Swap out an old favourite for something new

Alternative Wine Varieties to Try

Spiegelau Vino Grande series on a wooden table. Each glass is filled with wine with plates of food spread around them. A lady's hand reaches for the Spiegelau Vino Grande Burgundy glass in the background.

Are you stuck in a wine rut and don't know how to get out? If you're drinking the same wines every night because that's what you know you like, we enlisted Australian sommelier star Shanteh Wale to suggest alternatives of a similar style!

Portrait of Australian Sommelier Shanteh Wong.



As the Head Sommelier of Quay Restaurant in Sydney, I've been lucky enough to try some of the most exciting wines on the planet.

I love engaging in discussions with a diversified group of wine lovers, from people just starting out to wine professionals. What’s most important to me is that you enjoy the process! 

I believe that variety is the spice of life so if you enjoy these familiar favourites, why not embark on a grape discovery with me? You might find a new front-runner!

Spiegelau Definition Universal glass filled with white wine standing on a wooden log next to a fire.

Swap Pinot Gris for Fiano

Pinot Gris suits a variety of tastes, thanks to its fruity pear and citrus-driven profile, slightly elevated sugar levels, and alcohol that combine into an easy-drinking style.  

Why not try Fiano (Fe-ah-No)? Originally hailing from Campania Italy, Fiano can handle the heat and grows well in multiple regions of Australia, including the Hunter Valley and Adelaide Hills. It showcases stone fruits like apricot, pear and nectarine, with hints of honey. It can have the crispness of biting into a granny smith apple or can be made into a bolder style with a luscious and richer mouthfeel. 

A hand pouring wine into a Spiegelau Vino Grande White Wine glass on a wooden table top.

Swap Sauvignon Blanc for Albarino

A tropical fruit bomb with refreshing crispness makes Sauvignon Blanc such a popular choice. It’s a white wine with plenty of character – and so is Albarino (Ahl-bah-REE-nyoh)!

The Northwest Spanish variety is fruity, dry and offers an abundance of tropical and citrus fruits coupled with the brightness on the palate. Think Kiwi fruit, golden apple, honeydew melon and pineapple. Look New Zealand and to Rias Baixas in Spain for great examples. 

Spiegelau Definition Burgundy glass on a glass table filled with red wine with a couch in the background.

Swap Pinot Noir for Gamay

Pinot Noir has many guises. Its alluring and delicate aromatics, coupled with a light to medium body, showcase where it's grown like no other wine. A great lighter-bodied alternative is Gamay (Ga-May).

Hailing from Burgundy in France, Gamay is part of the Pinot Noir family and evocative in its structure and flavours. In Australia, it was first successfully planted in Mornington Peninsula, and you can now find it from Adelaide Hills to Tasmania and Beechworth.  While it used to have a reputation for being thin and sour, now we embrace black and red fruits with the ability to age for decades, highly sought after by restaurants and serious wine collectors.

A hand pouring red wine into the Spiegelau Vino Grande Bordeaux glass on a wooden table top next to a bowl of fruit.

Swap Merlot for Mataro or Mourvèdre

Merlot is often the gateway red variety, thanks to juicy black plums and blueberries with a smooth and rounded mouthfeel. If you're already a fan of this red, it’s time to consider Mourvèdre (Mohr-VED-dra), also known as Mataro (Ma-tar-Oh) by us Aussies. 

It was one of the first varieties bought into Australia – in fact, we can claim the oldest Mourvèdre vineyards in the world! You may have even had it before as a component in a blended wine like those great GSMs (Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro). On its own, Mataro expresses blackberry, plum and savoury spices like Chinese five-spice and dark chocolate, with a medium body and smooth velvet finish.

Looking for the perfect glass to accompany your new wines?