There are hundreds of different types of wines but there are six that historically are the most popular and well known globally. They are popular for their flexibility to grow practically throughout the world in multiple regions.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely planted and grown red wine grapes in the world. Some of the most notable regions that it is grown in are: Argentina, Australia, California, Chile, France, Italy and Spain. "Cabs" as they are often called range from medium to full bodied wines with varying degrees of tannins and acidity.
Another widely planted/grown red wine grape is Merlot, occasionally mispronounced (mer-lot), properly pronounced (mer – lo). Merlot is primarily grown in Australia, California, Chile and France. Merlot is typically a full bodied wine with hints of chocolate; standing well by itself and often blended with other grapes to compliment them.
Pinot Noir is grown around the world in cooler regions; most notably in the Burgundy region of France. It has widely garnered a reputation for outstanding wines in California and Oregon.
Chardonnay is easily the most highly recognized white wine. It too is grown around the world because of its ease of cultivating and growing in different climate types and its ability to let allow a winemaker to make different styles of wine. As an example I have had the opportunity of tasting several sparkling Chardonnays from Italy. I'd also add that Champagne is also made from Chardonnay. Chardonnay is undoubtedly the ultimate versatile wine whether it is dry, sweet or sparkling.
Riesling is grown throughout most of the cooler wine regions in the world; most notably Germany, Austria, Italy (northern), New Zealand and France. Riesling is best known for its aromatic sweet taste. It also produces dry and semi-sweet wines.
Sauvignon Blanc: grown throughout many wine regions of the world; most notably Australia, California, Chile, France, New Zealand and South Africa. Some of the most interesting Sauvignon Blancs that I've ever come across are from New Zealand and South Africa.
In my next blog posting we will focus on wines that are "The Road Less Traveled".
To learn more about the basics of wine and beyond, allow us to take you on that journey.
Elbert Hatley, The Wine Guide