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The Spectrum of Boldness in Red Wines Red Wines

Elizabeth Bolton

The Spectrum of Boldness in Red Wines

 

Just 32 red wine varieties make up a majority of the wine available in the international market. If all red wines were placed on this chart, there would be hundreds! 

What to interpret

This chart interprets the range of styles available in dry red wine. Although it’s possible to find a wine that doesn’t line up exactly as depicted, the chart can help explain that certain wines will always be lighter-bodied than others.

Where does boldness in wine come from?

A combination of several fundamental traits in wine define how bold it is. For example, the tannin level in wine is one of the indications of boldness, and so is high alcohol. On the lighter side, you’ll typically see wines with lower alcohol, less tannin and higher acidity. Another common way to identify a wine’s position in the spectrum has to do with its dominant fruit characteristics:

 TIP: Wines may taste different than depicted depending where they’re grown and how they’re made

Interesting Things About Climate and Wine Grapes

The fascinating thing about wine grapes is the wide range of climates in which they can grow. However, you’ll notice that certain varieties grow only in cool climates and vice versa.

This chart shows us several red wine varieties and the climate types they prefer. Jones et all 2006
Here are a few useful takeaways from this chart:

  • Pinot Noir does not appear to grow alongside Cabernet Sauvignon
  • We can expect Cabernet Franc to have higher stylistic range based its ability to grow in varied climates.
  • Merlot can grow in cooler climates than Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Bolder wine varieties tend to grow in warmer climates
  • Lighter-bodied wine varieties tend to grow in cooler climates

FLAVOR VS TASTE

Elizabeth Bolton

The Real Difference between FLAVOR VS TASTE

BY MADELINE PUCKETTE OF WINE FOLLY

 

The bad news is that the words taste, flavor and aroma are not exactly interchangeable. The good news is that it’s very easy to learn the distinctions between Taste vs. Flavor vs. Aroma and learning the difference will make you better at cooking and drinking. Sound delicious?

  • Taste refers to the senses inside our mouth including our tongue
  • Aroma occurs inside our noses and includes aspects in regards to our sense of smell
  • Flavor is when taste and aroma converge

What is Taste?


Taste happens inside our mouth. Taste has everything to do with how our tongue and mouth interact with food and drink. Our tongue has 2 kinds of receptors. One receptor type is for taste, aptly named ‘tastebuds’ which can be found all over our tongue. The other for mouthfeel. Mouthfeel is sensed by free nerve endings all over the inside of our mouth and tongue. 

  • Taste focuses primarily on Sweet, Salt, Bitter and Sour. There are also two disputed tastes: Umami and ‘Metallic’.
  • Mouth-feel focuses primarily on viscosity, temperature, burning, body, prickle, touch and pain.

What is Aroma?

 

The words aroma and bouquet are actually just pleasant words used to describe odors. Odors are tiny volatilized compounds (meaning: they float in the air) and get stuck in our noses. Since alcohol is a volatile compound, it gives off a lot of odors. This is why perfume is made with alcohol. 

Odors are sensed in our brain by the limbic system which is an early part of our brain that also deals with emotion, behavior, motivation and long term memory. This is why smells can bring up ancient memories. When we smell things, we can do it two ways. One way is through our nostrils and the other is through the back of our throat and into our ‘retronasal’ cavity. Some research has shown that the right hemisphere of our brain is better at discriminating smells. This could be the reason you think that your right nostril smells better than the left. 

What is Flavor?


Flavor is the combination of aroma, taste and mouthfeel to create a complete profile of what you’re eating or drinking.

How to apply this to everyday

Do you love a particular wine? Well, you might actually like a particular flavor profile, something that can be found in many different wine varieties. Suddenly, you have a whole world of wine and food to explore!

