If you will go to a wine shop or a liquor shop, you will be surprised because there are thousands of different types of wine. So there will be confusion to figure out the differences among the wines, and how to select the right one classification of wine, that you want.
To understand the various wine types which are available in the winery, here is a guidance:
Primary classification of wine
Wines can be classified primarily in two types–
- First, Wine by grape variety
- Second, Wine by region
- Third, Wine by taste
1. Classification of wine by grape variety
The name of the wine is taken on the name of that grape variety which is used to make the wine. It means, by merely reading the name of the wine you can easily understand the grape varieties used in the making of wine. The wines which are classified by grape variety are also called as varietals. And the name of the grape is labeled on the wine bottle.
2. Classification of wine by region
These wines are classified by region and the region itself names them. In Europe, wine is labeled by the region itself where the wine was produced. For example “Chablis“ which is a French wine made by using the Chardonnay grape, and “Rioja” which is a Spanish wine and is made primarily by using the Tempranillo grape.
3. Classification of wine by taste
Their taste can also classify the wines. The sweetness of the wine helps us to judge the wine that it is sweet or dry. Classification of the wine by their taste is as follows:
- Dry wines
- Medium Wines
- Sweet wines
Apart from these above classifications of wine, the general types of wines are discussed as follows-
General classification of wine
Generally, most of the wines are the blends of grape varieties and come with the brand names invented by the winery. The label on the wine bottle will indicate which types of grapes are used in the blend, but it does not happen always.
In general, the wine may be classified as-
1. White wines:
White wine is the first general classification of wine which is generally made from the white grape variety, and it is a colorless wine. Some of the white wines can also be made from red and black grape variety. But in the fermentation process, the skin of the grapes is not allowed to have any liaison with the grape juice. It merely means the skin of grapes is not used in white winemaking. White wines should be cold when you are drinking it, with lighter foods.
White wines included:
Chardonnay – It is one of the world’s most popular types of wine, Chardonnay is a fruity, often oaky, and it is usually a dry white wine.
Riesling – Wine lovers consider this as a genuinely top-tier wine, Riesling is made in many different styles from light, dry whites to sweet dessert wines. Some of the best examples of Riesling wines come from Germany.
White Burgundy – This is a French wine made from Chardonnay grape variety.
Muscadet – It is a very dry white wine from the Loire Valley region in France nearest the west coast. It is an excellent combination of oysters and other shellfish.
Semillon – It is a white wine typically seen from Australia or France (white Bordeaux wines) in either dry or sweet forms.
Sauvignon Blanc – It is a clean, crisp, usually quite dry white wine. Sweet versions are also available. It is also called Fume Blanc.
White Bordeaux – It is a French wine made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes.
Gewurztraminer – It can be served along with the Asian food and sausages. Gewurztraminer has allspice, lychee, peach and rose aroma with fruity flavor.
Some other types of White Wine:
- Chenin Blanc
- Muscat Blanc
- Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris
2. Red wines
Red wine is the second general classification of wine which is considered as color wines. These wines are made from the red and black grape varieties fermented with the skin of the grapes included. The skin of the grapes is the reason behind the red color of the wine. Red wines are available in different varieties and different taste in the winery. The Red wines are usually drunk at or just below room temperature. The Red wines pair well with the food such as red meats like beef and lamb, hearty pasta dishes, etc.
Red wine included:
Cabernet Sauvignon – It is considered one of the best wines in the world. It is often mixed with cabernet franc and merlot for better taste. It can be served along with red meat dishes.
Beaujolais –This is a light red or white burgundy wine produced in the Beaujolais district of southeastern France. This is a fruity French wine made with Gamey grapes.
Pinot Noir – The grapes used to prepare Pinot Noir wine is difficult to grow and it has the property to mix rarely with other varieties. This wine can be served along with Chicken, lamb, and salmon. It is a lighter, dry red wine with berry overtones.
Bordeaux – It is a French red wine including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc grapes.
Cabernet Franc – It is a variety of black wine grape grown broadly in the region of the Loire valley and northeastern, Italy. It is an elegant purplish red wine that is most often seen blended with other reds.
Chianti – It is a dry red wine, initially produced in Tuscany, Italy. It has an excellent pair of pasta and pizza.
Malbec –It is Argentina’s flagship red wine. Malbec can be served along with steak or other grilled meats.
Merlot – It is a famous red wine with fruitiness and softer tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a variety of black wine grape originally from the Bordeaux region of France.
Some other types of Red Wine:
- Petite Sirah
- Syrah or Shiraz
3. Rose wines
Rose wine is the third general classification of wine which is also termed as Blush wines. The Rose wines are not genuinely red; they are pink or blush-colored. And they have enough of a reddish tinge to differentiate them from the white wines. Rose wines are usually prepared from the red grape varieties.
The reason behind the pink color is that the grape skin is included for the first few hours of the fermentation process. Sometimes the rose wines are made by mixing the red and white wines. Especially in the US, Most of the rose wines are medium-sweet in taste, But some of the best European rose wines can be very dry.
The term “sparkles” in the sparkling wine is bubbles of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is naturally a byproduct, come from the fermentation of grapes in the winemaking process. It has a small number of intense effervescences. Champagne is the most famous sparkling wine in the world. Technically Champagne comes from the Champagne region of France. Another type of sparkling wine is Prosecco, which is a dry Italian sparkling wine, and Asti, which is a sweet Italian sparkling wine. Cava is a famous Spanish sparkling wine.
The most famous sparkling wines are:
- Sparkling Red Wine
5. Dessert Wines or Sweet Wine
Dessert wines are made from the residual sugar left after the completion of the winemaking process of any finished wine. It gives a delightful taste to the wine and is intended to be drunk with or as a dessert course. These wines vary from off-dry to super, sticky sweet wines in taste. The dessert wines are considered to be the sweetest wines among all the varieties of wines.
The most famous dessert wines are:
- Ice Wine
- Late Harvest Wine
- Orange Muscat and other Muscat varieties
Fortified wines can be produced by the small addition of the grape spirit during the fermentation process. These wines usually include the dry and sweet styles of wines. Many of them are quite sweet, and many of them are dry, depending on when the spirits are added to the wine because the grape spirit stops the fermentation process. After that, the remaining sugar decides that the wine is sweet or not?
The most famous fortified wines are:
- Port wine