The most popular Types of wine & types of wine grapes

wine is an alcoholic beverage obtained from the fermented juice of freshly harvested grapes. It is prepared from both white and black grapes. There are many varieties of grapes produced and not all of them are used in the production of wine. The colour, flavour, and aroma of the wine are largely influenced by the type of grapes used in the production. Many other factors influence a wine’s character, like the wine region, tannins, sweetness, acidity, body, and flavours, but we won’t get into the complexities of all that right now. Instead, let’s keep it simple and take a look at the five main types of wine


Types of wine

    White wine 

    bottle of white wine
    White wine colour ranges from pale straw with a green tinge to dark gold. It is produced from both white and black grapes. If produced from black grapes, the skin of the grapes must be removed soon after crushing, to prevent the 'must' (pressed grapes), taking on the colour from the pigments in the skin. White wines are usually lighter in body and in alcohol

    Food pairing -  

    If it is a light-bodied red wine, go with grilled vegetables, white meat or chicken. A medium-bodied to full-bodied can get along well with meat dishes such as steaks, hamburgers or smoked meat but when you feel like pairing wine with Asian dishes, Fish and shellfish, White meats

    Types of white wine 


    This is a classic grape variety that comes originally from Burgundy, France. It is one of the types of grapes used in the production of champagne. It produces light crisp, dry wine with a flavour of a lot of tropical fruits. Many Chardonnay wines are fermented and matured in oak casks. It is grown throughout the wine-producing regions of the world. It withstands all kinds of climatic conditions and prefers soil rich in calcium. 

    Regions - USA, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Toscana in Italy.

    Food pairing - Creamy sauce and chicken dishes


    This grape is from Germany. Mosel and Rhine wines of Germany are produced from this grape. It grows well in a cool climate but not in a hot climate and can withstand any types of soil. Riesling grapes ripen early. They produce light citrus-flavoured dry wines and floral, sweet wine. The wines produced from these grapes can either be consumed young or can be aged when affected by botrytis. It matured in stainless steel to retain its delicate floral aroma.

    Regions - South Australia and the USA cultivate this variety of grapes.

    Food pairing - spicy Asian cuisines or rich foods like pork.

    Read more about Riesling

    Sauvignon blanc 

    It is the principal grape variety used in the production of excellent white wines of Bordeaux and Loire valley. The wine has a grassy flavour and the character of acidic fruit, gooseberry. It requires a cool climate and limestone or gravelly soil.

    Regions - The USA, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, Toscana in Italy are the other regions using this variety.

    Food pairing -
     scallops or other shellfish.


    It is grown in the Graves, Sauternes, and Barsac regions of France. It lacks acidity hence it is blended with sharp grape-like Sauvignon blanc to get the required balance. It produces medium-to-full-bodied, oily-textured dry white wine in graves. In sauternes and basic regions, it is affected by botrytis cinerea call noble rot which concentrates the sugar of the grapes resulting in a very sweet wine. Chateau D Yquem is a well-known sweet wine from Sauternes. It grows well on sandy soil and the clay helps in the development of botrytis.

    Regions -  The USA and Australia use this grape variety.

    Chenin blanc

    It is grown in the Anjou, Saumur, and Touraine districts of Loire, France. It produces dry, medium, and sweet and sparkling wine. Coteaux du Layon area in Loire produces excellent sweet wine from botrutis affected grapes. This grape has a high level of acidity with an aroma of lemon, baked apple, honey and toffee apple. It is an important grape in South Africa, where it is known as steen. It prefers chalky soil. 

    Regions - the USA used this variety of grapes.

    Some important white grapes and the regions

     White grapes


    1. Gewurztraminer

     Alsace in France, Trentino in Italy, Germany, Austria

    2. Pinot Blanc

     Alsace in France, Trentino in Italy, Baden, and Wurttemburg in Germany

    3. Pinot Gris

     Alsace in France, Northern Italy, Baden in Germany

    4. Trebbiano


    5. Muller-Thurgau

    Germany, Tremtino-Alto Adige in Italy, Austria 

    6. Muscat

    Alsace, Southern Rhone, and midi in France; Southern Portugal, Greece,  

    7.  Aligote


    8. Bual


    9. Colombard 

     France, especially in cognac, California

    10. Folle Blanche

     France especially Cognac, Armagnac, Loir

    11. Ugni Blanc

     France, mainly Cognac and Armagnac, where it is known as saint Emilion

    12. Muscadet

     France, it is also known as melon de Bourgogne

    Red wine

    glass of red wine

    The colour of red wine ranges from purple when young and to brick red as it ages. It is produced from red grapes. The skin is allowed to remain with the fermenting must either throughout the process or halfway through. The colouring pigments present in the skin give colour to the wine.

    Food pairing - Creamy cheese (Soft Cheese), white bread, meat, fish, seafood or salads, Red meats, Blue-veined cheese, game

    Types of red wine

    Cabernet sauvignon 

    This is a black grape of remarkable quality. It is considered to be the best in the world and it used in the production of the most prestigious chateaux wines of Medoc of the Bordeaux region of France. It is easy to cultivate as it grows in any kind of soil and can withstand spring frosts. This black and is coated with dusty bloom. This grape ripens late and gives low yields. The flavour resembles black currant, blackberry, and hints of resins, spices, mint, and liquorices. Cabernet Sauvignon produces wine with high tannin content which need slow ageing in the oak casks. 