Sauvignon Blanc Around the World

Elizabeth Bolton

Green skinned grape variety, originating from Bordeaux region of France

In French sauvagne=wild, blanc=white

Origin: indigenous grape in South West France 

Around the World

New Zealand

  • Strong , powerful flavor

  •  Fruity

  • Cold fermentation in stainless steel

  • Originally farmed for green capsicum (bell pepper), gooseberry and lush passion fruit characters

  • Marlborough at the north end of New Zealand's South Island is a prominent area for this fruity grape

Note: Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé (produced in Loire Valley, France)are just about 100% Sauvignon Blanc-Crisp yet not as powerful as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

France

  • Grown in "maritime climate" of Bordeaux

o   Entre-Deux-Mers

o   Graves and Pessac-Leognan as a dry wine

o   Sauternes as sweet wine

o   Loire Valley: Pouilly Fume Sancerre and Sauvignon de Touraine

  •  Areas allow for vines to ripen which helps the acidic and sugar levels to their proper form

California, Washington, Oregon-Typically herbaceous and grassy

California

Sauvignon Blanc is particularly popular in California where it is rich and flavorful:

  • Leading producer of this grape in North America

  • Napa: 2,718 acres of Sauvignon Blanc

  • Herbaceous and green olive flavor

  • Fruit flavor

  • Climate, soil, and vineyard practices play a part in the flavor of the grape

  • Can be blended with other varietals; for example Semillon making the wine have a honey flavor

  • Crisp, light, fresh, dry 

Chile

  •  High acid

  • Citrus flavor

  • Less acidic to New Zealand

  • Similar flavor to French Sauvignon Blanc

  • Valparaiso has a cool climate where the grape is grown

  • Sauvignon Blanc vines here are referred to as "Seyval blanc"

BBQ and Zinfandel

Elizabeth Bolton

 Zinfandel (Primitivo)

  • High acidity= tasting ‘spicy’ 

  • Berry flavors are dominant- strawberry to blackberry bramble, depending on the ripeness

  • If you like 5-spice powder, cloves, and cinnamon look for oak-aged Zinfandel

  • If you like lighter and more delicate wines look for less oak 

  • Comes in a red wine or rosé-“white zinfandel” (rosé is very popular in the U.S.)

Richer vs lighter Zinfandel

  • Look at alcohol level

  • Riper Zinfandel grapes produce wines with higher alcohol

  • Riper = richer darker ‘sweeter’ tasting Zinfandel

 Three Distinct Styles of Zinfandel

No. 1- Fresh and fruity, easy-drinking style that offers charm and balance with light tannins

No. 2- Medium-bodied, fuller flavored Zinfandels with noticeable spiciness and ripe tannins

No. 3-The big, concentrated and powerful style with intense fruit and richness

 Food Pairings with Zinfandel

  • Fresh Fruit/Easy Drinking – Aperitifs, Light Cheese

  • Intense Fruit/Ripe Tannins – Lamb, Venison

  • Highly Concentrated Fruit/Firm Tannins – Red Meat

Fun Fact: Zinfandel is exclusively grown in California and is the most widely planted red grape variety

Barbecue Favorites With Zin

BBQ Pork: spicy

Pasta & Red Sauce:the tomato in the red sauce brings out the spice in the Zin

Cured Meats: charcuterie plates (available at The Stowaway)

Rib Dry Rub-Food Network 

Ingredients

 

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon granulated onion

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon white pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Pack on the dry rub onto your next rack of ribs.

For more information visit foodnetwork.com

 

Varieties of Sangria Recipes

Elizabeth Bolton

Sangria: popular sweet and fruity wine cocktail  rooted in Spain…introduced to US at 1964 World’s Fair

 

Sangria Flora

INGREDIENTS

        One 750-milliliter bottle Sauvignon Blanc

        1 1/2 cups St-Germain elderflower liqueur (or elderflower cordial)

        1/4 cup Cointreau

        6 strawberries, sliced 1/4 inch thick

        6 raspberries

        2 peaches, sliced 1/4 inch thick

        1 orange, thinly sliced crosswise

        1 pound green and red grapes

        Ice

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a pitcher and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve in wineglasses over ice.

