Varietal Wines and Grape Varieties

There are many wine styles that people like. Although there are always exceptions to the rules, I like to divide most wines into the following seven major categories.

White Wines Light and Refreshing

This category will find people regularly drinking Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. They would like many acidic white wines such as Albariño, Chenin Blanc, a dry Riesling, and Pinot Blanc as well as most dry rosé wines.

White Wines fuller-bodied

The classic full-bodied white wine lover will typically drink an oaked Chardonnay or warm climate Viognier if they don’t care for oak flavors.

Red Wines Light and Fruity

Most Pinot Noir enthusiasts also have a palate for more acidic wines and usually lighter-bodied young reds with good fruit flavors and relatively low tannins. Beaujolais, Barbera, young Merlots and Cabernet Franc please this group.

Red Wines Hefty and Big

Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Bordeaux, Barolo, Brunellos, and Chianti Classico please this group along with some hefty red Zinfandels, occasional Petite Sirah, Syrahs and Malbecs.

Luscious Wines with Residual Sweetness

The White Zinfandel and Moscato drinker or the regular German Riesling consumer typify this group.

Sparkling Wines Bubbly and Crisp

On special occasions who would not like good Champagne, Cava, and Prosecco. But for some, this is their regular wine of choice.

Fortified Wines Sweet and Plush

Though often reserved more for the winter season, Ports, Sherries, Madeiras and Marsalas tickle the fancy of these wine meditators.

Do you have to belong to only one of these groups? Of course not. Many of us fall into two or more groups for our main preferences, but the true wine lover and food epicurean learns to appreciate good examples of wines from all of these categories.

More about Grape Varieties and their flavors…