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Different Types of Wine

Every Wine Lover MUST Know These Different Types of Exquisite Wine

Wine is the drink of the well healed, it is the toast of high society, and the best wine has conquered the best men of great tastes.
Roy D'Silva
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2018
Wine has been known to humankind as early as 6000 to 4000 BC. The earliest evidence have been seen in Georgia and Iran. Wine has played an important role in ceremonies and celebrations ever since.
Wine is prepared from the fermentation of unmodified grape juice and is therefore an alcoholic beverage. Grapes do not need any acids, sugars, enzymes or other nutrients for fermentation. Therefore, wine is one of the most natural drinks around. There are also many types of wine in the market today.
Mixing wine with any fruit like apple or elderberry will make it fruit wine. Other ingredients like barley and rice wine are more starch based. Gingerwine is a type of wine which is fortified with brandy.
Other than these, the main types are red wine and white wine. These types are basically dependent on the types of grapes used. The color of the wine does not depend on the juice of the grape, as grape juice is almost always clear. The color of the wine is determined with either the presence or non-presence of the grape skin during fermentation.
Red Wine
Though this wine is prepared from red grapes, it gets its red color from a further process called maceration. Red wine is prepared from red or black grapes. There are hundreds of varieties of grapes and therefore there are many types of wines. The variety of grapes is the most important factor as regards the taste of the wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon (sound: kab-er-ney soh-vin-yohn)
The most popular variety of red wine is the Cabaret Sauvignon. Though it is produced in most wine-producing regions of the world, the Cabaret Sauvignon wines from the Bordeaux region of France are the most popular. Cabernet Sauvignon is a cross variety of grape produced by crossing Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century. Cabernet Sauvignon is undoubtedly the "King of Red Wine Grapes". Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine a fruity flavor (plum, blackberry, blueberry, cherry) and even a spicy aroma (vanilla, tobacco and even leather). They are an ideal wine for aging and do well after 5 - 10 years. They blend very well with Merlot and together they give the wine a thick body and invigorating flavor. Cabernet wines go best with red meats, cheese, dark chocolate and pasta (in red sauce).
Merlot (sound: mur-loh)
Merlot wines are also a famous type of red wine. These wines have a flavor of cocoa and cherry and were also first produced in the Bordeaux region of France. It is a soft, medium-bodied wine, and has achieved more success and popularity than the Cabernet Sauvignon in recent times. Fruit flavors of plum, blueberry and blackberry and spicy black pepper dominate the tannin levels, making it the favorite of those who are just starting the flavorful wine-drinking journey. Merlot blends well with other grape types; Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Merlot goes well with a variety and range of foods; meat, poultry, pasta as well as salads; it goes well with everything.
Zinfandel (sound: zin-fuhn-del)
Another famous type of red wine is the Zinfandel. It is prepared in Europe and grown mostly in California. It has been produced since the 17th century and has played an important part in the wine production of that region. The grape mostly belongs to Croatia where it originates. It is a very adaptable grape variety and has blended well in modern times. It is mostly well-known for its dark, rich color and high alcohol content. The flavors are intense and give a flavorful aroma to this rich blend. Zinfandel goes really well with all kinds of meat a poultry, fish and game. It also goes very well with tacos and burgers. So basically, it re-invents itself with time, or so it seems.
Pinot Noir (sound: pee-noh nwahr)
It is known to be a very difficult grape to grow, however, they still are grown all around the world due to their popularity. Pinot Noir mostly belongs to the Burgundy region of France. The Pinot Noir are black grapes and hence the name. Pinot Noir demands optimum conditions for growth and rewards producers with high quality light-bodied wine. Known as the "Red Burgundy", it produces some of the best red wines for us. The flavorful wine gives the feel of sweet berries, plums, cherries and even tomatoes. It also touches wooden flavors at times. It goes well with fish, poultry, meat and pork. It also suits well with creams and spicy food, so should you still challenge its versatility?
White Wine
White wine can be prepared from color of grape and they can also be prepared from very dark grapes have a pinkish color.
Chardonnay (sound: shar-doe-nay)
Chardonnay is one of the most famous white wine varieties. It is principally found in the Burgundy region of France where it was first cultivated. However, it is now cultivated successfully in most areas where grapes for wine production are cultivated. It contains a hint of vanilla along with a fruit tinge (mostly citrus flavor). It is mostly fermented in oak barrels to give it a velvety texture. Chardonnay goes best with fish and chicken.
Chenin Blanc (sound: shen-in-blahngk)
Chenin Blanc is grape variety from the Loir Valley of France and is known as a poor man's alternative to Chardonnay. Chenin Blanc contain tastes of apple and spice. It is a versatile and can be used to produce white, sparkling as well as dessert wine, however, wine makers have to be careful with the variety.
Gewürztraminer (sound: guh-voorts-truh-mee-ner)
Best suiting Asian foods and sausages, Gewürztraminer is a white wine grape variety with a pink skin color. The wines made from these grapes are smooth and have the slight flavor of lychee. The dry variety also has rose and floral aromas.
