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New to Wine – Introduction to Grapes




White Wine



Red Wine

  • Chardonnay
  • Medium bodied wine
  • Flavours of apple, lemon and pear
  • Works very well with oak
  • Oaked chardonnay is rich with flavours of stone fruits and a creamy finish
  • Burgundy, Chablis, Hunter Valley and Sonoma Coast are its famous growing regions
  • White grape used for making Champagne
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Light bodied wine
  • An aromatic grape
  • Flavours of Gooseberry, lime, passion fruit.
  • Loire and Marlborough are its most famous growing regions
  • Pinot Grigio/ Pinot Gris
  • Light bodied wine
  • A very delicate lean wine
  • Flavours of apple and lime
  • Italy, Alsace and New Zealand are its famous wine growing regions
  • Riesling
  • Medium bodied wine
  • Fresh and crisp when dry
  • Rich and voluptuous when off-dry
  • Crisp green apple flavours
  • Aromas of petrol in some of the best examples
  • Famously grown in Germany, although planted now throughout the world
  • Viognier
  • Medium bodied wine
  • Stone fruit flavours such as peach and apricot
  • Aromatic spices to match fruits
  • Best known as the grape variety that produces legendary Rhone white Condrieu
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Medium bodied wine
  • Flavours of grape, citrus and stone fruits
  • Can produce great quality dry, medium and sweet wines
  • Stylistically varied wine, Vouvray, from Loire Valley made from Chenin Blanc, grows well in South Africa too
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Full bodied wine
  • Complex in style
  • Dark fruit flavours mingle with spice, leather and tobacco on the nose and palate
  • One of the major constituent grape varieties found in classic Bordeaux, especially from Left Bank
  • Grown throughout the world reflecting its stylistic diversity
  • Merlot
  • Medium bodied wine
  • Dark berry fruits
  • Often thought of as a juicy, fruity, easy going wine, but can be very complex in best cases
  • Another of the major constituent grape varieties in Bordeaux wines, especially from Right Bank
  • One of the most widely planted and popular grape varieties throughout the world
  • Shiraz / Syrah
  • Full bodied wine
  • Rich dark berry fruits
  • Peppery spice
  • Generally known as Shiraz when grown in the New World, but Syrah from the Old
  • Pinot Noir
  • Light-medium bodied wine
  • Lighter red fruits match its lighter colour
  • Savoury elements, especially on the nose, can develop
  • Thin skins to the grapes meaning it is very vulnerable and therefore highly prized
  • Grown in generally cooler areas throughout the world
  • Grenache
  • Medium bodied wine
  • Soft, rich and full red fruit flavours
  • Warm spices
  • Known as Garnacha in Spain, where it can be used in Rioja blends
  • Tempranillo
  • Medium bodied
  • Soft red fruit flavours
  • Traditional grape variety of Rioja
  • Occasionally, but rarely, found outside of Spain
  • Sangiovese
  • Medium bodied
  • Spicy red cherry flavours
  • Classic Italian grape, found throughout Italy, but revered in Tuscany
  • Main element to Chianti
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