Wine is one of the most sophisticated drinks in the world, rich in flavor but yet so simple. Its diversity comes from the different types of grapes, where it is grown and in what manner is produced.
The most famous types of wines are red and white wines, followed by rosé and sparkling wines. There are other wine specialties around the world, such as the Portuguese Port Wine, a very rich flavor, often used by chefs in their signature dishes.
A glass of wine is classy, but can also fit any occasion. It can be a great pair to a pizza or pasta at lunch, served as an aperitif before meals, and of course great with just about any diner dish in the world.
Here is a guide to the wide palette of red and white wines, and the famous types of rosé and sparkling wines. This is a growing list and I want it to cover everything, so if I’ve forgotten anything, please let me know in the comments.
Enjoy and choose the one that best fits your taste, or even better, try a little bit of each!
Types of Red Wine
Red wine is considered to be the most classic in the kingdom of wines, mixing the delicious red grapes with a wide range of aromas, from oak to eucalypti, chocolate or even mint hints.
- Merlot – If you are not sure whether you like red wine, let aside what type of red wine, Merlot is a safe bet! This type of wine is very soft, with a mild mix of plum and blackberry flavors. All you need to do is add a box of delicious chocolates, and you got yourself the perfect mix! In terms of food, Merlot pairs well with just about any dish, especially with deserts.
- Shiraz – Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is a delicious red wine, with spicy flavors of blackcurrant and black pepper. A glass of Shiraz is a great accompaniment for meat dishes.
- Cabernet Sauvignon – This sophisticated French wine is a mix of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with a full-bodied taste of currant and bell pepper. It is one of the most famous types of wines in the world, especially among the French, Australians, Californians, and Chileans. Cabernet Sauvignon pairs perfectly with meat dishes.
Types of White Wine
White wine is made from white gapes, produced in Europe, and numerous other places such as Australia, California, New Zealand, South Africa and so on.
The great varieties of white grapes are deliciously combined with citrus and spicy flavors, and make a great pair for seafood and Italian dishes.
- Sauvignon Blanc – Sauvignon Blanc stands out with its light yet acidic taste, with aromas of grapefruit, bell pepper, and grass. It is a classic choice for wine lovers, and comes as a great pair to salads and poultry dishes. Some wine drinkers enjoy Sauvignon served as spritz, with sparkling water.
- Chardonnay – Chardonnay is an exquisite white wine, produced mostly in Burgundy in France, but also on the coast of California. A glass of Chardonnay comes with a refreshing taste of oak and citrus fruit and hints of apple, pear, and melon. The delicious wine is a great accompaniment to seafood dishes, poultry, and pork.
- Pinot Gris – Pinot Gris, also known as Pinot Grigio by its Italian name, is one of the most delicious types of wine, rich in flavor and slightly spicy.It is mostly produced in France and New Zealand. Pinot Grigio, the Italian version, is a little bit more fresh and crispy, perfectly made to accompany seafood and pasta dishes.
- Riesling – Riesling wine comes with appetizing flavors of lime, apple, and pear, combined in a crisp blend. The grapes are famously grown in Germany, but there are also some producers in France and New York. This wine goes nicely with poultry and pork dishes, especially ones with a spicy twist.
Types of Rosé Wine
Rosé wines are a soft version of the red wine, most of them actually produced from red grapes. Just as white and red wines, the rose palette is very diverse, from crisp to light aromas, to spicy and full-bodied. California is one of the biggest producers of rose wines.
- Zinfandel Blush
- Pinot Noir
Types of Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wine adds a hint of luxury to every good wine, through a fizzy/bubbly texture.
- Champagne – By far the most luxurious drink of all is Champagne, a well-known produce of France. Champagne is savored in moments of celebration, and the prices reach the levels of its worldwide fame.
- Cava – The Spanish have their delicious version of Sparkling wine, known as Cava, mostly coming as Brut and Semi-Sec, and as white and rosé.
Types of Fortified Wine
Fortified wine is a wine that has been blended with a liquor. The liquor most often used for this is Brandy which is essentially just distilled wine. This gives fortified wines a distinct flavor and a higher alcohol content than normal wine – usually at least %15 ABV.
- Bum Wine
Types of Dessert Wine
These are sweet wines and as the name suggests, they are generally served with dessert. A rule of thumb for choosing a wine is that it must be sweeter than the dessert being eaten.
- Ice Wine
- Raisin Wine
- Noble Rot Wine
- Some Fortified Wines
There are enough types of wine in the world to fit every taste and every pocket. A glass of wine also suits any occasion, and pairs well with meals and deserts.
Have fun trying the different types of wine, and finding the one that best pleases your taste palette and once again, if I’ve forgotten anything please let me know in the comments. Feel free to share your favorite wines and pairings in the comments too.