Chambourcin

Origin: French/American hybrid, available since 1963

Grown: France (Loire Valley), USA, Australia (Hastings Valley), Vietnam

Climate: The variety is tolerant to humidity and fungal disease, therefore moderate to warm maritime climate is a perfect fit

Viticulture: Extremely vigorous, good resistance to fungal diseases

Vinification: The variety is a teinturier (a red grape whose pulp is also red). Fermentation with the skins and the naturally red juice subsequently gives a very deeply coloured wine, even with high yields. Sometimes made as a rosé, oak aged, or a nouveau inspired style

Regional names to look for on label:

  • Hastings Valley

General Personality:

  • Colour: Deep, intense red colour
  • Aromas: Mulberry, cherry, plum, with spice and hints of chocolate and pepper, sometimes shows gamey characters
  • Taste and Texture: Medium body, soft tannins, high acidity and short finish, sometimes with moderate residual sugar
  • Conclusion: Hybrids are infamous for their sometimes foxy smell, and Chambourcin is one of the few exceptions. Undeniably, it can be bad, but if the producer has been careful, it can also be very unique and interesting. Definitely something to try and it is quickly rising in popularity since it is resistant against diseases (easy to grow)
  • Future: Drink now, the lack of tannins makes it hard to age

Food pairings:

  • General: Since this variety is not a traditional one, it has only been around since 1963 after all, for once, there are no traditional pairings to start with. Kangaroo meat has apparently become a bit of a trend in Australia with Chambourcin the last few years. And as there are, as of yet, no vegan kangaroo inspired burgers, we will have to get a bit creative…
  • Obvious pairing: Australian Sausage Sizzle
    A fun and easy pairing that makes it clear why Chambourcin has become so popular in Australia. There is no recipe to follow here, it is that simple! Just caramelize some yellow onions, grab a jar of nice mustard, buy some white bread (or ordinary hot dog buns if you are not Australian), and sizzle (barbeque) your choice of sausage. Serve with a slightly chilled Chambourcin and enjoy the simplicity of a good life
  • On the wild side: Enmoladas (enchiladas covered in mole sauce)
    French/American hybrid meets traditional Mexican from Puebla. Easy to veganify and ridiculously delicious. This Recipe is not the quickest or simplest out there, but it is freaking delicious and works just perfect with a traditional oak aged Chambourcin wine (avoid rosé or nouveau styles). The richness of the wine together with the depth of flavour from the mushrooms and the chocolate is amazing, and since this wine generally is remarkably low in tannins, a bit of spice does not throw it off. Unexpected combo but perfect pairing