The Growing Thirst for Exotic Wine...

Bored with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc? Discover some new grapes with

By: Kathleen Willcox.

The heirloom tomato effect is at work in the wine world. Shortly after activist chefs and farmers popularized the notion that post-industrial agriculture had ravaged the land with chemicals, leaving depleted soil capable only of producing bland vegetables and fruits that tasted more like the factory floor they were packed in than the food they nominally were, a certain type of wine consumer began clamoring for heirloom-style wines.

But unlike carrots and tomatoes, which are either tasty or tasteless depending on how they're grown, the world of wine dragged centuries of culture, tradition and tinkering in its wake and the process of changing the market has been markedly slower.

Still, according to Monty Waldin (the author of Biodynamic Wine and a tireless tracker of organic wine trends), only 1 percent of the world's wine vineyards were certified organic or biodynamic in 1999. By 2018, almost 5 percent were. And while consumers were slightly slower to connect the dots and demand chem-free wine to pair with their humanely raised free-range pig snout on mass, the production of organic wine is expected to rise 10.05 percent by 2021 according to the Global Organic Wine Market Report. Authenticity, freshness and obscurity

In addition to cleanly produced wine, is the thirst for authenticity and the purest expression of the vineyard, with consumers craving unfamiliar – and therefore more "authentic" – grape varietals that have not been heavily tampered with in the production process.

"Our consumers are buying the same amount of funky grapes as noble grapes," says Niclas Jansson, a partner at the Washington DC-based natural wine importer, Through the Grapevine. "The funky wines that seem to stick do tend to have a similar profile: low ABV, very little oak, fresh tasting. If you're drinking an unknown grape variety, you want to allow the fruit itself to shine."

The biggest driver of the trend, he says, is Millennials, who are seeking not only something pleasing to their palate, but wines that will horrify their parents with their unpronounceability and esoteric country of origin.

"Millennials drink more wine than any other age bracket, and half of them post about it on Facebook, which has just magnified this movement," Jansson says. "And they want to differentiate themselves from their parents, who tend to go for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon."

Stephanie Cuadra founded her Utah-based import company Terrestoria in 2017 on the strength of the rebel wine movement.

"As an advocate of rare and indigenous grape varieties, I see their growing popularity not as a trend, but as an inevitable progression as consumers become more aware of the fascinating spectrum of wine grapes in the world," she says. "Uniqueness is something more and more consumers are after." She notes that consumers are embracing not just rare and indigenous varieties specific to particular regions, but also historic varietals that came close to extinction in recent history (such as her favorite age-worthy Italian white, Timorasso or Pallagrello Bianco.)

While adjectives like "weird" and "oddball" – when applied to grapes at least – used to be considered aspersions in the world of wine, these days they're a feather in a winemaker's cap.

Jansson says their Blauer Portugieser is as popular as their Riesling now, something almost unthinkable five years ago, and Cuadra notes that in the past year, she's stopped "apologizing" for her portfolio of eccentricities, and advertises their peculiarities with pride.

Facts, please

Opinions coming from wine-sellers with skin in the game can only go so far. Yet anecdotal and empirical evidence back Jansson and Cuadra up. While a scan of a wine list a decade ago may have fooled you, there are 10,000 known grapevine varietals out there. And while 13 (0.13 percent) cover more than 33 percent of the world's vine-growing land, and 33 varieties (0.33 percent) cover 50 percent according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, more and more of these beauty school drop outs are appearing in bottles in the most enviable cellars in the world, much to the horror of certain well-known "godforsaken grape" haters (cough, Robert Parker, cough).

Keith Wallace, the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, says that in 2014, they ran two "exotic wines" classes primarily for sommeliers. In 2018, they ran it again. Citing data from the "well-known national retailer" he consults for and sales data from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Wallace says in the past year sales of Pinotage from South Africa have increased 33 percent, sales of South America's Bonarda have gone up 16 percent and sales of Italy's Frappato, Nerello Mascalese, Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso and Teroldego have increased 19 percent, 22 percent, 41 percent and 23 percent respectively.

