Wine 101: Types Of Wines & Grapes

Wine 101: Types Of Wines & Grapes

Wine 101: Types Of Wines & Grapes

Wine has been enjoyed by people for centuries, and it's easy to see why. With its rich, complex flavors and subtle aromas, wine can be the perfect accompaniment to any meal or occasion. However, with so many different types of wine out there, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of wines and grapes, so you can start exploring the world of wine with confidence from color, sweetness, and acidity level. 


Perhaps the most common way to categorize wines is by their color. The three primary colors of wine are red, white, and rosé.

  • Red Wine

Red wines get their color from the skins of the grapes, which are left in contact with the juice during fermentation. Some of the most popular red wine varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

  • White Wine

White wines are made by fermenting the juice of the grapes without the skins. This results in a lighter color and a crisper flavor profile. Popular white wine varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.

  • Rosé Wine

Rosé wine can be made by fermenting red grapes with the skins removed or by blending red and white wines together. The resulting wine has a pink color and a light, refreshing taste.


Another way to categorize wines is by their sweetness level. Some wines are bone-dry, while others are sweet and dessert-like. 

  • Dry

These wines have little to no residual sugar and a higher acidity level, making them ideal for pairing with food. Examples include Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

  • Off-dry

Also known as semi-dry, these wines have a hint of sweetness but are still mostly dry. Examples include Riesling and Chenin Blanc.

  • Sweet

These wines have a noticeable sweetness and are often served as dessert wines. Examples include Port and Sauternes.

Acidity Level

The acidity level of a wine can also impact its flavor profile. Wines with high acidity can taste tart and crisp, while wines with low acidity can taste smooth and creamy. 

  • High

Wines with high acidity levels include Sauvignon Blanc and Chianti. These wines can taste tart and acidic.

  • Medium

Wines with medium acidity levels include Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These wines have a balanced acidity level.

  • Low

Wines with low acidity levels include Merlot and Syrah. These wines can taste smooth and creamy.

Grape Varieties

Now that we've covered the different types of wines, let's take a closer look at the different grape varieties used to make them.

  • Red Grapes
    • Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular red wine grape varieties in the world. It produces full-bodied wines with high tannins and flavors of blackcurrant, chocolate, and cedar.

  • Merlot

Merlot is a softer, more approachable red wine grape variety. It produces wines with a medium body and flavors of black cherry, plum, and chocolate.

  • Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a lighter-bodied red wine grape variety that produces wines with delicate flavors of red fruit, such as cherry and raspberry.

  • Shiraz 

Shiraz is a full-bodied red wine grape variety that produces wines with bold flavors of blackberry, pepper, and tobacco.

  • White Grapes
    • Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of the most popular white wine grape varieties in the world. It can be made in a variety of styles, from oaky and buttery to crisp and light. Flavors can include apple, lemon, and vanilla.

  • Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing white wine grape variety that produces wines with flavors of grapefruit, lime, and grass.

  • Riesling

Riesling is a versatile white wine grape variety that can produce wines that range from dry to sweet. Flavors can include peach, apricot, and honey.

  • Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is a light-bodied white wine grape variety that produces wines with flavors of lemon, pear, and apple.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different types of wines and grape varieties, you can start exploring the world of wine with confidence. Keep in mind that there are many factors that can impact a wine's flavor profile, including the region where it was grown, the winemaking process, and the aging process. The best way to learn about wine is to taste as many different varieties as possible and to keep notes on the flavors and aromas that you enjoy the most. With a little practice and experimentation, you'll soon become a wine expert!

Want to explore the wonderful flavors of the different grape varieties? We got you! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Red Grapes
    • Cabernet Sauvignon
      • Handpicked Icon #5 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 
      • La Belle Vie Cabernet Sauvignon
      • Tomatin Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Merlot
      • Handpicked Selection Merlot 
      • Handpicked SEA Cabernet Merlot 
      • Handpicked Icon #6 Margaret River Cabernet Merlot
    • Pinot Noir
      • Maycas San Julian Pinot Noir 
      • Handpicked Selection Pinot Noir (AU)

  • Shiraz 
    • Handpicked Selection Shiraz (AU) 
    • Handpicked Icon #1 Victoria Shiraz 
    • Handpicked Icon #2 Barossa Shiraz 

  • White Grapes
    • Chardonnay
      • Maycas Quebrada Seca Chardonnay Blanco 
      • Maycas Reserva Sumaq Chardonnay 
      • Handpicked Selection Chardonnay (AU)
      • Montrouge Chardonnay
    • Sauvignon Blanc
      • Antigal Uno Sauvignon Blanc
      • Handpicked Selection Semillion Sauvignon Blanc (NZ)
      • La Belle Sauvignon Blanc
    • Pinot Grigio
      • Bottega Pinot Grigio 

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