WHY IS EVERYONE DRINKING BLACK WINE?

Black Wine smells like blackberries.
Black Wine smells like blackberries, mocha and spice, like licorice.
Black Wine is trending.
Get ready. Black Wine is a thing.

Are you ready and bold enough to drink Black Wine?

Why is everyone drinking black wine?  It could be the Yang of Rosé’s Yin, wine going Goth as a statement against the perpetually optimistic rosé.

Black is always on trend when it comes to “what to wear” and now it appears the time has come for black to be “what to drink”.

Let’s start by tackling what black wine actually is.  For starters, it’s not black because of artificial or natural coloring agents.  Black wine is actually very dark red wine made from specific grape varieties.  When poured in a glass it looks very opaque.  If you look at the wine from the top of your glass you can even see your reflection in the inky liquid.

Black Wine reflects your image.
Look for your reflection in the Black Wine.

When you swirl, the “legs” – the streaks running down the inside of your glass will appear dark red and almost seem they will stain the glass.

Black Wine legs stain glass.
Black Wine legs or tears staining the glass.

There’s a rich history of black wine made from grapes such as Alicante Bouschet and Malbec from France and Saperavi from the Kakheti area in the Georgian region, Souzão from Portugal and an American French-American hybrid grown in the Midwest and Eastern US called Chambourcin.  These grapes are called “teinturier” meaning uniquely, they have not only red skins, but dark pink-to-red flesh, whereas most red or black grapes have white flesh.

Malbec from Cahors.
French Malbec from Cahors. A classic Black Wine choice.

How does Black Wine taste and smell?  Depending on the grape and how it’s vinified the wine is usually dry, although the Saperavi can be vinified from dry to – hold on – rosé!  The general aroma from these wines tends toward, not surprisingly, blackberry.  Other aromas and notes are licorice, chocolate/mocha, tobacco, black pepper.  Wines like these can also benefit from a little bit of chill.

Black Wine smells like blackberries.
Black Wine smells like blackberries, mocha and spice, like licorice.

The wines are usually on the robust side and partner well with the same type of foods such as roasts, game, black truffles, squid ink pasta, stews, cassoulets and rich cuts of beef.  If vegan or vegetarian is your preference a pot of Beans and Black Wine is your go-to.   Even if you’re a carnivore, these satisfying beans can be served room temperature with rosemary and a crusty garlic bread and bottle of Black Wine of your choice.

Bruschetta with beans.
Bruschetta with Tuscan White Beans.

Here are some Black Wines to seek out:

Orgo Saperavi. The winemaker here is the rock star of Georgian wine.  Also seen at Total Wine.  Malbec from Cahors. Some of the blackest Malbecs can be found at Du Vin Wine & Spirits. Chambourcin.  Check online retailers such as Wine Searcher or Wine.com.  More retailers are coming on board to offer black wines – we just have to ask.

The color black is also coming on strong in other areas of the food world.  Activated charcoal is showing up in juices, pizza crust, lattes and even ice cream!  The additive is somewhat controversial as some say it helps detox, however, nutritionists warn charcoal can interfere with medications and may be harmful in certain quantities.  However, that’s never stopped a trend from trending.  Black can also come from squid ink, seaweed, sesame and garlic.

As hashtags go, #roséallday may have had its day.  Maybe the same with #myunicorn.  Perhaps Black Wine is on the rise as a backlash or dose of darkness to all that rosé-ness.

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Written by: Stacie HuntCertified Silver Pin Sommelier http:www.splashpros.com

Photos Courtesy Of:  GoodFood.com.au; napareserva.com; davidlebovitz.com; foodnetwork.com

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