Still, Parker and your grandpa can rest easy, knowing that Cabernet Sauvignon is grown more than any other variety of wine grape, taking up 840,000 acres (340,000 hectares) of the world total's vineyard production of 16 million acres (6.5 million hectares). Next up is Merlot, which gobbles up 657,300 acres (266,000 hectares). Things start to get a slightly less canonical after that with Tempranillo taking up 570,800 acres (231,000 hectares), and Airén nabbing 538,700 acres (218,000 hectares) in Spain.

Some countries bristle with diversity. Take Italy, where the most-planted variety is Sangiovese which only takes up 8 percent of the country's vine-space. Or Georgia, where about 525 indigenous grape varietals flourish.

Compare that to New Zealand, where Sauvignon Blanc comprises 60 percent of its wine grape production, and Spain where Tempranillo and Airén together take up 45 percent of the country's grape-space.

Odd grapes, unusual places

Lauren Daddona, wine director at Del Frisco's Double Edge Steakhouse in Boston (with 15,000 bottles in inventory), says she started noticing the interest in non-noble varietals about five years ago, adding that she also believes it's driven, primarily by Millennials on a "quest for greater authenticity and the appreciation of a backstory."

So if all of these obscure weirdos are crowding out the bold-faced celebs – even on classic American steakhouse wine lists like Del Frisco's – from which outer borough do the best ones hail?

Our experts argue Italy, Georgia and perhaps counter-intuitively, California. (Though Greece, Austria, Portugal, Spain, New York's Finger Lakes also appear high on their lists).


Italy broke the world into weirdness; exports of wine grew by 7 percent in 2017, with the US consuming more Italian wine than anyone else, followed by German and the UK, according to the farming association Coldiretti. (Though the Russian and Chinese markets are blowing up, increasing by 47 percent and 25 percent in 2017, respectively).

The country has more land devoted to grape growing in the world, behind France and Spain, and grows several hundred indigenous varieties. Abruzzo is the region most frequently cited as the Disneyland of Italian obscurity, with varietals like Montelpuliciano, Trebbiano, Pecorino, Passerina and Cococciola becoming increasingly sought-after. But La Marché's Verdicchio, which has always had a fan-base, is also gaining ground, especially when winemakers focus on "clean" growing practices.

Emiliano Bernardi of the grapegrowing cooperative Colonnara Viticultori says that the growers he works with have begun to focus on the organic production of grapes, so that the dry, mineralic lemon flavors Verdicchio fanatics swoon over can shine through. In the past year, the value of the region's haul has grown 9 percent (or almost three times the national average of 3.4 percent). While the market for Verdicchio-wine is growing everywhere, Bernardi says the real boom is happening in Asia, especially in Japan and China.


The land of milk and honey has more than (but not by much) 100 varietals of wine grapes blossoming. Still, the leading seven (by far) are deeply familiar to all: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Zinfandel. Still, plenty of pockets of renegade grapes spring up. Take Dirty and Rowdy, which was founded by Hardy Wallace and Matt Richardson in 2010, with the idea of focusing on Mourvédre, a grape rarely associated with California.

"People thought we were completely insane," Wallace dishes with glee. "But it's incredibly appropriate for California's variable climate. It has thick skin and it does well under stress. It can thrive at 3500 feet elevation, or 80 feet."

In 2010, they made two barrels but word quickly spread about their unique project and they gained notoriety and, with it, thirsty fans. Now they have contracts with eight vineyards all over the state; each bottling is created to allow the unique soils and terroir in which the grapes were grown to shine. And while he admits that they have plenty of happy Millennial customers in Oakland and Brooklyn, he says the average age of their customer is 47, and their strongest following is abroad in Singapore, Canada, England and Mexico. In the past eight years, sales have grown 10-fold (they hover around 4500 cases).


Wines from Georgia are probably inspiring the most excitement for a variety of reasons. First there's the history, which has a mesmerizing frisson of danger: in the last century, the country's 8000 year long wine culture was threatened due to the success of two high-yielding grapes, Rkatsiteli and Saperavi. Their success meant that many of the estimated 1500 varieties under vine a century ago were removed, explains LA sommelier and Georgian wine nut (previously of Spago and Mazzo Restaurant Group, now a consultant at Whole Cluster Beverage and Hospitality and GM of République) Taylor Parsons.