 

Tart and Fruity Sangria

 

INGREDIENTS 

        1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine 

        Wine Recommendation: Shiraz

        1/2 cup pineapple juice

        1/2 cup fresh orange juice

        1/3 cup dry white wine

        1/4 cup gin

        1/4 cup light rum

        1/4 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec

        1/4 cup brandy

        2 tablespoons superfine sugar

        2 cups assorted sliced fresh fruit, such as apples, oranges, plums, pineapple and grapes, and     rhubarb

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a pitcher. Refrigerate for at least 1 day and for up to 2 days. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

 Red Sangria

INGREDIENTS

        One 750-milliliter bottle fruity red wine, such as Merlot

        4 ounces brandy

        3 ounces Simple Syrup

        1 cup mixed chunks of seeded oranges, lemons and limes

        Ice

Directions: In a pitcher, combine the red wine, brandy, Simple Syrup and fruit. Refrigerate until the drink is chilled and the flavors are blended, 4 to 8 hours. Serve the sangria in chilled, ice-filled wineglasses.

Fun Fact: brandy spiked drinks did not come to the US until 1964-NYC World’s Fair

Mango Peach Sangria 

INGREDIENTS

        1/4 cup mint

        1 cup Grand Marnier

        2 peaches, cut into thin wedges

        1 bottle Viognier

        1/3 cup water

        1 mango, chopped

        1/3 cup sugar

Directions: In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves; transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until cold. Stir in the Grand Marnier, Viognier, mango, peaches and mint and serve over ice.

 Rosé Sangria With Cranberries and Apples

 

INGREDIENTS

        1 cup water

        1 cup sugar

        1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

        1 large cinnamon stick

        4 allspice berries

        3 whole cloves

        1 star anise pod

        2 cups cranberries

        2 Granny Smith apples, diced

        One 750-milliliter bottle Spanish rosé

        1/3 cup ruby port

        1/3 cup Cointreau

        1/3 cup cranberry juice

        Ice cubes, for serving

Directions: In a saucepan, mix the water, sugar, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and star anise. Simmer the syrup over moderately low heat for 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl and add the cranberries and apples. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Strain the fruit, reserving the spiced syrup. In a large pitcher, mix the rosé with the port, Cointreau, cranberry juice, fruit and 3/4 cup of the spiced syrup. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Serve over ice.

MAKE AHEAD: The sangria can be refrigerated for up to 6 hours.

For More Information on the recipes above visit Foodandwine.com

 

Ruby Red Wine Sangria

INGREDIENTS

    •    1 750 ml bottle of red wine (a medium bodied red wine like Garnacha, Merlot or Tempranillo)

    •    1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice

    •    Juice from 2 limes

    •    ¼ cup sugar

Directions: serve over ice, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of brandy or vodka to change the flavor

Note: For white sangria, pick a zesty and/or aromatic white wine such as Torrontés, Chenin Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Gris.

White Wine Sangria 

INGREDIENTS

    •    1 750 ml bottle of white wine (a zesty or aromatic white wine like Torrontes, Chenin Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Grigio)

    •    ¼ – ½ cup sugar

    •    juice from 1 lemon

    •    fruit for garnish (peaches, apples, berries or citrus)

    •    Mint or Basil (if available) 

Note: any fruit works, this recipe uses Cava, but others use rum, brandy, vodka or limoncello

 White Peach Sangria with Cava Recipe

INGREDIENTS

    •    1 750 bottle of Cava or Prosecco (a zesty or aromatic white wine like Torrontes, Chenin Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Grigio)

    •    ¼ cup Brandy or Triple Sec

    •    2-3 tablespoons sugar

    •    3-4 White Peaches

    •    Juice from 1 Lemon

Note: add brandy and lemon juice to bottom of pitcher. You can add a little red wine to change the color.

