Among certain New York circles (the indie-rock scene, for example), the general sentiment seems to be the more obscure the better.
When it comes to wine, drinking the little-known Romorantin grape is like hearing an unsigned band play to a tiny but dedicated audience in a Gowanus basement.
Until recently, the grape has remained virtually unknown to all but the geekiest hardcore drinkers because the wines made from it are produced exclusively in France's microscopic Cour-Cheverny region.
However, several intrepid importers have introduced a handful of examples to New York, demonstrating the greatest advantage of drinking where few have drunk before: An even-keeled $20 price tag.
The 2009 François Cazin Cuvée Renaissance Cour-Cheverny Romorantin ($20 for 750 ml; available at Astor Wines & Spirits), which has long been the standard-bearer for the region, offers a classic combination of waxy richness balanced by ripe quince notes and a brilliant wash of acidity.
Newer to the scene, the 2010 Michel Gendrier Domaine des Huards Cour-Cheverny Romorantin ($20 for 750 ml; available at 67 Wine & Spirits) hails from a top biodynamic estate: In the glass, it's all honeycomb, minerals and a surprising floral streak that pairs magically with poultry or pork.