8 wine grape varieties you've probably never heard of

Surprise your next dinner guests with these delicious, relatively unknown varieties.

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The ancient Assyrtiko

The Assyrtiko grape is a unique white variety indigenous to the island of Santorini, Greece. The high acid grape, full of citrus and minerals, is grown in the island's volcanic soil, with many of the vines centuries old.

Unlike other vines around the world, Assyrtiko and other varieties on Santorini are grown in a basket shape, with the grapes facing the inside of the ring. This technique provides protection from the island's intense sunlight and wind.

Tasting notes include chocolate, dried apricot, and an intense, but delicious, earthy aftertaste. Would likely pair best with such dishes as fish baked in a walnut crust or grilled sea bass in a spicy lemon marinade.

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