Wines are classified according to the grape varieties used to produce them. The term “terroir” is used to refer to the grape variety and characteristics of a vineyard or region, including the climate and soil composition. These factors can have a significant impact on the wine’s flavor profile. The dominant wine types are red wines and white wines. Each of these wine types has a number of popular varietals. Red Wines Red wines are fermented with the grape skins intact, which imparts both color and tannins to the wine. These tannins add the astringent, slightly bitter flavor that characterizes many red wines. Common grape varietals for red wines include: Cabernet Sauvignon: Produced all over the world, this wine is typically strong and full-bodied. Malbec: Grown widely in France, Argentina and Chile, Malbec is characterized by fruit and spice notes; however, its flavor profile varies by region. Merlot: Grown in France as well as elsewhere in Europe and North and South America, Merlot is less tannic than Cabernet Sauvignon and often characterized by cherry and plum flavors. Pinot Noir: This grape produces a less tannic, more delicate red wine, and is grown in France, Austria, New Zealand and the American West. Sangiovese: Sangiovese is a medium-bodied Italian wine with fresh fruit notes. Sangiovese grapes are also used in the production of Chianti wine. Syrah (also called Shiraz): Produced in Australia, California and parts of France, this red wine is typically bold and spicy. Zinfandel: Grown in California, Zinfandel grapes are used to make a variety of wines from full-bodied, peppery red zinfandel to blush wine (white zinfandel). White Wines White wine is produced by fermenting grapes without their skins. This generally yields light, fresh, fruity flavors. White wine grape varietals include the following: Chardonnay: Chardonnay originated in Burgundy, France, but is now grown around the world. It is often aged in oak barrels, which lends slightly tannic or vanilla flavor.
People have been enjoying wine for thousands of years. In the past, wine has been used for ceremonial purposes and as medicine. Today, as in the past, wines are used for religious purposes. Many of us also like to enjoy a nice glass of wine with a good meal or just for the delicious taste. Why Wine is Red The color of the wine is not determined by the color of the grapes. The color of wine is actually a result of whether the grape skins are included in the fermentation process. Red wine colors would be clear if skins were not added during fermentation. Types of Red Wines: Varietals Varietals are wines that are made primarily from one type of grape. In the United States, Australia, South America and New Zealand, a wine is classified as a varietal if the wine consists of at least 75 percent of one given grape and if the wine can be labeled with the grape”s name. So, for example, if you purchase a bottle that is labeled Cabernet Sauvignon that was produced in the United States, you will know that Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were used to produce at least 75 percent of the wine. In most of Europe, however, varietals must include at least 85 percent of one kind of grape. Below is a table of red wine varietals: Type of Wine Grape Used Flavor Region Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon Black cherry, bell pepper, ginger Bordeaux region, France; California; Argentina; Chile; Italy; New Zealand Grenache Grenache Blackberry, smoke, fleshy California; Southern France; Spain; Australia Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Raspberry, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon Burgundy, France; Australia; Austria; Brazil; Canada; California; New Zealand Merlot Merlot Plum, rose, bay leaf, bell pepper California; Argentina; New Zealand; Bordeaux, France Nebbiolo Nebbiolo Smoke, truffle, cherry, tar Italy; California; South Africa; Australia; New Zealand Sangiovese Sangiovese Berry, plum, cinnamon, thyme Tuscany, Italy; California Syrah* Syrah Black currant, clove, black pepper, cedar France; California; South Africa; Australia Zinfandel Zinfandel Blackberry, cranberry, licorice, black pepper California *Syrah is also referred to as Shiraz. Other Types of Red Wines A wine does not have to be a varietal to be an interesting drink. Take Meritage, for instance. A red Meritage is a blend of at least two of the following grape varietals: Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere Gros Verdot Malbec Merlot Petit Verdot St. Macaire. In order to be a Meritage, a single varietal cannot make up more than 90 percent of the mix of the wine. The attributes of the wine will vary according to the varietals used. Types of Wines: Bordeaux and Burgundy In the past, Burgundy was used as a generic name for a blend of varietals. Burgundy, or Bourgogne in French, specifically refers to the famous wine region in France. The primary grape grown in Burgundy is Pinot Noir, although some Gamay grapes as well as other varietals are grown there as well. Like Burgundy, Bordeaux refers to another famous wine region in France. Grapes grown in Bordeaux […]
