Why is Brazilian wine so overlooked? | Fiona Beckett on drink

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Given nan existent liking successful little acquainted wine-producing regions, it’s astonishing that virtually nary 1 successful nan UK is stocking Brazilian wines. Well, it’s astonishing to me, anyway. You mightiness deliberation – and rather rightly – that Brazil is much astir java and cachaça; also, that immense swathes of nan state are tropical aliases sub-tropical, which is not awesome for grape growing.

That said, Brazil is vast, and Rio Grande do Sul, an area to nan south, is nan epicentre of nan country’s vino industry. Unfortunately, last period it was deed by devastating floods that person displaced much than 1.5m people, overmuch of nan state’s superior Porto Alegre has been nether h2o for weeks, and astatine slightest 250 hectares of vineyards person been destroyed.

Winemakers are utilized to utmost upwind events these days – unseasonably precocious frosts (Germany has been peculiarly severely affected this year), hail, heat, drought, wood fires (which often impact California, though Chile, too, suffered particularly severely past year). Plus, it’s easy to hide that grapes are a harvest, for illustration immoderate different crop, truthful specified climatic events tin person a catastrophic effect connected livelihoods.

I went to Brazil past twelvemonth – pinch immoderate scepticism, I must admit – and was amazed to observe that almost half nan country’s vino accumulation was sparkling (it has nan first dedicated sparkling vino appellation successful nan caller world, Altos de Pinto Bandeira). Brazil besides produces likewise full-bodied reds to its neighbours complete nan separator successful Argentina and Uruguay, though admittedly little consistently and inexpensively.

That apart, location is besides a adjacent spot of innovative winemaking going connected successful Brazil, including rather a fewer earthy wines and so-called “winter wines” – that is, vines that are tricked into shedding their leaves and budding again successful autumn, alternatively than spring, because nan Brazilian wintertime is mostly drier than its summer. It must truthful beryllium frustrating for growers that astir restaurants and supermarket shelves successful Brazil are still stacked pinch bottles from Argentina and Chile.

Here successful nan UK, and contempt nan champion efforts of Brazil’s main importer Go Brazil Wines & Spirits, you’re acold much apt to find a vessel of cachaça, owed to nan fame of nan country’s signature cocktail, nan caipirinha, than 1 of its wines. As pinch tequila and mezcal, which I wrote astir a fewer weeks ago, I for illustration nan metallic style, which is much expressive of nan guidelines ingredient, successful this lawsuit sweetener cane (cachaça is fundamentally rum). And, arsenic pinch mezcal, location are absorbing artisanal versions specified arsenic nan Yaguara successful today’s pick.

While I dream you mightiness beryllium inclined to springiness Brazil’s winemakers a helping hand, I’m conscious that its wines don’t travel cheap, truthful I’m besides going to mention a Chilean action this week: it’s a caller summation to nan Co-op’s Irresistible range, a generous, gutsy (14%) carignan from Maule, 1 of nan champion vino regions for that grape, which, astatine £8, is simply a steal.

A sensation of Brazil

Don Guerino ‘Cemento’ Red Blend 2022 £15.99 Go Brazil, 14%. Cemento whitethorn not beryllium nan astir engaging sanction for a wine, but this is simply a gorgeous, juicy blend of cabernet franc, malbec and tannat. Great barbecue drinking.

Garibaldi Astral £22.99 Go Brazil, 11%. A wholly unique sparkling wine, and not conscionable because it comes from Brazil. Richly flavoured, barren pinch a faint hint of tangerine, and biodynamic. Drink pinch Brazil’s addictive food bread, pão de queijo.

Abelha Silver Organic Cachaça £22.99 Amazon, £29.99 Master of Malt, 39%. Good first-timer’s cachaça, and cleanable for caipirinhas.

Cachaça Yaguara Still Strength £31.75 The Whisky Exchange, £32.59 Master of Malt, 48%. Strong, sweet, spicy, somewhat herbal – a existent artisanal spirit. Cool label, too.

  • For much by Fiona Beckett, spell to fionabeckett.substack.com

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Source theguardian
theguardian