Wine Varieties Explained

We all know that wine is made from grapes. However, it’s not the typical table grapes available in grocery stores. Wine grapes are known for their thick skins, smallness, sweetness, and seeds. There’s a wide range of wine grapes, but here are the most popular wine varieties explained:

Riesling
Containing pear, green apple, and lime flavours, Riesling wine is best known for its crisp, clean taste. Likewise, this variety of wine offers pleasing mineral qualities, and as it ages, Riesling takes on attractive oily aromas and honey flavours. It’s typically made in Germany, the Finger Lakes region of New York, the Alsace region of France, and some parts of Australia. This wine goes well with spicy foods, pork, and poultry. You can try it with Thai food if you want to appreciate this wine to the fullest.

Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is fresh, crisp, aromatic, and contains grassy and grapefruit flavours. It’s a type of wine that’s very popular in the Loire region of France, and the Bordeaux region– often combined with Semillon.

It’s one of the food-friendly wines that’s perfect with a variety of poultry, vegetable, and seafood dishes.

Chardonnay
When we talk about wine’s versatility, Chardonnay is the first on our list. Its flavour and aromas are easily influenced by how it’s made and where it grows. Fruit flavours range from lime and apple in cooler climates, while tropical fruits emerge in warmer regions. When preserved in oak, it takes the distinct flavour of butter and honey. On the other hand, when barrelled in stainless steel, it achieves mineral flavours, making it fresher on the palate.

Most people enjoy their Chardonnay with seafood, especially the minerally versions. This one is perfect for oysters.

Pinot Gris
Pinot Gris is made from grapes producing different varieties of wine depending on where it’s grown and how it’s handled in the wine cellar. For instance, in the Alsace region of France, and in places, such as New Zealand and Oregon, Pinot Gris’ are usually rich wines that have a bit of spice in them. As for the Italian style, the Pinot Grigio, it’s usually fresh, crisp, and very refreshing.

Both styles are perfect with vegetarian, pasta dishes, seafood, and poultry.

Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult grapes to grow. It was first cultivated in Burgundy, France, and continues to deliver the best tasting wine in the world. Pinot Noirs are usually delicate wines that have the taste of red fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, and cherries. With age, the aromas and flavours of this wine become more exquisite to the point that it also develops earthy notes, like decaying leaves and mushrooms. In the New World, Pinot Noir is made in New Zealand, Oregon, and some of the cooler areas in California.

Due to the fact that this wine is versatile, it goes well with salmon, poultry, vegetable, and meat dishes.

Merlot
It’s one of the easy-to-drink wines because it has the softness that’s perfect for first-time drinkers. Herbal and black cherry are the usual flavours of this wine, and the texture is round, but you can experience a middle palate gap as well.

Shiraz
The Australian versions of Shiraz wine are usually spicy, but they also have the aromas of leather and black fruit, as well as jammy fruit. In the Rhone region of France, grapes are used to create rich, spicy, and darkly delicious wines that get better with age. Shiraz is a versatile wine that goes well with different kinds of dishes, and perfect with grilled meats.

Cabernet Sauvignon
As compared to Merlot, you can say that Cabernet Sauvignon is a little bit more assertive. It has more tannin and definitely gets better with age. The flavours can range from blackberries, black currants, plums, and sometimes, even cassis. When aged in oak, this wine takes the flavour of cedar, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate. Aside from Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in Napa, California, Australia, and Chile.

It’s perfect for meat dishes, such as lamb and beef.

There you have it. These are just some of the most common varieties of wine. There are thousands of different regions, varietals, and types for you to taste. Likewise, because of this diversity, it’s often easy to classify the wine by how it tastes. By knowing the basic varieties, you’ll be able to have an idea of what type of wine you’re going to order the next time you visit a fine-dining restaurant.

2017-04-13T12:09:23+00:00