Cabernet Sauvignon is the world”s most loved red wine. It is nicknamed ”the king of red wine grapes,” and often paired with other reds, including merlot and shiraz. Admirers of the wine affectionately refer to it simply as ”cab” or ”cab sauv.” In addition to worldwide fame, Cabernet sauvignon wine is the most popular red wine made in California. It is fairly easy to pronounce (Cah-bur-nay Saw-vee-nyonh) and is a very popular red wine served in restaurants. Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes On the vine, the cabernet sauvignon grape is hardy with thick bluish black skin. This thick skin contributes to the grapes notoriously high tannin levels, which soften and smooth with aging. Wine producers are also fond of this particular grape because it can withstand rainfall and is resistant to disease. Cabernet Sauvignon Flavors Pyrazine, symmetrical molecules found in cabernet sauvignon grapes, contribute to its notorious bell pepper aroma. These molecules are more prevalent, and hence the flavor is stronger, in under-ripened cabernet sauvignon grapes. This flavor is not considered a fault, but not all consumers desire it. Critics may describe a strong bell pepper odor as ”weedy.” Other noted aromas present in cabernet sauvignon wine include: black currant eucalyptus mint tobacco. Cabernet Sauvignon also has fruit flavors present, including blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, plum and dried fruit essences. Aging Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet sauvignon is known as a consistent wine for aging, and almost always improves over time. The wine can be aged up to 10-15 years. With aging the black currant aroma can develop additional aromatic hints of: cedar cigar box leather violet. Cabernet Sauvignon History The grape originates from the Bordeaux region of southwest France and is known to be the result of breeding a cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grape. Historically, these two types of grapes were grown in neighboring vineyards and the cabernet sauvignon grape has been produced for several centuries. Due to its tolerance to many different climate types and soil types, the grape is grown in almost all wine producing countries. Some of the more notable regions include: Australia Bordeaux (France) Napa Valley (California, U.S.A) Sonoma County (California, U.S.A) Tuscany (Italy). Popular Cabernet Sauvignon Varietals In California, some of the regions producing the highest rated California varietals include Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, the Paso Robles region of California”s central coast, and Napa Valley. In St. Helena, CA, popular Whitehall Lane cabernet sauvignon wine is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and malbec grapes. In the state of Washington, Boudreaux Cellars produces an award winning ultra-premium Boudreaux cabernet. Depending on the specific production year, prices for Boudreaux cabernet sauvignon can be reach or exceed $100 a bottle. Boudreaux Cellars is the only winery in Washington state that is completely self powered. A popular South American favorite is 35 South cabernet sauvignon. This increasingly desirable wine is produced from a grape grown by one of Chile”s largest wine producers, Vina San Pedro, an organically farmed winery with over 6,000 acres. Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairings A few decades […]
The variety of wines available to enjoy is practically endless. Some of the major wine types available include: blush fruit/country non-alcoholic red sparkling white. A description of different types of wine begins with classification. Wines of all types can be classified by either the primary grape variety or the region where the grapes were grown. Wines classified by the type of grape they contain are called varietals and wines classified by the growing region are named for the region itself. Even within types of wine there is a great variety of flavor and texture, due to the climate of growing regions. A warm, wet year will produce grapes with a different flavor than a cooler, dryer growing season. This is why some labels and years are more valuable than others. Types of Red Wine Red wine comes from black grapes. The grapes are fermented whole, with the skin and pips intact. These wines can be light or sweet, refreshing or mellow. Here are some of the major types of red wine: Barbera: This grape is similar to Merlot, but not as well known. Barbera wines go well with many dishes, including those prepared with tomato sauce. Their taste is similar to black cherry and plum fruit, with a silky texture. Cabernet Sauvignon: Considered one of the world”s best varieties of grape, Cabernet Sauvignon is often paired with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It is often served with red meat and has a full-bodied flavor. Merlot: Merlot wines are considered “easy to drink” and are a good introduction to red wines. They can be served with any type of food and have a rough, tannic flavor. Pinot Noir: These grapes are difficult to grow and are rarely blended with other varieties. They are often served with chicken, lamb and salmon. The taste of Pinot Noir wines is delicate and fresh, with a fruity aroma and earthy notes. Syrah or Shiraz: Syrah and Shiraz are both names for the same variety of grape. These red wines go well with beef, steak, stew and wild game. The taste is fruity with black pepper/roast meat overtones and gripping tannins. Zinfandel: Considered the world”s most versatile grape, Zinfandel is used to make wines from blushes to rich, heavy reds. Depending of the heaviness of a particular Zinfandel wine, it may be served with pasta in tomato sauce, pizza or meat. Zinfandel has a zesty berry and pepper flavor. Types of White Wine Since all grape juice starts out colorless, white wines can be made from white or black grapes. Flavors of white wines can range from very dry to sweet and golden. The five main types of white wine are: Chardonnay: This popular grape can be made into sparkling or still wine. It goes well with fish and chicken dishes. Chardonnay has a wide-bodied, velvety citrus flavor. When fermented in a new oak barrel, it has a buttery tone that can resemble coconut, toast, toffee or vanilla. Gewurztraminer: Wine made from this aromatic grape is often […]