Mankind has been growing grapes to produce wine for over a millennium. It comes as no surprise that there are a vast diversity of grapes that have been cultivated all over the world. While varieties rise and fall from favor, some grapes consistently rise to the top creating delectable wines.
Red wines are intimidating to anyone who has not tried them. Therefore, finding a delicious red is not the easiest task. Even those who have tried red wines before may not be able to identify why they like one over another. Maybe it is the delicious flavor of blueberries and raspberries with the subtle notes of vanilla and spice. The vineyard that produces Paso Robles Red Blend has also created several other wonderful accompaniments to a dinner party with friends.
Great wines do not just come from the old-world countries of North Africa, Europe, or the Middle East. Various delicious wines are being produced in the new world vineyards of the United States, Chile, and even Australia. Both worlds are consistently pushing to create the best wine their regions can produce.
While the differences in climate have a marked difference in the flavor of the wine, it is worth exploring the same wine grown in different regions. For instance, Chardonnay is widely grown in the United States and is noted for its tropical flavors. However, in the warmer climates of New Zealand, the flavor leans more towards melon, peach, and citrus.
A product of cross-pollination between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most recognizable brands. This versatile grape can be grown in practically every climate in several countries. Of course, where the grape is grown does influence the flavor of the wine later.
This wine pairs well with grilled or roasted red meats such as lamb, goat, and beef.
While these grapes are originally from the Bordeaux region in France, they have emerged as an important part of the wine communities in California and New York. The traditional style of producing a Merlot focuses on harvesting earlier to keep up the crispness and vitality of the grape.
Merlot pairs well with grilled or roast beef or chicken.
Tempranillo is the most popularly grown wine grapes in its native Spain. However, even with its popularity, it is hardly ever bottled alone. To give it a more full-bodied flavor, they are typically blended with other grapes such as Gratiano or Graciano
Tempranillo pairs well with tomato or cream-based pasta dishes.
People are generally more familiar with white wines. This might be because the first exposure is during special events like weddings or the white wine spritzers at backyard picnics. The flavor profile is typically lighter making them ideal for that special get-together.
Being an easy grape to cultivate, it is often used as the first step of winemakers to entertain the international wine stage. Chardonnay is widely used in producing sparkling wines like Franciacorta. While this grape originates in France, it is now grown even south of the Equator.
Chardonnay pairs well with various seafood and chicken.
One facing extinction, the Viognier grape has once again begun to prosper in the Rhone Valley where it is the exclusive grape for the French wine Condrieu. This particular grape is one of the most difficult to grow as they need a skilled grower and winemaking technique.
Viognier pairs well with steamed and grilled seafood
This is another variety that originates in the Bordeaux region in France. Despite this, the Sauvignon Blanc is widely available commercially and probably the one most consumers are most familiar with, especially as they are also used as an ingredient of dessert wines—a perfect way to end a delicious meal.
It pairs well with sushi, fish, and goat cheese.
The best part of discovering wine is that it can be shared with friends. When in doubt, pick a pairing, call a few friends, and have a wine flight party. By the end, not only will you have a good time, but you just may discover a new favorite wine.