The Most Popular Types of Wine

Getting to Know the Grapes


Originally of French origin, this versatile grape produces exceptional wines around the globe. Cabernet Sauvignon is usually medium- to full-bodied, with a fine structure that supports black and red fruit flavors with typical notes of olive, chili and herbs that add complexity.

Pinot Noir

California has long struggled with Pinot Noir. Finding the right vineyards for this most fickle of grapes -- one that enjoys a cool growing season yet needs warmth close to harvest to fully ripen -- has proven a challenge in such a sunny state. Cooler areas eventually became identified; the Santa Rita Hills, Russian River Valley and Mendocino's Anderson Valley are all prime spots for Pinot Noir in California. Unlike the lighter colored and sometimes delicate Pinots of Burgundy, California produces many rich, deep Pinots full of slightly chewy dark berry and cherry fruits with hints of cola, Asian spices and forest floor frequently adding complexity.

Syrah

Syrah is one of the few grapes to really be a global success. It combines a meaty core of ripe berry fruit with tones that range from herbal to peppery, in a package that tends to be medium-bodied with good acidity and softer tannins. With age, the wines can gain lovely leathery and black olive notes that make them a great match for savory and gamy dishes.

Zinfandel

Zinfandel is considered America's own great indigenous grape, even though its origins lie on the Adriatic coast. Planted throughout California and the Pacific Northwest, Zinfandel is at its best in warm regions with cooler temperatures during harvest. The wines can range from off-dry Rosés, White Zinfandels, and light bistro-styled wines, to big, rich, powerful wines and even luscious wines for dessert bottling. The flavors range from plummy to raspberry, although deep blackberry fruit and brambly spice tones are most common.

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Comments

  • There is no such thing as "White Zinfandel", this a blend of usually colombard, red grape juice and sugar. It was origionally invented and sold by Sutter Home.

    Oct 06, 2010 at 12:56 PM


  • White Zinfandel is the product of 1) crushed and pressed low quality Zin (which would not likely make a good red) or 2) the by-product of bleed-off (Saignee) from crushed zin (this is done to get better color extraction..Zin tends to have difficulty getting color).

    Sutter Home did not invent White Zin. They did invent marketing white zin. There are roses made from just about any red grape. Typically, yuong vineyards have a difficult time with concentration and structure. So, it is not uncommon to make rose out of young Tempranillo, young Cabernet Sauvignon, etc. Many times the rose is a by-product of the red being made through the bleeding procedure.

    2 cents from a Winemaker.

    Oct 06, 2010 at 4:15 PM


  • Snooth User: TomG
    40947 44

    "Riesling is a chameleon of a grape, able to produce world-class wines that range from bone-dry to unctuously sweet."

    "Unctuously"??? Really????? What happened to "...do me a favor and keep your smooth, greasy wines away from me."? Actually, I think I know what you mean (maybe even what Parker means when he says it).

    Oct 06, 2010 at 4:49 PM


  • Snooth User: RamBoDan56
    1134050 29

    A good wine will brings back your true spirit...

    Sep 02, 2012 at 9:54 PM


  • Snooth User: whamo9
    726201 1

    "Unctuously!" Really? Isn't that one of those hated wine words?

    Sep 26, 2012 at 1:31 PM


  • What exactly does a forest floor taste like?

    Sep 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM


  • You're hilarious! Didn't you just write an article about your 5 most hated words in wine writing, which began with unctuous? Sheesh. You're starting to remind me of Mitt Romney.

    Sep 29, 2012 at 5:10 PM


  • Snooth User: LiLu
    1146577 21

    I liked TomG's comment- Unctuously? Really? :)

    Oct 06, 2012 at 7:19 PM


  • "You're starting to remind me of Mitt Romney"

    Does Romney drink wine? Your beloved Messiah drinks beer.

    Oct 07, 2012 at 3:37 PM


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