Classic Spanish Sangria Recipe- Tart*

INGREDIENTS

    •    1 750 ml bottle of red wine (a medium bodied red wine like Garnacha, Merlot or Tempranillo)

    •    1 cup soda water or Cava (Spanish Champagne) to top off

    •    ¼ – ½ cup sugar

    •    Juice from 1 orange or 1 lemon or 2 limes

    •    lime wheels for garnish

For more information on the recipes above visit winefolly.com

Flavors of Summer

Elizabeth Bolton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Ceviche

  • Seafood dish
  • All ingredients raw besides the fish added; typically shrimp
  • Popular in coastal regions of Central and South America
  • Marinade: lemon/lime 
  • Spices: aji or chili peppers
  • Add ins: Onions, salt, and cilantro
  • Pair this dish with: sweet potato, lettuce, corn, avocado 
  • Originated among the Moche; a coastal civilization that began to flourish in the area of current-day northern Peru nearly 2000 years ago
  • Preparation: must be done fresh/day of meal

 Blanc Limé 

Color: White

Body/Type: Light Bodied

Style: Off-Dry

Size: Bottle, 750 ml

Winery: Autrefois

Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc

Serve At: 46°-54° F

Region: France > Bordeaux > Graves

Flavor: Sweet, light and fruity

Occasion: warm summer day

 

Flavors of Sauvignon Blanc

AIX Rosé-de Provence

  •  Crisp, soft , ripe summer fruit flavor
  • Pairs well with oysters, lobster, prawns, salmon topped on a salad
  • “Brilliantly sparkling with pink tinge. Delicate perfume of ripe mandarin oranges, raspberries and wild strawberries. Slightly spicy in the taste. Again a tribute to red forest fruit, cherries, strawberries and fresh fig. Though very refined and subdued. With a hint of thyme. Ideal as an aperitif, but also as a lunch rosé when combine with seafood, salads grilled tune or roasted chicken“-Cees Van Casteren

 

 Picpoul De Pinet

  •  A white wine appellation produced with the regional zesty white wine variety, Picpoul
  • Pair with seafood, selfish, chocolate, cheese
  • One of the oldest Languedoc grapes, the Piquepoul has been growing near the Thau Lagoon for centuries
  • White grapes are common but there are blush and black grapes
  • As early as 1618, the botanist J.B. Maniol cited Piquepoul as one of the best known Languedoc grapes in his work "Sylve plantarium"
  • It grows in a dry climate  

 

Ca’Rugate San Michele

Red Varietal

Sasha Kill

BARBERA

Flavors: Red fruit, currants, blackberry
Features: Naturally high in acid; smoky/toasty notes through barrel aging
Regions of Note: Italy (Piedmont, Lombardy, Sardinia), also grown in Slovenia & California

CABERNET FRANC

Flavors: Raspberry, cherry, plum, strawberry, violet, bell pepper
Features: Low overall acidity; earlier ripening grape; lighter in tannins
Regions of Note: France (especially Loire Valley & St Emilion), Northeastern Italy (Friuli), Washington State and California

CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Flavors: Black currant, blackberry, black cherry, bell pepper, green olive, green peppercorn
Features: Medium- to full-bodied; dependable grape for aging; grape has thick and tough skin; typically tannic.
Regions of Note: Planted globally; best in Bordeaux (Medoc), California (Napa, Sonoma & Paso Robles) and Washington State (Walla Walla)

MALBEC

Flavors: Plum, blackberry, cassis
Features: Dense, rustic, structured wines; major red varietal in Argentina; most of the Malbec vines were transplanted from Europe due to the outbreak of phylloxera;
Regions of Note: Argentina, France (Cahors & Bordeaux), Oregon, Washington State, California

MERLOT

Flavors: Currant, black cherry, plum, violets, clove, bell pepper, green olive
Features: Ripens fairly early; lower in tannins and higher in sugar than Cabernet Sauvignon; medium- to full-bodies; round, rich & fruity; most widely planted grape in Bordeaux; best quality Merlots grown in rock and clay based soils providing earthiness to the wine
Regions of Note: grown worldwide; famous in Bordeaux (St. Emilion & Pomerol), California

NEBBIOLO

Flavors: Blackberry, cherry, licorice, smoke, tar, anise, truffle
Features: Medium-bodied; late-ripening, smooth, structured wines; needs maturation; grape is very sensitive to soil; Nebbiolo grapes have a special foggy look when they are ripe
Regions of Note: Italy (Piedmont), Argentina, California, Washington State, Australia

