free run juice

take the grapefriend challenge!

I know a lot of people are doing dry January, but here at grapefriend we’re doing TRY January. And, we’re extending it through the whole year. So every month this year, let’s pledge to try one grape or region we’ve never had before. In? Of course you are!

We all have our go-to grape varietals, but my mission at grapefriend has always been to teach people more about wine and get them familiar with all of the amazing grapes out there – all while having fun doing it.

Everyone’s drinking experience is different, so what’s new for you might not be new for everyone else. I’ll recommend a grape or region every month, and you can either try one of those or, if you’ve had it before, venture out on your own. And, we’ll be posting all our new grapes and regions on social with #grapefriendchallenge so everyone can see all of the great new wines we’re adding to our drink repertoire.

For our first month, here are the official grapefriend suggestions:

grape: nerello mascalese

You can just say Nerello (even though there’s another Sicilian variety called Nerello Cappuccio which is a little bolder). I’ve been seeing a lot more of this in stores and restaurants which makes me super happy. It’s medium-bodied and has lots of strawberry, black cherry, cinnamon, and a great nerve of minerality from the volcanic Etna soil.

If you like Pinot Noir, try this instead. It’s great by the glass but for food go with tomato-based dishes, light meats, and ash-rined cheeses.

region: etna

OK, so if you can’t find a Nerello Mascalese, you may have more luck just finding a bottle from Etna. The wines have an excellent balance of fruit and a cool minerality from the volcanic soil they grow in. Look for Etna Rosso (a red blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio) or Etna Bianco (white blend of Carricante and Catarratto). Or, grab any of those varieties on their own.

We’ll be announcing each new grape and region every month right here in the newsletter. Happy exploring, and share your new sips on social with #grapefriendchallenge!

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