3.) Romorantin

While made by more than one producer, you’re most likely to run into Francois Cazin’s Romorantin, produced under the Cour-Cheverny AOC denomination. This Loire Valley grape produces a white wine that, like so many Loire whites, frequently shows a bit of sweetness rounding out the almost-honied and dried fruit flavors. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a bottle of the Domaine de la Charmoise (Henry Marionnet), “Provignage” Cépage Romorantin Vigne Pré-Phylloxérique. Yes, those are pre-phylloxera vines; we’re talking 160 year-old vines here, folks.

4.) Bukettraube

Cederberg might be the only producer of Bukettraube in the world, in truth, I don’t know -- but I would think that any other producers might opt for a name that does not resemble deviant Japanese sexual practices. I’m just saying. And having said that, this Bukettraube (and I do like saying that), is a lovely wine, much in the same vein as many Romorantin, not that I have some soft spot for slightly off-dry whites. Coming from South Africa’s highest winery (elevation over 3300 feet high), this wine combines zesty acids with a seductive mélange of ripe fruit and musky floral tones. Sure, it’s hard to find -- you think lots of retailers want to try to sell you some Bukettraube? But trust me, it’s delicious!

5.) Charbono

Charbono is a sort of ugly stepchild of California’s wine industry.  After coming from Fance, where it’s known as Charbonneau (classier, eh?), who knows what and where Charbono was used. It finally rose to some minor level of fame amongst wine geeks when Inglenook devoted significant resources to bottling Charbono on its own in the 1960s and ‘70s. Never terribly elegant, Charbono produces slightly earthy, chunking reds that age surprisingly well. Inglenook -- at least the Inglenook of old that produced great wines (and yes, at one time they were one of the greatest wineries California has ever seen) -- has long been gone, but folks like Bob Foley and Dennis Fife haven’t let Charbono go the way of the Dodo.

Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition (Or Bukettraube!)

Albino Armani Foja Tonda
Made from the Casetta grape in northern Italy, known as Foja Tonda in the local dialect (for its round leaves), this grape was very nearly lost for all time until the Armani Family took the handful of remaining vines under their care. Today they are the sole producers of this fun red wine.

Cederberg Bukettraube
Cederberg might be the only producer of Bukettraube, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love this off-dry wine full of apricot and floral tones. It’s a great wine on its own, and even better with spicy foods. I think this is a killer match for curry!