Popular Wine Varities

There is an enormous variety of wines out there. If you're interested in learning more about pairing wines with your meals, then you'll probably want to start with the popular wine varieties before delving into some of the lesser known varieties.

Oh, and before we get started, if you love to try new wines, then you can’t go wrong with a wine of the month club, they’re fun and you’re always expanding your wine palate.

Let's take a look at some of the more popular wine varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon

Often called by the nickname cab sauv, this is a purplish-red, full bodied wine which originates in France. This is one of the most popular wine varieties out there.

This flavorful red is perfect with steak, roasted lamb and just by itself while unwinding.

Merlot

This soft, full bodied red has significantly less tannins than do most other red wines. Merlot is bottled on its own as well as being a part of many red wine blends. Merlot is an excellent wine to pair with chicken and other poultry.

Shiraz

Also known as Syrah, Shiraz is a deep red colored, medium bodied wine whose flavor includes hints of black pepper and berries. This is one of the best wines to go with barbecue as well as many other meat dishes. Shiraz can be aged for a long time and improves well with age.

Shiraz was originally produced from grapes from the Middle Eastern countries although South Australia's brilliant wine region is now said to produce some of the finest award-winning Shiraz wines in the world.

Shiraz holds up to strongly flavored sauces, making it a good choice for barbecued meats and spicy dishes.

Grenache

This soft wine has plum and black pepper flavors and is also a good partner for spicy foods. It is often seen in blends with Shiraz, especially those from France and Spain.

Pinot Noir

Pinot noir is a stunning light- to medium-bodied red wine with a fine fruity aroma. When this fine wine is well aged, it can develop lovely floral flavors.

Chardonnay

This is one of the most popular white wine varieties. Chardonnay makes a lovely wine on its own and it is often blended with other white wines. Chardonnay has notes of melon and lemon, as well as oak; the wine is generally aged in oak for between one and three years. This wine is an ideal complement to salmon and tuna dishes.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc is a tart, assertively flavored wine with lemon and gooseberry notes. This is a great wine for seafood or on its own, well chilled.

Semillon

Very popular in France and Australia, this grape is less popular outside of those countries. Boasting a mild, honey and toast flavor, this wine is often seen in blends with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

Riesling

Riesling was original a German wine that is now made successfully in many countries around the world. Rieslings are classically fruity and can be either sweet or dry, which makes them an ideal compliment to many spicier cuisines.

Now get out there, start trying new wines (join a wine club if there are no vineyards nearby), and enjoy.

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