A Basic Guide To Red And White Wine

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What makes a Pinot Blanc different to a Pinot Grigio? Will I prefer a Cabernet Franc or a Cabernet Sauvignon? Stood in front of the wine shelf and can’t decide? Let’s break down the difference in some popular red and white wine varieties…



White Wines

Chardonnay: fruity and buttery, toasty with vanilla and a velvet feel. Typical notes: green apple, citrus, pineapple.

Chenin Blanc: zesty and inherently sweet. Typical notes: ripe apple, lemon drop, peach, pear, honeydew.

Sauvignon Blanc: dry, tart and acidic, with herbal flavours and tropical fruit. Typical notes: grass, herb, citrus, pineapple, peach.

Pinot Blanc: similar to chardonnay but lighter. Fruity with high acidity. Typical notes: green apple, citrus, melon.

Pinot Gris/Grigio: simple, light, dry and crisp. Typical notes: citrus, fresh pear, melon.

Semillon: crisp citrus with soft grassy aromas. Typical notes: fig, melon, light herb.

Riesling: much lighter than chardonnay, very sweet with intense fruit flavour. Typical notes: green apple, citrus, apricot, peach, honeysuckle.

Muscat: fruity and sweet, can be a dessert wine. Typical notes: oranges, tangerines.


Red Wines

Pinot Noir: delicate and fresh, with a soft bitterness. Typical notes: tomato leaf, beet root, pale cherry, blackberry, cola, plum.

Cabernet Sauvignon: full-bodied and herbal. Typical notes: bell pepper, green olive, herb, cassis, black cherry.

Cabernet Franc: softer and more subdued than a Cabernet Sauvignon. Typical notes: violets, blueberry, earth, black olive, coffee.

Grenache: fruity, spicy and bold, a softer and less intense version of Shiraz. Typical notes: spice, cherry.

Malbec: deep and full bodied, spicy and tart. Typical notes: sour cherry, spice

Shiraz: black berries, peppery with spicy notes. Typical notes: blackberry, boysenberry, plum, pepper, clove.

Merlot: fruity and spicy, very soft bitterness. Typical notes: watermelon, strawberry, cherry, plum.

Zinfandel: typically zesty, racy and laden with red and black berries. Typical notes: raspberry, blackberry, black cherry,raisin, prune.

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Hopefully this little guide will make choosing a wine you like less daunting! :)

Source used: www.winemag.com

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