Guide to Wines:(part two)
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Types of Wine – Region and Style
The five major types of wine, mentioned above, begin our foray into the more specific varieties. In addition to the regions and production styles that give certain wines their names, there are considerations separating one wine from another.
There are the elements of a wines flavor; its sweetness or dryness, as well as; the way it feels in your mouth. Elements of the production of wine, such as fortification, also contribute to any single varieties exclusively unique qualities.
Types of Red Wines:
- Pinot Noir – A French Fruity Dry Red. This can run the gamut in flavors, finish, and region of origin.
- Primitivo – The American classic, Zinfandel, descends most directly from this Italian Fruity Dry Red.
- Chianti – An Italian Herbal Dry Red that pairs well with cured or clay-baked meats.
- Occhio di Pernice – This Italian Sweet Red is likely derived from the Muscat family of grapes–one of the oldest cultivated grapes in the world.
Types of White Wines:
- Pinot Blanc – Related to the Pinot Noir, this French White has a light flavor with floral and citrusy elements.
- Chardonnay – Originating in the Burgundy region of France, this wine grape is suitable for growth worldwide. Due to this, this white varies greatly depending on the country in which its produced. Its rich flavor and almost buttery feel place it among the most popular wines.
- Riesling – Usually among the sweeter Whites, this wine tends to have a taste of various fruits from tropical to temperate climates.
- Sauvignon Blanc – Light and herbal in flavor, this French Dry White is a popular choice in warmer seasons.
Types of Rosé Wines:
- White Merlot – A lighter version of the richly flavored Red Merlot. This wines’ grapes have expanded from their French Bordeaux origins to worldwide production and variation.
- White Zinfandel – Like White Merlot, this is a lighter version of its Red counterpart. The taste of “White Zin” tends to lie somewhere between dry and semi-sweet.
- Tavel – Supposedly a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, this particularly Dry Rosé has all the richness of a Red, but less color. It hails from the coastal zone of the famous Rhône region in southern France.
Types of Sparkling Wines:
- Champagne – As noted above, all Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. Coming in many varieties, genuine Champagne comes from the region of the same name. And some countries have gone so far as to make it illegal to label sparkling wines produced outside this region as Champagne.
- Extra Brut – Brut being essentially another term for “dry”, this is among the driest of the White Sparkling Wines. Its hint of citrus gives it a nice finish.
- Moscato Rosé – Like Occhio di Pernice, this is made from the Muscat family of grapes. Though not as sweet as its Red version, this off-dry Sparkling Rosé still presents a pleasantly fruity taste.
Types of Dessert Wines:
- Port or Porto – Though coming in a few varieties, true Port wine originates from the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. And like Champagne, its name has protected status throughout Europe. In the United States, wines labeled as Port may not be the real McCoy. But as they are made in a similar fashion, the quality of certain brands can be comparable to true Port.
- Sherry – Another wine with protected designation status, this one is produced in the Jerez region of Andalusia, Spain. Like Port, it comes in several varieties, but all are made primarily from the Palomino grape. Fortified with grape spirits, its alcohol content is higher than many wines.
- Vin Santo – Unlike many other dessert wines, most varieties of this Italian “Holy Wine” are not fortified. Being thicker than most wines, its texture and flavor are rich, much like the related Occhio di Pernice red. Whether dry or sweet, this is a popular pairing for certain cheeses and chocolates. It also goes well with nut-based pies or cakes made with dried fruits.
The art of producing and appreciating wine is as rich as it is old. No article or even a single book could hope to cover the exhaustive information on types of wine. And that information grows almost daily as the art is continuously refined and expanded upon. But we here at I Love Wine are dedicated to sharing our love and knowledge of this venerable, living tradition.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the different types of wine in this complete guide to wines. Be sure to browse our many other informative articles to help sharpen your wine aficionado game. Join our newsletter for more tips and guides on the world of wine. Thanks for reading! ilovewine.com
Read part one : Different types of wine