PINOT NOIR

Flavors: Cherry, strawberry, raspberry, violet, rose petal, black olive, rosemary, cinnamon
Features: Low in acidity and tannins; high in alcohol; light to medium-full body
Regions of Note: France (Burgundy), Oregon, California, Germany (called Spätburgunder)

SANGIOVESE

Flavors: Strawberry, blueberry, plum, cherry, violet, cinnamon, clove, thyme
Features: Late ripening grape; has a thin skin; high natural acidity; light to medium body
Regions of Note: #1 varietal in Italy (Tuscany/Chianti), California, Washington State

SYRAH / SHIRAZ

Flavors: Black currant, blackberry, black pepper, licorice, clove, thyme, sandalwood, cedars
Features: Dark berry with a thick skin; needs a lot of heat; Syrah forms intense, rich, spicy wines
Regions of Note: Syrah in France (primarily Cõtes du Rhõne, Cõte Rotie & Hermitage), California, Washington State; Shiraz in Australia and South Africa

TEMPRANILLO

Flavors: Cherry, plum, blackberry
Features: Usually aged in American oak barrels resulting in an earthy, sweet, vanilla flavor
Regions of Note: Spain (especially Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Penedes), Argentina, Oregon


White Varietals

Sasha Kill

CHARDONNAY

Flavors: Note: Chardonnay is so varied that flavors here are described by region California - vanilla, butter, butterscotch, green apple; New Zealand - tropical fruit, gooseberry, passion fruit, lemon, pineapple; Chablis region of France - crisp & flinty; Mersault region of France - lush, ripe, fleshy
Features: Full-bodied, smooth texture, made richer/creamier through oak barrel fermenting
Regions of Note: Planted globally; best results in Australia, California, France, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand

CHENIN BLANC

Flavors: Melon, honeydew, honeysuckle, quince, grass
Features: High acid content provides balance for sweetness and aging potential; ranges from sparkling wine to moelleux (meaning 'with marrow') which is rich and sweet; most versatile of all grape varieties; nearly a third of wines in South America are Chenin Blanc; mostly used as a blending grape
Regions of Note: Native region is France (Loire Valley); also grown in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, California, Washington State

GEWÜRZTRAMINER

Flavors: Peach, mango, lychee, rose petal, honeysuckle
Features: Fragile grape; thick, tough skins; low acidity; heavy, oily texture
Regions of Note: France (Alsace), Germany, Washington State, California

PINOT BLANC

Flavors: Apple, almond, citrus, lime
Features: Pinot Blanc is a clone of Pinot Gris; high acidity, low in aromatic intensity; light- to medium-bodied
Regions of Note: France (Alsace), Italy (called Pinot Bianco), Germany & Austria (called Weissburgunder), Argentina, California

PINOT GRIS

Flavors: Lemon, apple, pear, citrus, lime
Features: Depending upon ripeness, Pinot Gris can be tangy and light or quite rich and full-bodied
Regions of Note: France (Alsance), Italy (Alto Adige & Friuli called Pinot Grigio), Oregon, Germany (called Grauburgunder)

RIESLING

Flavors: Apple, peach, apricot, rose petal, violet, minerals, flint
Features: Range is immense; steely, dry (Kabinett) to intensely sweet (Trockenbeerenauslese); cultivated in Germany since 1400; Riesling wines are well-suited to the coldest wine growing climates; low alcohol; powerful aroma
Regions of Note: Germany, France (Alsace), Oregon, California, Washington State, Australia, New Zealand

SAUVIGNON BLANC

Flavors: Ranging from herbaceous (grass, lemongrass, gooseberries); vegetal (bell pepper, green olive, asparagus); fruity (grapefruit, lime, citrus, lemon, melon)
Features: Wide range of dry-style (Loire Valley) to very sweet dessert-style (Sauternes) wines
Regions of Note: France, California, Washington State, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina

