Unusual Suspects


Join Tom Cannavan in a journey into the unknown as we explore grape varieties from off the beaten track. Why? Well, everyone knows Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Chenin, but with over 1,360 wine grapes in commercial production, there are so many hidden gems beyond the few dozen that dominate the shelves. What about Merwah or Mencia, País or Obeidi,  Negroamaro or Aligoté? We’ll span the globe in search of excellence with a difference in these six wines.

What we’ll taste

We’ll kick off our white wine selection in what might seem like very familiar territory: Burgundy. But here we’ll taste Aligoté, not Chardonnay. Often considered a minor variety, Aligoté is picking up more and more fans for quality at a more affordable price. From Lebanon, a rare chance to taste a wine made from two indigenous varieties, Merwah and Obeidi, a unique grape combination. Our final white is from the south of Italy, and the grape is Greco di Tufo, named because of the volcanic soils in which it thrives

Our red selection is no less intriguing. We’ll start in Chile, where one of the ancient ‘Criolla’ varieties is País, now being widely celebrated in its own right. From Puglia in Italy, not the more familiar Primitivo, but an example of Negroamaro from the top Salice Salentino appellation. Finally, to Galicia in the northwest of Spain and a Mencia, which certainly counts as a hidden gem, living in the shadow of the region’s fashionable Albariño.

The tasting is split over two consecutive Thursday evenings. We’ll open three bottles per night, but they’ll drink well through the weekend, so nothing will be wasted. And remember: if you cannot join us live for any session, our ‘catch-up’ service allows you to taste along to the recordings at your leisure.

The Wines

Price is £70. Collect free in Edinburgh, or £10 UK delivery. Free delivery if spending £89 in total.

  • Domaine des Tourelles, Merweh Obeidi 2020
  • Domaine Romanin, Bourgogne Aligoté 2021
  • Terre di Valter, Greco di Tufo 2021
  • Giardinelli, Salice Salentino 2018
  • Ventisquero, Reserva Pais/Moscatel 2017
  • Pazo de Monterrey, Mencia 2019
We look forward to welcoming you to this online tasting.