I recently had the opportunity to taste 2 different wines, one red and one white, both made from hybrids. I was reminded how "programmed" and even "stereotyped" our tastes become as these wines expressed quite unusual, but very agreable flavours and are in fact extremely good, well-made wines. Including them in a recent blind tasting (evil I know!) they left the group of amateur tasters quite baffled as to their identities and origins, even though they are both grown locally here in northen Burgundy!
The red wine is made from the Baco Noir grape variety which was developped in 1902 as a phylloxera resistant varietal. It has all but dissappeared from the wine growing scene in France however it appears to be growing in popularity in Canada of all places. It is high in acidity and has tanins of moderate intensity. Typical aromas found in the wines made from the Baco Noir are cherries and raspberries with some lovely hints of coffee and leather. The wine we drunk married perfectly with some delicious mature Compté cheese.
The white wine is made from the Vidal blanc, a hybrid which is considered one of the best French-American varietals. Wines produced from this vine are quite fruity with flavours of exotic fruit such as pineapple, stone fruit such as peaches or citrus such as grapefruit. They can also be made in a variety of styles from off-dry German to barrel-fermented wines with body and more structure. Furthermore its high acidity and fruitiness are also particularly suited to sweet dessert wines.