, apple, and orange blossom. If you like Chardonnay, you will love Falanghina. It pairs well with seafood but will also complement grilled chicken or even pizza.
Made in Portugal, Touriga Nacional wines are full-bodied wines that are long-aged, much like Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. Young wines from Touriga Nacional, however, are very tannic, which leaves the mouth feeling dry after you’ve sipped them. But if aged properly, these wines are soft and elegant. Expect a rich flavor full of blueberry, blackberry, plum, bittersweet cocoa, and subtle tones of stimulating mint with violet. Touriga Nacional wines, even when aged for a long time, are much cheaper than Cabernet Sauvignon. Pair them with bold dishes like a smoked meat sandwich, tripe stew, or grilled octopus.
If you’re a wine connoisseur, we know you will appreciate these underrated and lesser-known wine varieties. They hold their own in terms of flavor and structure and can make a beloved conversation fresh and new. Visit Payless Liquors for a fine assortment of underestimated wines, as well as all your traditional, well-known favorites.