SÉMILLION

Flavors: Fig, lemon, pear, grass, bell pepper; Botrytis-form: apricot, peach, quince, honey, pineapple
Features: Mostly used as a blending grape; thin skin; juicy pulp; subject to botrytis or "noble rot"; can age for decades
Regions of Note: Chile, France (mainly Bordeaux in Graves & Sauternes)

VIOGNIER

Flavors: Orange blossom, apricot, mango, pineapple, tangerine, kiwi, anise, mint
Features: Much more distinctive fruit character than Chardonnay; full-bodied, often used as a blending grape; notoriously temperamental and can be difficult to unify
Regions of Note: France (Loire Valley, Northern Rhõne (Condrieu), Languedoc), California, Washington State

ZINFANDEL

Flavors: Raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, cranberry, black cherry, licorice, cinnamon, black pepper
Features: Full-bodied; highly concentrated, age worthy wines; Zinfandel is a clone of the Croatian variety Crljenak, coming to the U.S. in 1820; best when drunk within 3 to 5 years
Regions of Note: California, Washington State

Ever wonder how to understand each grape varietal...

Sasha Kill

Ever wonder how to understand each grape varietal. 

The following descriptions of each will provide a very simple overview of what you can expect to find in wines containing the particular grapes. 

BARBERA

Flavors: Red fruit, currants, blackberry
Features: Naturally high in acid; smoky/toasty notes through barrel aging
Regions of Note: Italy (Piedmont, Lombardy, Sardinia), also grown in Slovenia & California

CABERNET FRANC

Flavors: Raspberry, cherry, plum, strawberry, violet, bell pepper
Features: Low overall acidity; earlier ripening grape; lighter in tannins
Regions of Note: France (especially Loire Valley & St Emilion), Northeastern Italy (Friuli), Washington State and California

CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Flavors: Black currant, blackberry, black cherry, bell pepper, green olive, green peppercorn
Features: Medium- to full-bodied; dependable grape for aging; grape has thick and tough skin; typically tannic.
Regions of Note: Planted globally; best in Bordeaux (Medoc), California (Napa, Sonoma & Paso Robles) and Washington State (Walla Walla)

CHARDONNAY

Flavors: Note: Chardonnay is so varied that flavors here are described by region California - vanilla, butter, butterscotch, green apple; New Zealand - tropical fruit, gooseberry, passion fruit, lemon, pineapple; Chablis region of France - crisp & flinty; Mersault region of France - lush, ripe, fleshy
Features: Full-bodied, smooth texture, made richer/creamier through oak barrel fermenting
Regions of Note: Planted globally; best results in Australia, California, France, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand

CHENIN BLANC

Flavors: Melon, honeydew, honeysuckle, quince, grass
Features: High acid content provides balance for sweetness and aging potential; ranges from sparkling wine to moelleux (meaning 'with marrow') which is rich and sweet; most versatile of all grape varieties; nearly a third of wines in South America are Chenin Blanc; mostly used as a blending grape
Regions of Note: Native region is France (Loire Valley); also grown in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, California, Washington State

GEWÜRZTRAMINER

Flavors: Peach, mango, lychee, rose petal, honeysuckle
Features: Fragile grape; thick, tough skins; low acidity; heavy, oily texture
Regions of Note: France (Alsace), Germany, Washington State, California

MALBEC

Flavors: Plum, blackberry, cassis
Features: Dense, rustic, structured wines; major red varietal in Argentina; most of the Malbec vines were transplanted from Europe due to the outbreak of phylloxera;
Regions of Note: Argentina, France (Cahors & Bordeaux), Oregon, Washington State, California

MERLOT

Flavors: Currant, black cherry, plum, violets, clove, bell pepper, green olive
Features: Ripens fairly early; lower in tannins and higher in sugar than Cabernet Sauvignon; medium- to full-bodies; round, rich & fruity; most widely planted grape in Bordeaux; best quality Merlots grown in rock and clay based soils providing earthiness to the wine
Regions of Note: grown worldwide; famous in Bordeaux (St. Emilion & Pomerol), California