    Regions -United state, Australia, Italy, Spain, Chile, and Argentina are the other countries cultivation this grape.

    Food pairing -
    juicy steak or another form of red meat.

    Read more about cabernet sauvignon

    Pinot noir

    It is a classic grape variety of Burgundy and champagne. Produces all the great red wines of Burgundy. It is one of the three permitted varieties of grapes used in champagne making, to give structure to the wine. It produces light coloured, light tannin, and delicately flavoured wines with floral, herbal, strawberries, raspberries, cherry, and cherry brandy aromas. It prefers chalky and clay soils.

    Regions - United States, New Zealand, and Italy use this variety.

    Food pairing - wild game or veal.


    It is an early ripening red variety from the Pomerol district of Bordeaux. It is sensitive to frost and fungi and is frequently blended with cabernet sauvignon to produce excellent wines especially in Pomerol and st. Emilion. It has thin skin and is bigger than cabernet in size. The grape has low tannin and acid levels and produces softer, smoother, and fruitier wines with cherry, plum, red currant flavour note. It prefers damp soil and a cooler climate than cabernet. 

    Regions - The United States cultivate this variety.


    It is the main grape of northern Cotes du Rhone, Producing cote Rotie, Hermitage, st. joseph, and cornas. It produces deep-coloured, astringent red wine with aromas of violet, pepper, blackberry, and blueberry. It has the ability to blend with other wines and it is used as a blend in making Chateauneuf-du-pape. It has powerful tannin which allows the wine to mature gracefully. The adequate acid level makes the wine taste fresh. 

    Regions - Italy, Australia, and United States are the other countries using this variety.

    food pairing - hearty and rich meat dishes, most specifically venison.

    Some important black grape and the regions

    Black grapes


    1. Barbera  

     Italy - in Piedmont; South America, California

    2. Brunello

     Italy -  in Tuscany

    3. Cabernet Franc

     France- in Loire and Bordeaux, Italy, California

    4. Gamay

     France in Beaujolais and Loire, Switzerland, California

    5. Grenache

     France mainly south and southern Rhone, California, Spain

    6. Lambrusco   

     Italy in Emillia, Romagna

    7. Malbec

     France, Argentina, California

    8. Meunier

     France in Champagne. It is also called Pinot Meunier

    9. Nebbiolo 

     Italy  in piedmont and Lombardy, California

    10. Sangiovese

     Italy in Tuscany and Emilia, Romagna

    11. Tempranilla 

     Spain in Rioja, Argentina

    12. Zinfandel  


    Rose wine

    This wine is light pink in colour which is produced from a mixture of white and red grapes or only from red grapes. The skin of the black grapes is allowed to remain in contact with the must, till the required tinge is obtained. It takes about 24 to 36 hours depending on the intensity of rose colour required. Once the required colour is obtained the skin is removed. It is legally permitted in some countries to blend a small quantity of red with white wine. It can be dry or sweet

    Food Pairing: Rose wine always goes well with light flavour dishes like fish, poultry, or fruit.
    Roast poultry, cheese, fruit

    Types of Rosé Wine

    People often assume that rosé is always sweet and fruity, but there are many different dry varieties that boast complex flavour profiles:

    White Zinfandel 

    often gets a bad rap, but it can be a gateway wine to become a rosé drinker. It’s sweet, versatile, and incredibly popular, especially in California. Expect notes of strawberry, raspberry, and melon.

    Syrah (or Shiraz) Rosé (French and Australian naming conventions, respectively)

    It is deeper in colour than many other popular rosés. This Spanish beauty has notes of cherry, peach, and even savoury flavours, such as green olive.

    Tempranillo Rosé 

    It is herbaceous with notes of green pepper, watermelon, and strawberry.

    Sparkling wine

    a bottle of sparkling wine

    These are the wines bottled with carbon dioxide produced during fermentation. The gas is prevented from escaping. The trapped gas is the result of secondary fermentation either in the bottle or in the sealed tank. Some manufacturers impregnate the wine with gas. It gives effervescence or sparkle to the wine. The glasses used for sparkling wine must be thick to withstand the pressure of the gas behind the cork. It requires second fermentation to create the bubbles.

    It can be Red, White or Rose. Sparkling wines are named for the region where they are produced, such as the province of Champagne in France.

    Types of sparkling wine

    Food Pairings:  Light foods, such as soft cheeses, seafood, including smoked salmon and shrimp, salad, fresh fruit, and popcorn.

    Alcoholic percentage: 10 - 13 per cent.

    Fortified or Dessert wine

    The alcoholic strength of the wine is increased with the addition of brandy either during or at the end of the fermentation.  This type of wine is also termed heavy wine. Dessert wines are very sweet. Fortified wines are higher in alcohol than other types of wine.

    Types fortified wines

    • sherry
    • port
    • Madeira
    • marsala.

    Alcoholic percentage - 16 to 22 per cent abv.

    Food Pairings: Soft cheeses, cake, vanilla pudding, biscotti, chocolate, and crème brûlée.

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