Many factors affect wine flavor, including the variety or varieties of grape used, the location where the grapes are grown, the treatment of those vineyards and skills of the vineyard overseer, and the equipment, techniques and skills in application used by the winemaker.
There are over 10,000 documented grape varieties grown around the world, but approximately 230 have some prominence in the world of fine wines. As a whole the wine-consuming public tends to focus on only a handful of these, often because they know little about any of the dozens of other wine grapes available.
The type(s) of grape used are most often considered the dominant factor in wine flavor. Plant any famous vineyard with a different grape variety and the wine from there would become unrecognizable, even if treated in the same way and by the same hands!
“Varietals” is a term describing wines made chiefly from one variety of grape. Such wines portray the dominant characteristics of the primary grape used. For example, in California a wine called Chardonnay must be made from at least 75% Chardonnay grapes. Regulations may vary by region.
In the New World, the wines are usually identified by the grapes from which they are made: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, etc. This section of our site allows you to visit the most common different white and red wine grapes. And it invites you to explore wines made by different methods: sparkling wines, dessert wines, blush, kosher, blended, organic, and de-alcoholized wines.
- Bubbly – Champagnes and sparkling wines.
- Classic Reds – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir, as well as other beloved reds.
- Classic Whites – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, as well as other beloved whites.
- De-Alcholized Wine – Non-Alcoholic alternatives to wine.
- Dessert, Fortified, & Fruit – Wines to which spirits have been added.
- Kosher Wine – Wines that must pass certain technical requirements certified by rabbinical authorities.
- International Sparklers – Sparklers from around the world.
- Marsala & Madeira – Wines prized and sipped like fine sherries and ports.
- Port – A wine blend of five or more traditional Portuguese grape varieties produced by a highly regulated process.
- Rose’ & Blush Wines – Those lovely pink wines.