Noel Brockett, a director at the Maryland-based importer Georgian Wine House, also blames the free market-stymieing effects of communism on the extermination of many indigenous varieties. Luckily in the 21st Century varietal diversity was again championed and supporters of the movement, like the team at the Georgian Wine House, began spreading the gospel of Georgian wine.

"We went from maybe four wines in our portfolio in 2004 when we got started to 60-65 now," Brockett says. "In the past five years, but especially the last two, Georgian wine is being recognized by some of the most highly regarded sommeliers in the country."

Sales, according to the National Wine Agency of Georgia, reached a record-breaking 76.7 million bottles, up 54 percent year-over-year in 2017. Parsons says it's just a matter of getting people to try the wines. Because of Georgia's untampered and hands-off approach to production, the wines "can be transcendent. It's a way of discovering something that is both new to you, but ancient and rooted in a culture." It is not, more to the point, he says, "just some wine made out of thin air because the 20-year-old winemaker thought it would be cool to mix Syrah and White Zinfandel and then conferment in a sheep's bladder."

In other words, these wines are like the proto manic pixie dream girl. They aren't weird, beautiful and charming because they're trying to be weird, beautiful and charming, OK?

They just are. It's what wine culture always was – the fastest way to travel to a different land, mindset and culture, all without leaving your seat – redefined for the 21st Century.

A quick guide to some lesser-known grapes

We tapped our experts for tips on obscure grapes. Here's what they recommended:

Sicily's Carricante is likened to cool-climate Chardonnays.

Also grown in Sicily, Nerello Mascalese, with its earthy, herbaceous, yet muscular notes seems downright Burgundian.

Greece's Aidani is reminiscent of a floral, delicate Chenin Blanc.

Xynomavro, also native to Greece, is meaty and lively, a la Nebbiolo.

Spain's Mencia seems like a cross between Pinot Noir and Syrah.

Austrian red varietal Blaufränkisch has characteristics of both Pinot Noir and Syrah.

White varietal Furmint, found in Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Croatia, has the full, distinctively pungent aromas of a Sauvignon Blanc and the bracing acidity of a Riesling.

Georgia's white varietal Rkatsiteli has the food friendliness of a Pinot Grigio. (It's also popping up in wines in the Finger Lakes, having been adopted and planted by Dr. Frank Wines).

Georgia's Mtsvane is like a Sauvignon Blanc without the grassy bits.

Georgia's increasingly popular Kisi often calls to mind something between Chenin Blanc and Viognier on steroids.

Georgia's Tavkveri is a workhorse, and is going into sparklers and rosé. The best examples are often vinified as light red wines (a la Beaujolais), and they can be truly lovely: tangy, red-fruited, bright and zesty.

Credit: Kathleen Willcox,

10 Most Exciting Wines I've Had This Year Under $100

In addition to selling wine and having fun conducting wine tastings, I also believe in sharing things from my experiences that are great… just for the fun of it!  I want my friends to see the genius, quality, and overall pleasure in the things that have proven to be special to me.  The things that excite me the most tend to be food, & wine. But, who could blame me there?

Over the past year our pursuit in picking out the very best wines for OWC has allowed us to taste many (and I mean many…1,500+) wines.  70% of them being dull, boring, manipulated, or just poorly made. Along the way there have been great wines too, if I can get the right price they may even end up on the shelf at OWC.  But there are a select few that are special, not just “this wine tastes good” kinda special… no. I’m talking about the kinda special that wakes me up, makes me think, and alters my outlook of a wine or region… wines that truly ring my bell!  If you come across them, they might just do the same for you. Enjoy!!


#10 2014 Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Blanc Dundee Hills, Oregon

This winery is known for having the oldest Pinot Noir vines in Oregon.  This particular vineyard source has a cool climate and glacially-deposited soils. Organic viticulture is practiced here. The wine gives notes of lemon, wax and fresh cut flowers on the nose.  On the palate an explosion of apple, pear, peach, & saline finishing nutty and long with beautiful concentration. Gorgeous.


