Five Main Styles of Wine
All wines can be organized into five groups. Within each group there are hundreds of different grape varieties with different winemaking styles.
Each grape type offers unique characteristics from types, and is expressed in the wine’s unique flavors and aromas.
Cabernet Sauvignon: A red wine with great depth of flavors which include currant, black cherry, plum and spice. It is a full bodied wine, high in tannins.
Merlot: Merlot is a red wine that is usually lighter and of good quality. As it ages, the herbal flavors become stronger as the fruity flavors lightly fade.
Pinot Noir: Emits an earthy aroma. Black cherry, raspberry, currant and spice are the flavors found in the best Pinot Noir.
Shiraz (known as Syrah in France): A complex and smooth wine with spicy and rich flavors such as black cherry, black berry, and black pepper.
Zinfandel: An extremely versatile grape, wines from this variety range from light and sweet, to intense and full-bodied. Zinfandels are normally a deep red color.
Note: White Zinfandel’s come from the same grape as “red zinfandels,” but the skins are removed early in the process which gives white zinfandels a pink coloration.
Champagne: Is usually made with three grape varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Although two of the grapes are red, most Champagne is white because the grapes are gently pressed with no contact between the grape juice and skins during production. A true Champagne is produced from grapes grown the Champagne region of France.
Chardonnay: A rich, white wine that provides bold, fruity flavors like apple, grapefruit, pear, peach, fig, and melon. Buttery flavors are known to be present in Chardonnay as well.
Muscato: This white wine is floral and spicy in flavor, and can range from sweet to dry.
Pinot Grigio: This is a dry light white wine that generally has more color than most whites.
Riesling: Ranging from sweet, to more commonly dry, this white wine is very versatile and varies in body and flavor. The dry version offers high acidity and floral, citrus and peach aromas.
Sauvignon Blanc: Crisp, light and refreshing, this wine pairs well with many foods, and is mostly known for its earthy aromas.
Learn about wine and food pairings for the perfect dinner party.
Wine Regions and Grapes
|France||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah, Viognier, Chardonnay|
|Italy||Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Moscato, Pinot Grigio|
|United States||Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel|
|Chile||Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc|
|Germany||Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sylvaner|
|Spain||Tempranillo, Albarino, Garnacha, Palomino|
|New Zealand||Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir|
|South Africa||Pinotage, Chenin Blanc|