Red Wine


White Wine

Red Wine

Red wine is made from the must (pulp) of red or black grapes and fermentation occurs together with the grape skins, which give the wine its color. What does red wine taste like? Red wine tastes like a mixture of red grape juice, apple cider vinegar, fruit, and flowers. There are two ways to think about fruit flavors in red wine (at least in the beginning) : Red fruits/berries and black fruits/berries.  Probably the most common spice tasted and thrown out at a tasting is black pepper, but eventually you might notice others.  White and black pepper are common, as are cinnamon, clove, anise (licorice), and others from your spice rack.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell just what the spice is so “spicy” is in itself a descriptor.  As a general rule, red wine will have more tastes of spices and white wine of herbs.

White Wine

Fermentation of the non-colored grape pulp produces white wine. The grapes from which white wine is produced are typically green or yellow. Some varieties are well-known, such as the Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Riesling. Other white wines are blended from multiple varieties; Tokay, Sherry, and Sauternes are examples of these. Dark-skinned grapes may be used to produce white wine if the wine-maker is careful not to let the skin stain the wort during the separation of the pulp-juice. Pinot noir, for example, is commonly used to produce champagne. Dry (non-sweet) white wine is the most common, derived from the complete fermentation of the wort. Sweet wines are produced when the fermentation is interrupted before all the grape sugars are converted into alcohol. Sparkling wines, which are mostly white wines, are produced by not allowing carbon dioxide from the fermentation to escape during fermentation, which takes place in the bottle rather than in the barrel. How is white wine made? White wine can be made with either white or red grapes. The major difference between white and red wine is that white wines are fermented without the grape skins. First the grapes are pressed off the skins and the sweet grape juice is collected in vats to be fermented into wine. How does white wine taste? The primary ingredient in a white wine is white grapes. … A majority of white wines will have a fruity and light taste, but there are some varieties with a richer taste. A few varieties of white wine available are Pinot Grigio, Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, and Viognier.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a red grape varietal known for its thick, durable skin, and the vine’s resistance to the elements.As a wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its dark color, full body and an alcohol content that is over 13.5%, with most Cabernet Sauvignons, especially those from places such as California, Australia and Chile, being more like 14.5% and sometimes even going over 15%.

Taste:   It can form a full-bodied, complex, fruit forward and dry wine when vilified correctly. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape has received most of its notoriety from being grown in the Bordeaux region of France. Traditionally speaking, these wines taste of heavy red and black fruit backed by noticeable tannic content.

Pinot Noir

The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. The word pine alludes to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.  Pinot noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climates, and the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France.

Taste:  Pinot Noir is often noted for its natural ability to be lighter than other red wines and have low tannin. … The stems add tannin (which you can taste on the front of your mouth as a drying and astringent sensation). The tannin adds a longer runway of life for the wines to age.

Sweet Sherry

Sweet Sherries are made either by fermenting dried Pedro Ximénez (PX) or Moscatel grapes, which produces an intensely sweet dark brown or black wine, or by blending sweeter wines or grape must with a drier variety.

Taste:  Viscous and amazingly sweet, it tastes like liquid Christmas cake. Cream sherries are more commercial products that have been sweetened by the addition of Moscatel or Pedro Ximénez.


Sangiovese is usually made to be consumed with minimal aging. In Italy, the most famous Sangiovese wines are made in the Chianti region of Tuscany and are simply called “Chianti”Sangiovese is well suited to the climates of Central and Southern Italy as it requires a long growing season since it buds early and requires sufficient warmth to fully ripen.But, if it gets too much heat, its flavors can become diluted.

Taste: The Taste of Sangiovese Wine Sangiovese is savory. Because of its ability to be a chameleon, Sangiovese wines offer a wide range of tastes from very earthy and rustic–as is the case with many Chianti Classico– to round and fruit forward.


Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the color of the grape. Its softness and “fleshiness”, combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.