#9 2014 Revana “Terroir Series” Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, CA

Thomas Rivers Brown is at the winemaking helm here, and it shows. This one man is responsible for turning out multifaceted, high-end wines at several top Napa properties (Outpost, Schrader, Maybach, Rivers-Marie, Hestan, Kinsella, Jones Family, Pulido-Walker, Revana, Gemstone…. just to name a few).  This is one of those wines that does all the work for you. It is delicious in every sense of the word.  It is powerful yet light on its feet.  It has incredible depth, but alcohol is in check. It has the ability to age but drinks so great now. Flat out impressive.


#8 2015 Domaine le Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras “Cuvée de Lopy” Rhone Valley, France

As most of you know, the 2015 vintage all over France was one for the books.  The warm, even growing conditions led to wines of tremendous depth & complexity with lots of fruit.  Loads of deliciously ripe fruit allowed early drinkability.  I LOVE THIS WINE, here’s why…Sang des Cailloux is a producer that makes wines that are typically more “Northern Rhone” in style, meaning that instead of getting the quintessential ultra-ripe, baked fruit with a touch of white pepper that Southern Rhone is known for, the wines from S.D.C. seem to be much fresher (picked earlier?) and a bit more reserved.  The S.D.C. wines are wound a little tighter than most and have wonderful precision.  Those traits in a warm vintage creates magic my friends.


#7 Domaine de la Cote “Memorious Vineyard” Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills, CA

This is one of Cali’s hot new wines…and is the brainchild of Rajat Parr & Sashi Moorman.  Raj, a former Sommelier and Sashi, a former Chef have joined forces to make Burgundian style Pinot Noirs drawing inspiration from Volnay.  This wine is Exotic!  Copious amounts of cherry-cola, strawberry, rhubarb, and fresh cut flowers on the nose. The palate is explosive with dynamic fruit, pronounced sea salt, and amaro tones.  The stem inclusion gives this wine extra dimension and a rounded-out finish.  Unlike any other California Pinot Noir that I’ve had in the past, just thrilling.


#6 2015 Jean Chartron Puligny Montrachet (Clos du Cailleret) 1er Cru Monopole Burgundy, France

Not to be confused with Maison Chartron et Trébuchet, (Jean Renés joint venture with Louis Trébuchet). Jean René Chartron has produced some incredible wines in the 2015 vintage (known more as a year for red wine than white).  As the only owner of the Clos du Cailleret Vineyard in Puligny, Charton is trying to make a name for this wine.  On the nose, tons of mineral, lemon oil, and flint.  The palate has incredible tension between the striking tones of pear, green apple, lemon, mineral, and the deep rich bass notes of custard and bruleé.  All these nuances are kept bound to the playful acidity that this wine possesses.  This wine is dynamic, it stands tall above the rest at this price point.


#5 2014 Evening Land Seven Springs Estate “La Source” Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon

These guys are killing it!  Again, the dynamic duo of Sashi Moorman & Rajat Parr strike gold in Oregon, with one of Oregon’s most prized sites the Seven Springs Estate. As close to a Burgundy as one can find from the U.S. in terms of style. This wine has profound tones of cranberry, tart cherry, raspberry, cedar, and porcini mushroom.  In the mouth the wine is an open-knit spectrum of fine tuned fruit that feels natural and untouched.  Just a beautiful expression of Pinot Noir that is complete and round but not too round…just right.


#4 R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Disgorged 02/2017 Ambonnay, Champagne, France

Ambonnay is home to some of the most lauded Champagnes on the planet earth. Not to mention some of the world’s most expensive Champagnes.  Notes of roasted almonds and toast fill the glass with aroma. Big, full, rich tones of custard and lemon-meringue wrap the tongue while a whipped like texture sends the tiny bubbles cleansing the entirety of the mouth.  The finish is accented with praline and marzipan leaving you wanting another sip.   Drop dead sexy wine chalked full of class.


#3 2012 Clos du Clocher Pomerol, Bordeaux, France

2012 was not an incredible vintage for Bordeaux by any means.  However, the Merlot on the right bank came in perfectly in ‘12.  I’m not sure why its not talked about more. This wine is wide open right from moment the cork is pulled.  Classic Bordeaux tags on the nose, cedar, plum, spice, & lavender.  This wine thrills me with its incredible velvety texture.  Smooth as can be with cassis, blackberry and Damson plum giving way to a long finish that is generous and full.  The 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc blend in this vintage is the secret in the sauce on this beauty.

