The main classifications of wines are: Red wine, White wine, Rose wine, and Sparkling wines/champagne. There are many varieties (varietals) of wine within the main categories. They are made from different types of grapes and range from dry to sweet. They also range from still wines to bubbly wines.
Red Wine is made from black grapes. It ranges in color shades from light to dark. It also varies in sweetness. Some red wine is dry and some is very sweet. Some varietals of red wine include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Gamay Beaujolais, and Sangiovese.
- Cabernet Sauvignon is a referred to as “the King of red wine grapes”. It’s originally from Bordeaux, France, but is now grown throughout the world.
- Pinot Noir is made predominantly from pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words “pine” and “black” because of the grape’s purple pinecone shaped bunches of fruit. Pinot noir grapes are associated with the Burgundy region of France but are grown around the world. The pinot noir grape is considered to produce the some of the finest wines in the world.
- Merlot is a dark-blue grape. The name Merlot is derived from the French word, “blackbird.” Merlot comes from the Bordeaux region of France. Merlot is one of the most popular red wine varietals.
- Zinfandel is a red wine varietal grown in California. Generally speaking, it is considered as a mediocre wine and is less expensive than the previous wines listed.
- Syrah are grapes used to make red, dry table wine.
- Gamay Beaujolais is a light and fruity wine that comes from Beaujolais region of France.
- Sangiovese is Italy’s most common red grape varietal.
Rose Wine is made from black grapes but the skin is removed before the wine is colored. In other cases, Rose wine can be made by blending red and white wine together. Rose wine can be dry or sweet. Some varietals of Rose wine include: Grenache, Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Cabernet France.
- Grenache is a variety of black wine grapes from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. Sweet red dessert wines are made from this grape.
- Cabernet France is one of the major black grape varieties in the world. It is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon.
White wine is mostly produced using green grapes but sometimes is made using black grapes. White wine is available in a variety of flavors from light and zesty to rich and creamy. Some varietals of white wine are: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Reisling, Pinot Blanc, and Muscat.
- Chardonnay is a white wine grape used from making Champagne and other white wines.
- Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine grape used to make white wine, grown in California.
- Reisling is a variety of white wine grapes grown in Austria, Germany, and other places. A dry white wine is created from this grape.
- Pinot Blanc is a white wine grape grown in California, used to create white wine that resembles the white wine in Chablis, France.
- Muscat is a variety of grapes used to make wine that has a sweet, floral aroma. The color can range from white to almost black.
Sparkling wine is a bubbly wine. It requires a second fermentation to create the bubbles. It can be Rose, Red or White wine. Champagne is a white sparkling wine that is typically made in the Champagne region in France. It’s usually considered as a formal wine and is associated with celebrations.