NEBBIOLO

Flavors: Blackberry, cherry, licorice, smoke, tar, anise, truffle
Features: Medium-bodied; late-ripening, smooth, structured wines; needs maturation; grape is very sensitive to soil; Nebbiolo grapes have a special foggy look when they are ripe
Regions of Note: Italy (Piedmont), Argentina, California, Washington State, Australia

PINOT BLANC

Flavors: Apple, almond, citrus, lime
Features: Pinot Blanc is a clone of Pinot Gris; high acidity, low in aromatic intensity; light- to medium-bodied
Regions of Note: France (Alsace), Italy (called Pinot Bianco), Germany & Austria (called Weissburgunder), Argentina, California

PINOT GRIS

Flavors: Lemon, apple, pear, citrus, lime
Features: Depending upon ripeness, Pinot Gris can be tangy and light or quite rich and full-bodied
Regions of Note: France (Alsance), Italy (Alto Adige & Friuli called Pinot Grigio), Oregon, Germany (called Grauburgunder)

PINOT NOIR

Flavors: Cherry, strawberry, raspberry, violet, rose petal, black olive, rosemary, cinnamon
Features: Low in acidity and tannins; high in alcohol; light to medium-full body
Regions of Note: France (Burgundy), Oregon, California, Germany (called Spätburgunder)

RIESLING

Flavors: Apple, peach, apricot, rose petal, violet, minerals, flint
Features: Range is immense; steely, dry (Kabinett) to intensely sweet (Trockenbeerenauslese); cultivated in Germany since 1400; Riesling wines are well-suited to the coldest wine growing climates; low alcohol; powerful aroma
Regions of Note: Germany, France (Alsace), Oregon, California, Washington State, Australia, New Zealand

SANGIOVESE

Flavors: Strawberry, blueberry, plum, cherry, violet, cinnamon, clove, thyme
Features: Late ripening grape; has a thin skin; high natural acidity; light to medium body
Regions of Note: #1 varietal in Italy (Tuscany/Chianti), California, Washington State

SAUVIGNON BLANC

Flavors: Ranging from herbaceous (grass, lemongrass, gooseberries); vegetal (bell pepper, green olive, asparagus); fruity (grapefruit, lime, citrus, lemon, melon)
Features: Wide range of dry-style (Loire Valley) to very sweet dessert-style (Sauternes) wines
Regions of Note: France, California, Washington State, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina

SÉMILLION

Flavors: Fig, lemon, pear, grass, bell pepper; Botrytis-form: apricot, peach, quince, honey, pineapple
Features: Mostly used as a blending grape; thin skin; juicy pulp; subject to botrytis or "noble rot"; can age for decades
Regions of Note: Chile, France (mainly Bordeaux in Graves & Sauternes)

SYRAH / SHIRAZ

Flavors: Black currant, blackberry, black pepper, licorice, clove, thyme, sandalwood, cedars
Features: Dark berry with a thick skin; needs a lot of heat; Syrah forms intense, rich, spicy wines
Regions of Note: Syrah in France (primarily Cõtes du Rhõne, Cõte Rotie & Hermitage), California, Washington State; Shiraz in Australia and South Africa

TEMPRANILLO

Flavors: Cherry, plum, blackberry
Features: Usually aged in American oak barrels resulting in an earthy, sweet, vanilla flavor
Regions of Note: Spain (especially Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Penedes), Argentina, Oregon

VIOGNIER

Flavors: Orange blossom, apricot, mango, pineapple, tangerine, kiwi, anise, mint
Features: Much more distinctive fruit character than Chardonnay; full-bodied, often used as a blending grape; notoriously temperamental and can be difficult to unify
Regions of Note: France (Loire Valley, Northern Rhõne (Condrieu), Languedoc), California, Washington State

ZINFANDEL

Flavors: Raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, cranberry, black cherry, licorice, cinnamon, black pepper
Features: Full-bodied; highly concentrated, age worthy wines; Zinfandel is a clone of the Croatian variety Crljenak, coming to the U.S. in 1820; best when drunk within 3 to 5 years
Regions of Note: California, Washington State