#2 2013 Cantina del Pino (Ovello) Barbaresco Piedmont, Italy

I have been a big fan of Renato Vacca (Cousin of Aldo Vacca/Produttori Del Barbaresco) ever since I met him six or seven years ago.  The guy gets it. He embraces tradition but is also open to new ideas about making better wine.  The proof is in the pudding. Ovello is one of Barbaresco’s outstanding vineyard sites and this wine coming from a top vintage is something special.  When you taste this wine, it awakens you. Its as loud, but as refine and beautiful as a church bell when struck. Impeccably balanced for the depth that the wine shows with thick black, and red fruits soaring from the glass.  The finish is marked with the unmistakable essence of licorice and cola.  This excites me because the wine can be drunk now but will be an absolute stunner in another 5-7 years.  It reminds me of something that Luca Currado of Vietti once told me “A great young Nebbiolo is like an incredibly beautiful woman that’s always pissed off” …..LOL!!  Give the wine a little time, it will be much calmer, and it will be even better!


#1 1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Wow! What a wine. Its beautiful characteristics are seared into my brain. This is a blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and Cinsault. This wine starts off broad and rich with a bouquet of crushed roses with accents of mint. Beautifully balanced with tons of energy and transparency. The wine shows rich and lifted but incredibly light on its feet. Already complete and gorgeous but there are tannins behind the exotic fruit and brilliant freshness. Still quite youthful for having 19 years of age.  This was on the table with other very, very expensive wines and it was every bit as impressive….my favorite wine of the year!  Not only an extreme overachiever, but a top-quality wine at any price point. I have a new-found respect for this winery and region after tasting this wine.  In the words of Ferris Bueller …“it is so choice, if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”

Natural Wines

Natural Wines….

“Natural wine” is one of the hippest terms in the wine world, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood. The biggest questions are “Isn’t all wine natural?” followed by the counterpoint “Is any wine really natural?” but neither are that useful in the genuine pursuit of knowledge. Knowing how wine is made isn’t essential to enjoying wine, but understanding the process of making wine helps one appreciate the work of winemaking and the wonder of terroir.  Natural wines promote responsible and sustainable vineyard practices with as little synthetic treatment as possible (i.e. the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, Mega Purple, Ovo-Pure, Isinglass, liquid oak, oak chips, & sulfur.)  All winemaking begins with grape growing, and most every winemaker or serious brand marketing sheet will profess that “Great wine is made in the vineyard!”, but the truth is much more elaborate than that.

There is a far edge of natural wines, but also another side: traditional wines that use old-school techniques, or very careful and deliberate modern techniques to most clearly express terroir.

vin de terroir / vin d'excellence / vin de soif

new school natural vs old school natural

Winemaking is an ancient practice, with a history of going back more than 8,000 years. Advancements in grape growing and winemaking occurred throughout the millennia, but the most impactful have been made in the last century. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, developed to make bombs and abundantly available after the First World War, allowed much larger harvests than ever before, but created new problems, like an excess of weeds. The mechanical and herbicidal solutions to weed control created issues of their own and the solutions to those problems yet more to deal with.

Organic farming attempts to prevent this cycle by approaching farming from a holistic perspective, using the processes of nature to grow crops that are healthier and need less intervention. Clean, healthy grapes have everything they need to turn into wine and should not need any additives. Growing grapes organically is the first essential element of natural winemaking, though the grapes may not be certified. In addition to growing grapes without the use of synthetic chemicals, practices like cover cropping, horse plowing, composting, and dry farming can contribute to healthy living soils and, in turn, robust vines that bear compelling fruit. These practices don’t make any location produce great wine, but allow a good site planted with right variety to fully express itself. Grape vines will naturally produce a large crop load and quality can suffer, so working a vineyard by hand to reduce yields can improve ripeness, and harvesting by hand will ensure that only the best fruit in made into wine. These techniques are not unique to “natural wine” and are standard for most high quality wines, but cannot be achieved with the industrial-scale production of big-brand wines.

