Not long ago, the biggest decision you faced at the wine store was new world or old world; the general global divide really summed up what you could expect in the bottle. But it’s not so simple these days, with more regions piping up from grassy backwaters, and areas better known for their social history than their grape varietals catching some attention. This is good news for anyone who appreciates great wine, and even if nothing can beat your favorite vintage, you’ll want to try these often underrated sites on the wine map.
Hungarian wine has been around for a very long time, but a new following has developed in recent years as smaller artisanal wineries work magic with traditional and modern varietals. There are 22 wine regions that line the mountains, lakes and plains of the nation, producing traditional varieties like sweet and supple Tokaj (known as the “Wine of Kings”, since it was a favorite of Louis XIV and Peter the Great) to modern red blends. In fact, the variable terrain and extended growing season means there are a surprising number of beautiful and refined styles to try, and more popping up all the time.
2. New Zealand
While still overshadowed by its cousin to the North, New Zealand has certainly carved out a slice of the international wine market, especially for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Although the country produces less than 1% of the world’s wine, the uniquely temperate and maritime climate of this southern island promises deliciously distinct flavors: expect intense fruit, zesty acidity and big aromas from the whites and the reds.