Without question when international varieties is mentioned — the fast forward button goes to wine grape varieties from well known French regions i.e. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône. But these internationalizing wines in some ways say these specific varieties are a well pedigreed grape that can underscore native or indigenous varieties
Go to any wine seminar anywhere and you will hear something like… “while there are native or indigenous varieties international varieties are abundant here….” But the term internationalizing is a legitimizing and level setting word it is a far step backwards. Backwards because it presupposes that the current term of “international wines” are just a limiting set.
Perhaps if that scope was expanded to include grapes like Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Zinfandel. Redefining and re-keying what is international will evolve and it is on our doorstep. Simply because “international” is a hard word to understand or what is the intention. The current view of this term will change to encompass a whole host of other varieties because the next definition will be something else. That something else is hard to understand now but could be based on non-international wines to be planted in non-traditional places: Zinfandel in Chile, Tempranillo in Okanagan and Sangiovese in Mexico.
Or perhaps the term could flex to mean wines that encompass a broad range of food pairing possibilities. Or perhaps have characteristics that span both the familiar and the exotic… or perhaps wines that journeying towards the expanse and newness of characteristics.
The term International wines will change and I for one believe it is important to encompass a broader meaning—simply because native or indigenous varieties need all the help in order to survive and to thrive. The term will broaden or perhaps will be less often used—it will be interesting to see either way.
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