At this point the subjective decisions of the winemaker become important. Though not a requirement, many natural winemakers pick their fruit earlier, seeking a wine of moderate alcohol with a balanced acidity that does not need to be edited in the winery. Grapes that are grown cleanly will have a natural yeast culture on the skins, and the use of added yeast, especially laboratory-made yeast, is disallowed by all definitions of natural winemaking. Most conventional wines have sulfur dioxide added before fermentation to control the process and prevent oxidation, but the tendency within natural winemaking is to use none before fermentation and as little as possible after. There are a wide range of opinions regarding other techniques, including temperature control, mechanical aeration, oak aging, and filtering, but heavy fining and filtration is frowned upon, and the highly manipulative processes like reverse osmosis and chaptalization are always disallowed.

When the base knowledge about what goes into winemaking is applied, one can fully understand the point: crafting and appreciating wines that have a connection to nature, and even better, to a place, encompasses the core makeup of the natural wine movement.  Some natural wines at the far end of the spectrum are downright funky and have no terroir, and even a rather feral character that can be raw & unpolished to the uninitiated, but loved by some natural wine enthusiasts. Most wines that follow a natural philosophy and meet all of the technical points are clean, well-made, and reflect their origin. Some of them are even historical estates that have always made wine the old way, or adopted more modern practices of the decades but decided to get back to the essentials.

Wines that have a pure disposition and reflect their place of origin are the types of wines we at O.W.C. seek to have on our shelves.  This is why you will not see many of the same name brands typically found at local “Gourmet Markets” or Grocery stores here.  We don’t believe in promoting mass-marketed wines that are full of synthetics.

The wines listed are a sample of some of the natural wines that can be found at Old Woodward Cellar.

Domaine Charvin - Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France

Ampelia - Costa Toscana, Italy

Guy Breton - Regnie Beaujolais, France

Occhipinti - “Il Frappato” Terre Siciliane, Italy

Domaine de Roally - Vire-Clesse Burgundy, France

Domaine de la Pinte - “Pinte Bien” Poulsard Arbois Jura, France

Domaine Zind Humbrecht - Pinot Gris Alsace

Dr Burklin-Wolf - “Burklin Estate” Riesling, Germany

Artuke “Pies Negros” Rioja, Spain

Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup “Guilhem Gaucelm” Languedoc, France

Pedra Basta Vinho Regional, Alentajano, Portugal

Domaine Lupier “El Terroir” Old Vines Garnacha Navarra, Spain

Fento “Xabre” Mencia Blend Bibei, Spain

By: Jarred Gild & Nick Apone

If you drink wine north of $50 per bottle you should be using these...

Old Woodward Cellar has secured the sole exclusivity to retail Zalto Glassware in the state of Michigan. The look, the design, and more importantly the impeccable balance of Zalto stemware has us in awe!!   The Burgundy glass is the very best stem on the market. Just ask one of the Sommeliers at the worlds top restaurants that refuse to use anything but Zalto i.e. (The French Laundry, Le Bernadin, Brooklyn Fare, Bouley, Eleven Madison Park, & Per Se to name a few.)

The glass has such a unique design, lots of time and science went into developing such a high-end glass that you can put in the dishwasher...wait what?!? Yup it's true, dishwasher safe.  Their reasoning behind why the glasses look as they do is almost extraterrestrial..“The curve of the bowls are tilted at the angles of 24°, 48° and 72°, which are in accordance to the tilt angles of the Earth. The ancient Romans utilized this triumvirate of angles with their supply repositories, finding that produce stayed fresh for a longer time, and that it also showed improved taste. Due to these cosmic parallels, we believe that a wine can reach its utmost potential in a Denk`Art (the official name of the line) glass, developing everything that is possible in the nose as well as on palate, due to these cosmic parallels.

Don't laugh... most highly acclaimed winemakers also believe in and grow their vineyards using a bio-dynamic approach. Not only is it organic, it is seen as the purest form of farming.  Long story short, they are better wines and better glasses. Try the Burgundy glass for Pinot Noir's young Chardonnays, Nebbiolo, even high end Grenache, and Corvina. It will provide an out of this universe experience.  If you drink good wine all the time, why use an inferior stem that you can buy at Target?