Taste:  Red fruits, easy tannins and a soft finish are the characteristics of Merlot wine. But there’s more to Merlot than being smooth. It’s actually a bit of a chameleon, partly because of how Merlot is vinified and mostly because of where it’s grown. Take a look at the range of Merlot wine taste based on region (cool climate vs. warm climate)

Cool Climate Merlot Taste:  Cool climate Merlot is more structured with a higher presence of tannins and earthy flavors like tobacco and tar. Some cool climate Merlot are mistaken as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Hot Climate Merlot Taste:  Warm climate Merlot wine is more fruit-forward and tannin is less prevalent. Some producers use judicious oak-treatment of up to 24 months to give their Merlot wine more structure.


The style and flavor profile of wines made from Syrah is influenced by the climate where the grapes are grown with moderate climates (such as the northern Rhone Valley and parts of the Walla Walla AVA in Washington State) tending to produce medium to full-bodied wines with medium-plus to high levels of tannins and notes of blackberry, mint and black pepper. In hot climates (such as Crete, and the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions of Australia), Syrah is more consistently full-bodied with softer tannin, jammier fruit and spice notes of licorice, anise and earthy leather. In many regions the acidity and tannin levels of Syrah allow the wines produced to have favorable aging potential.

Syrah is used as a single varietal or as a blend.

Taste:  What does Shiraz taste like? Wine drinkers that look for bold, full-bodied wines should reach for Shiraz. The wines are opaque, ruby-purple in hue, and offer concentrated jammy aromas and flavors of blueberry and blackberry, along with big, ripe tannins.


Port is produced from grapes grown and processed in the demarcated Douro region. The wine produced is then fortified by the addition of a neutral grape spirit known as aguardente to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine, and to boost the alcohol content.

Taste:  Port wine is typically drunk as an apertif or a dessert wine.Port is a sweet wine with flavors of raspberry, blackberry, caramel, cinnamon and chocolate sauce.

There are several different kinds of port, but the 2 primary styles of Port include a red Port with more berry and chocolate flavors and slightly less sweetness, and a tawny-colored Port with more caramel and nut flavors and more sweetness.


Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. In France, plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in South West France, though the grape is grown worldwide. It is increasingly celebrated as an Argentine varietal.

The grape became less popular in Bordeaux after 1956 when frost killed off 75% of the crop. Despite Cahors being hit by the same frost, which devastated the vineyards, Malbec was replanted and continued to be popular in that area. Winemakers in the region frequently mixed Malbec with Merlot and Tannat to make dark, full-bodied wines, but have ventured into 100% Malbec varietal wines more recently.


Chardonnay is the world’s most popular white wine, and for good reason. It’s made from green-skinned grapes that adapt to a variety of climates, and they produce versatile wines in many price points. Chardonnay can be crisp and clean, or rich and oaky. There’s something for everyone, which is why Chardonnay is so beloved.
Taste:  Chardonnay is known as a winemaker’s grape, because it can grow in many climates and it’s easy to work with in the cellar. It allows a winemaker creative license to make it light and elegant, or full-bodied and buttery. Chardonnay can taste different, depending on where it grows and how it’s made. But typically, Chardonnay is a dry, medium- to full-bodied wine with moderate acidity and alcohol. Its flavors range from apple and lemon to papaya and pineapple, and it also shows notes of vanilla when it’s aged with oak.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. … Sauvignon blanc is planted in many of the world’s wine regions, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white varietal wine. The grape is also a component of the famous dessert wines from Sauternes and Barsac.

Taste:  The primary fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc are lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. Depending on how ripe the grapes are when the wine is made, the flavor will range from zesty lime to flowery peach.

Pinot Grigio

The grapes used in Pinot Grigio wines are a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape.  Since the wines made from the grapes are not left in contact with the stems and the skins, the resulting wine is a pale golden color.

Pinot grigio is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera.  Thought to be a mutant clone of the pinot noir variety, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name but the grapes can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance.

Taste:  The primary fruit flavors in Pinot Grigio are lime, lemon, pear, white nectarine and apple. Depending on where the grapes are grown, Pinot Grigio can take on faint honeyed notes; floral aromas like honeysuckle; and a saline-like minerality.


Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked.

