Wine Tasting Notes Organized by Grape
Although people sell bottles of “wine” made from all different types of fruit (or even rice), an authentic wine is made from grapes. The grapes used to make a wine are known as that wine’s varietals. If a wine is made predominantly (over 75%) from one grape, it will be named after the varietal.
The most popular grapes that make red wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah or Shiraz, and Zinfandel.
Common white wine varietals include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris, and Riesling.
The grapes that go into wine can be red or white skinned, but this does not necessarily determine whether the wine will be red or white. A red-skinned grape can make a white wine if it is fermented without the skin.
Different grapes tend to flourish differently in different conditions. For example, the Riesling thrives in cold climates, which is why it is so commonly grown in Germany. The Syrah, or Shiraz, will taste sweeter if it is grown in a warm climate, like Australia, and spicier if it is produced in a more moderate climate, like France.
Some grapes, however, like the Chardonnay and the Cabernet Sauvignon, can grow well in all kinds of climates, which facilitate their popularity.
See All Red Wine Grapes
See All White Wine Grapes