Riesling (sound: reez-ling)
Riesling is a German white wine with a fruit flavor and takes on a honey flavor and lovely aromas with age. Riesling from Eastern USA is also known to be quite good, however, it is dry in texture. Riesling from California is very famous for its sweetness. Dry Riesling goes well with fish, chicken, pork and other spicy preparations. One point, however, must be kept in mind. Riesling must always taste fresh for one to enjoy its true taste and flavor.
Rosé Wine
Rosé is a type of wine which has some of the color and texture of red wine, however, it is pink. The color ranges between pale-orange to dark pink, entirely depending on the grape variety used and the process of wine making.
White Zinfandel (sound: zin-fuhn-del)
The White Zinfandel is a rose (blush) wine prepared in California. It has a sweet taste. White Zinfandel is prepared by processing red Zinfandel grapes after peeling their skin off. It is one of the most famous rosé wines and is the third most popular in the United States. White Zinfandel is sweet and soft and is less alcoholic and that is the reason why it is most preferred as a table wine.
Grenache (sound: gruh-nahsh)
Grenache is another famous type of rosé wine from Burgundy in France. Grenache may have hints of raspberries, mint and black cherries and also have tinge of spicy flavors like clove and herbaceous flavors of lavender. Grenache goes very well with spicy food.
Sparkling Wine
Wines are generally classified according to their alcoholic content. Sparkling wines have carbon dioxide in it. This is achieved either during fermentation or after the fermentation. These wines are generally fermented twice, once in an open container and the second time in a sealed container to keep the gas inside the wine.
Champagne (sound: sham-peyn)
Definitely the best of them all, Champagne is produced in the Champagne region of France and is the highest quality sparkling wine. It can only be made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Champagne production follows strict rules and laws for the best quality product. Champagne has always been marketed as a royal and sophisticated drink and has been successful in securing a very high place in the hearts of wine lovers.
Asti and Prosecco (sound: ah-stee and proh-sehk-koh)
The Italian sparkling wine, Asti is made from the Moscato grape and is produced in the Piedmont region of Italy. Also, Prosecco, another Italian sparkling wine is produced in the Veneto region of Italy and is made from the Prosecco grapes.
Cava (sound: ka-vae)
The Spanish sparkling wine is produced using Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo and Viura grapes. Recently, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are being used as well to produce this sparkling wine. Cava too is produced by following the traditional method where the second fermentation occurs in the bottle itself.
Sekt (sound: zekt)
The Germany based Sekt is produced using a variety of grapes; Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. However, this wine ages best with the Riesling grape variety.
Fortified Wine
Fortified wines are those wines to which Brandy has been added to give it a different texture and flavor. Fortified wines have their fermentation process stopped by either the addition of a spirit or the increase in the level of spirit.
Sherry (sound: sher-ee)
Sherry is a type of fortified wine produced in Spain's "Sherry Triangle" consisting of the towns of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Jerez and Puerto de Santa María. After fermentation of the wine, Brandy is added to it to produce Sherry. Sherries are mostly dry, however, sweetness, if any, is added later.
Port (sound: pohrt)
Port wine is a Portuguese wine produced in the Duoro Valley in Portugal. Port is sweet and is red in color. It is mostly consumed as a dessert wine and comes in dry and semi-dry forms. Port wine is fortified halfway through fermentation so that all the sugar in the wine is not converted into alcohol, which leaves behind a soft, sweet and natural flavor.
Madeira (sound: muh-dair-uh)
Madeira too is a Portuguese fortified wine produced in the Madeira Islands. Madeira is a versatile wine and is produced as a dry aperitif or sweet dessert wine. Cheap Madeira is also used for cooking by adding salt and pepper to it.
Marsala (sound: mahr-sah-lah)
Marsala is typically an Italian household wine, but has gained popularity as a fortified wine in foreign lands. It is fortified with alcohol to give it the unique flavor and texture for which it is famous.
Vermouth (sound: ver-mooth)
Flavored with dry ingredients like variety of herbs, roots and barks to the base wine, Vermouth is most famous for being one of the main ingredients in the cocktail Martini. Two types of vermouth are available, the dry and sweet. It is also widely used in cooking.
Dessert Wine

Dessert wines are generally sweet wines and have a high sugar content in them. Mostly dessert wines are served with desserts. Mostly they are sweet, and do not have a particular variety. Different regions use different wines as food and dessert accompaniments. Typical dessert wines are the raisin wines and ice wines (made from grapes from coldest regions).

Cooking Wine

Cooking wines have a higher quantity of salt in them. Cooking wine of poor quality is undrinkable and may be used for cooking purposes only.

Wine is not only about taste and flavor, it is also about class, elegance and sophistication. Wine is about soul, about love and about life. I can go on and on about the heavenly drink, but I guess you got the drift. So, if you haven't started with wine yet, you are definitely missing something in life my friend. Relish your glass of wine and feel the heaven melt down around you!
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