Taste:  most Riesling is crisp and fruity. But the taste profile can range from very dry to very sweet depending on the ripeness of the fruit and the style the winemaker is looking for.The flavor of the Riesling grape is influenced like no other by the soil in which it’s grown.

Sparkling Wine

Many of the world’s best sparkling wines are made by the méthode traditionelle, or traditional method, where still wine is bottled before additional yeast and sugar are added. Under a crown cap, typically, the yeast ferments sugar into alcohol until dry, which gives off CO2.

The sparkling wine then ages on the dead yeast, called lees, which adds notes of brioche and textural richness. The bottle goes through a process known as riddling where the bottle is frequently turned and repositioned at severe angles until all the sediment rests in the neck. The wine is disgorged to remove the lees sediment. Dosage, a blend of sugar and wine to add sweetness, is added typically before the wine receives its finishing cork.

Taste:  On the tip of the tongue, the wine will reveal its level of sweetness, from dry (meaning it has no sugar) to very sweet. To help steer consumers to their favorite products, the industry categorizes sparkling wines according to sugar content: Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry.


Unlike Champagne and Franciacorta DOCG, Prosecco usually is produced using the alternative Charmat–Martinotti method, in which the secondary fermentation takes place in large stainless steel tanks rather than in each individual bottle,[22] making the wine less expensive to produce, and the minimum production time is 30 days. Higher quality Prosecco using this method will ferment the wine over a longer period, up to around 9 months (Charmat Lungo). Nevertheless, the production rules for both the DOCG’s also allow the use of the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle, known in Italy as Método Classico.

Taste:   Champagne and Prosecco have very different taste profiles. The primary flavors in Champagne are citrus, white peach and cherry, almond and toast. Prosecco’s primary flavors are green apple, honeydew, honeysuckle, pear and fresh cream. … Prosecco’s taste is more fruity and flowery because of the grapes that create it.


First off, let’s get one thing straight: All Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. In order to be called Champagne, two criteria must be met. First, the wine must be produced in a specific, legally defined region of northern France. Second, the secondary fermentation that gives the wine its bubbles must take place in the bottle from which the sparkler is eventually sold and drunk.  The process is initially very similar to still wine. Grapes are harvested then pressed in a pressoir coquart. Its unique feature is a shallow base that allows only a thin layer of grapes to be pressed. As a result, the juice does not come into significant contact with the skins and no color is imparted.

Taste:  The taste of Champagne is much different than that of regular wines. The best moment when you get the most out of the taste of the champagne, is as soon as it enters the mouth and touches our tongue. The more experience you get in tasting the champagne, the more you will be able to differentiate in the tastes of all the varieties. The champagne will taste bitter with an underlying fruitiness with a long lasting fragrance that insists us to meditate deep into the taste and feel of it.

White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is a slightly sweet wine made from the red-skinned Zinfandel grape. It gets its rosy pink color from the grape skins after they are crushed and quickly removed from the juice. The remaining process is the same as for white wine.

Taste:  Zinfandel is lighter in color than both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. However, although a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir, Zin’s moderate tannin and high acidity make it taste bold. Generally speaking, most Zinfandel wines have higher alcohol levels ranging from about 14 – 17% ABV.


Rosé wine is, in fact, made exclusively from the same blue grapes as the red wines are made of. … In red wine production, the grape skins are simply fermented together with the juice, this is called the “mash” fermentation which in the process releases the red colour.

Pink wine happily spans the colorspace between red and white wine, in a way, rosé is more like a state of mind.

Rosé happens when the skins of red grapes touch wine for only a short time. Where some red wines ferment for weeks at a time on red grape skins, rosé wines are stained red for just a few hours. The winemaker has complete control over the color of the wine, and removes the red grape skins the source of the red pigment when the wine reaches the perfect color. As you can imagine, nearly any red wine grape from Cabernet Sauvignon to Syrah can be used to make rosé wine, however there are several common styles and grapes that are preferred for rosé.

Taste:  The primary flavors of rosé wine are red fruit, flowers, citrus, and melon, with a pleasant crunchy green flavor on the finish similar to celery or rhubarb. Of course, depending on the type of grape the rosé wine is made with will greatly vary the flavor.