Are you ready to discover the wines of the world? How about just understanding the wines at the grocery store or on the restaurant menu? Here are the most popular types of wine, these are the varieties you need to know.
Most Popular Types of Wine – The Varieties You Need To Know
Want to order a nice glass of wine at your favorite restaurant or pick up a bottle at the store but you are unsure of where to start? Let this simple guide help you along to your wine buying journey. Below are some of the most popular wine varietals and some basic pairing ideas. There is a world of wines out there to explore and appreciate, so let’s get started!
Here are the Most Popular Types of Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine that tends to be full-bodied with high tannins and noticeable acidity. Cabernet Sauvignon is actually the most popular variety of wine in the world! You may be able to pick up on blackcurrant and black cherry notes when tasting. This beautiful red wine pairs well with seared tuna, duck, beef, lamb, venison, aged cheddar and gouda, it is also good with apples and plums. The optimal serving temperature for red wine is between 62-68 degrees, if you don’t have a wine cooler or keep your house that chilly, you can put it in the refrigerator for a quick 30 minutes to bring down the temperature before serving.
Pinot Nior is a “lighter” red wine. While Pinot Nior grapes are grown all over the world, they grow best in cooler climates and the grape is mostly related to Burgundy region of France. This red wine is medium-bodied and has low tannins. Pinot Nior wines tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries and pairs well with salmon, duck, pork, hard cheeses and of course raspberries and strawberries. This wine will get more complex as it ages. Remember that the optimal serving temperature for red wine is between 62-68 degrees.
Chardonnay is a very popular white wine, it tends to be medium to light body with noticeable acidity and flavors of green plum, apple, and pear. Chardonnay also has the ability to pick up flavors on how it is made and where it is grown. For example, you may taste “oak” or even minerals. There are many different styles of Chardonnay, from crispy Chablis from France to the those with tropical flavors. Chardonnay pairs well with crab, shrimp, lobster, sea bass, chicken, turkey, pork and softer cheeses like brie. It also pairs well with the fruits that you will sometimes taste in it, such as banana, honeydew and citrus. Chardonnay is also an important component of many sparkling wines. This white wine is made to serve chilled, around 49-55 degrees.
Pinot Grigio is a refreshing, dry, light white wine that typically has a punch of acidity with flavors of lemons, limes, green apples. Pinot Grigio (also known as Pinot Gris) wines can vary in taste, from fruity to sweet, but generally they tend to be clean and light. Pinot Grigio will have a citrus or acidic finish. This white wine is made to be served cold and pairs well with trout swordfish, crab, calamari, turkey, chicken, pork, prosciutto, ricotta, and with fruits such as pear, apricot, pineapple and cherry. The optimal serving temperature for white wine is between 49-55 degrees, but I prefer my Pinot Grigio nice and chilly so I will even put it in the refrigerator for a few before serving.
Sauvignon Blanc is crisp, elegant, and fresh white wine. You will definitely take note of the citrus flavors in this wine, and it is made to be consumed young, Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t benefit from aging. Sauvignon Blanc pairs great with oysters, crab, chicken, turkey, pork, veal, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, and fruits such as pear, citrus and mango. This white wine is made to serve chilled or nice and cold. I have heard this one called summertime Napa Valley Gatorade, because it’s refreshing on a hot day…and I agree 🙂
Now, I wouldn’t say that Merlot and Riseling are as popular as the wines listed above, but they definitely can be favorites to some, in fact, many would say that they either love them or hate them. But, I wanted to include them on this list just so that you were familiar with them as well.
Riesling is a high acidity white wine with a lighter body. It is usually dry as well, making it unique. The taste of this white wine is made up mainly of citrus, peach, and nectarine, but it has hints of floral flavors too. There are varieties of Riesling that are sweet, but not all of them are, so check the label to see if you are getting a sweet or a dry. Riesling can actually pair with a lot of different foods especially those with strong flavors such as spicy foods, Indian foods, and Asian foods. Riesling is made to serve cold, so feel free to put in the refrigerator.
Merlot is also a red wine, not as full-bodied at the Cabernet Sauvignon but it is heavier than a Pinot Nior. This red wine has Medium tannins and lots of red fruit flavors, the Merlot grape is also a popular grape for blending. Merlot pairs nicely with tuna, salmon, beef, lamb, aged cheeses and plum, fig and blueberries.
This beautifully colored wine is becoming more and more popular, #roseallday. Not only is it pretty, but it is crisp and refreshing, you will also see fun frozen cocktails made out of this wine in the hot summer months. When rosé wine is the primary product, it gets it’s blush color from contact with the skin of the grape, the grapes are crushed and the skins stay in contact with the juice for a short period. The primary flavors of rosé wine are red fruit, citrus, floral and melon, with a nice crunchy green flavor on the finish similar to celery or rhubarb. Rosé wine pairs well with salmon, shellfish, sea bass, chicken, pork, ham, prosciutto, goat cheese, feta, gouda and fruits such as strawberry and watermelon.