Popular wine types – short description
Here we want to make a description of wine styles per variety (chardonnay, pinot noir, etc.). Our description will treat only the most popular wine types of the world.
Chardonnay was the most popular white wine through the 1990’s. This wine have a variety of styles and flavor characteristics. Chardonnay wines are produced all over the world but the most famous are probably those made from the Chardonnay grape in France, but the Chardonnay grape is equally at home in New Zealand and California.
Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which probably originates from the Bordeaux region of France. It is now planted in much of the world’s winelands, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white varietal wine. It’s one of the main grapes used to produce the elegant dry wines from Bordeaux (Graves) and the Loire Valley (Pouilly-Fume). Many wineries-particularly in California-use this grape to produce wonderful wines that are bottled under the varietal name, Sauvignon Blanc (sometimes labeled Fume Blanc).
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of wine to effect carbonation. It is named after the Champagne region of France. Grapes must be the white Chardonnay, or the red Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier. Champagne is typically a white wine even if it is produced with red grapes, because the juice is extracted from the grapes using a gentle process that minimizes the amount of time the juice spends in contact with the skins, which is what gives red wine its colour.
Riesling is a white grape variety and varietal appellation of wines grown historically in Alsace (France), Austria, Germany, and northern Italy. It is a very old grape, first documented in 1435. Today Riesling is Germany?s leading grape variety. This wine cover a vast array of tastes from sweet to off-dry.
Semillon is a golden-skinned grape used to make dry and sweet white wines, most notably in France and Australia. In France, this grape is grown mostly in Bordeaux. Semillon is widely grown in Australia, particularly in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a variety of red grape mainly used for wine production, and is, along with Chardonnay, one of the most widely-planted of the world’s noble grape varieties. The grape is strongly associated with the great red wines of Bordeaux, such as those of the Medoc. Major producers of Cabernet Sauvignon wines are France, Italy, United States, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
Shiraz or Syrah
The name of the grape Shiraz was taken from that of the city of Shiraz in Persia/Iran, where the process of wine making possibly originated 7000 years ago. It is called Syrah in France and most often in the United States. In South Africa, Australia, and Canada it is most commonly known as Shiraz. It is a grape variety widely used to make a dry red table wine. Shiraz is often vinified on its own, but is also frequently blended with other grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, Mourvedre and Viognier.
Cabernet Franc is a red wine grape variety similar to and a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. It tends to be softer and has fewer tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, although the two can be difficult to distinguish. Cabernet Franc forms part of the Bordeaux blend, usually taking a minor role to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, except in certain wines of the Saint-Emilion appellation. In California and other U.S. states, it is often marketed as part of the Meritage blend.
Merlot is one of the noble wine grape varieties, used to create a popular red wine. Merlot-based wines usually have medium body with hints of berry, plum, and currant. Merlot is produced primarily in France, Italy and California, and on a lesser scale in Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, and other parts of the United States. Most wines from Bordeaux contain at least some Merlot.
Rose is a type of wine that is neither purely red wine nor purely white wine. It has some of the color typical of a red wine, but only enough to turn it pink. The pink color can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grapes and winemaking techniques. European roses are almost always dry wines while American versions (often labeled as “blush”), such as white Zinfandel are often very sweet.