Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet
Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. These
five red grapes are the components
of a classic Bordeaux blend.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is a
small berry with a thick skin and a high
pip to pulp ratio. This in turn creates
a wine high in color, tannin and extract.
Carménère produces wines with good, plummy fruit,
like Merlot, and firm structure, similar to Cabernet
Sauvignon. The grape kicks in a heady dose of pepper and
spice, which helps distinguish it from other varietals.
Cooler climates like New Zealand and Chablis lead to crisp,
acid-prone wines, while warmer climates like southern
California and Australia foster riper grapes that create
heavier wine leaning towards tropical fruit flavors.
Good Chenin Blancs are delightful
wines, versatile with a wide range of
food depending on their sweetness level.
Malbec produces dark, full-bodied,
delicious wines with velvety texture. It is
also used in small amounts in Bordeaux
blends to add color and tannin.
Merlot from mountain areas are usually more Cabernet
like, with stronger structure and tannins; while Merlot
from valley floor areas and clay-based soils are opulent,
with velvety textures, often approachable when young.
Moscato is used to create light, fizzy
wines ranging from dry to sweet.
Both varietals are flavorful, but wine
named Pinot Gris typically provides more
body and rounder fruits, while Pinot
Grigio gives lighter-bodied, citrus fruits.
Many may wax poetic about this grape, the reason being
that Pinot Noir produces an amazing contradiction in
wine – something so delicate and subtle, yet powerful
Rhône blends are a wonderful combination
of rustic and ripe – showing their flavors
and delicious character upon release.
The whites blends of the Rhône are usually rich in
fruit flavors and aromatics. Three of the primary
grapes, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne,
are intense on aromatics & texture.
Riesling has an extremely high level of acidity. That
acidity is matched by the intensity of the grape’s
floral and fruit aromas. A number of descriptors
are associated with Riesling due to its tendency
to adopt the characteristics of where it is grown.
Sangiovese is a slow-growing, late-
ripening grape. It has high acidity
and a thin skin, which makes it
difficult to master.
Sauvignon Blanc is a deliciously crisp
varietal, ranging in flavors from grassy
to fruity to oaky, depending on where
it’s grown and how it’s produced.
Like many world-popular grapes, Syrah (also known as Shiraz) can
differ in style depending on the climate, region and winemaking
techniques. Typical aromas and flavors from most Syrah-based
wines include pepper, blackberry and leather or smoke.
Tempranillo features flavors of red fruits like
sweet strawberries and tart cherries, backed by
a rustic edge. The combination of the tart fruit
and tannins make this wine very food friendly.
Zinfandel stands out with its very berry
intensity and exotic spice notes. In some,
jammy fruit will dominate; in others, it’s
the spice that wows the palate.