Types Of Wine – Know Your Reds And Whites

Types Of Wine – Know Your Reds And Whites

Red and white are only the beginning of the types of different wines. This initial classification of wine is based only on the color of the wine and has absolutely nothing to do with the types of grapes used to make the wines.  It also has nothing to do with the different combinations of ingredients, the various vintage years, or even the quality of the wine, or the time the wine is aged.

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of wines that may be familiar to you, and some you may not have been introduced to as yet.


Red wines are made with either a red or black variety of grape. Just as there are different types of citrus such as tangerines, grapefruit, clementine, or naval oranges, which all have different properties; grapes also have a wide variety of taste and color. These different grapes are then crushed and some even blended into different combinations in order to make the various types of red wine.

Shiraz, also known as Syrah by European vintners, is a hearty red wine with intense, spicy undertones as well as an extremely long finish on the palate.

Merlot is usually considered an “introductory” wine as it has a smoother texture and is less rough on the palate.

Cabernet Sauvignon is probably the worlds’ best known variety and is brimming with flavors of black currant when still young in age and rolls into more of an oak flavor due to the barrels in which it is aged.

Pinot Noir is a light colored and flavored wine that is rarely blended.

Zinfandel is a highly blended wine that makes the greatest variety of wines, from a light pink blush to the deep, ruby reds.

A few reds that you may not be aware of are the Barbara, used widely for the production of rich cooking wines and tomato sauces; the Brunello, which is only permitted for use in making the bold and rare Tuscan wine, Brunello Di Montaleino; Gamay which is a wine meant to be drunk shortly after bottling for a crisp, fruity taste; and Tempranillo which is a full-bodied red wine, usually blended in with Grenache to develop the flavor.


Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are undoubtedly the two most popular grape varieties when it comes to white wines. These are usually the go-to wines for most white wine drinkers. Chardonnay has a velvety citrus flavor, while Pinot Gris has a bit more acidic bite as a young wine.

Sauvignon Blanc is another popular white wine, which is drier and less fruity than many of the other white wines, but still offers a fresh finish.

Semillon is an interesting white wine with more of a fig-like character. Semillon is usually blended with Sauvignon Blanc to help increase the fullness of the wine.

Muscat, which has no resemblance to muskadet wine, but common to the name, provides an extremely musky aroma.

Riesling, which is originally from the regions of Germany, boasts a dry yet sweet flavor with a good bit of acid to round out this “pleases everyone” wine.

This is a short list of the wide variety of wines. Of course, you want to find a wine that you love and can always enjoy.  However, it is good to experiment with different wines to develop your palate and explore new wines. A fun way to do this is to host or attend a wine tasting party.  If you have a local wine shop, ask about wine tastings they host.  Or, grab a friend and a new bottle of wine and imagine the fun and possibilities!

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