Wine is surely the most popular and elegant drink to exist. This beautiful beverage graces the fanciest of parties or even the most casual get-togethers. The ability for wine to be an instant hit no matter the occasion is what makes it so in demand around the entire world. Winemakers and wine drinkers alike truly are captivated by the flavors and aromas that a little glass of wine can bring and it is for this reason that wine continues to dominate the industry of alcoholic beverages, even pushing other once popular beverages into the dust. Now one cannot lie that while wine is still one of the most delightful drinks to enjoy, it can surely come in a myriad of flavors that sometimes may not be the most delicious or appealing to many people. It is important that while many stay grateful of wine that one keep their eye open for the best types of wines when choosing how to enhance whatever occasion they are a part of. A great wine can easily lighten the mood, but a bad wine can instantly bring it down too. That is why when choosing the best wines to feature at your little parties (or for you to enjoy on your own) that you do some extensive research on what you can expect. Do not have the time? No problem, this article gives you the lowdown on the best wine grapes to consider when buying wine (or making your own wine if you are that cool).
Take a Look at the Six Noble Grapes
Winemakers have studied and studied to perfect the art that is winemaking. They have become extremely good at what they do and have made serious observations with the popularity of their wine types. They figure out what is a hit and what is just not quite there, so that they can ease out an idea of what holy grail grapes are so beyond important in their industry of winemaking. It appears that the grape varieties that seem to always take the lead in winemaking globally, are known as the six noble grapes. The six historically known Noble Grapes include the Cabernet Sauvignon (many know this one), Pinot noir (of course), Merlot (I hear dessert), Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and last but not least the sparkling and enigmatic Riesling.
Known as one of the worlds most widely recognized red grape varieties. This grape beauty is practically grown and cultivated in all the major and well-known wine producing countries such as Tuscany, Bordeaux, Australia, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, the mountains of Santa Cruz, South Africa, and more. The grape skin is a black color and produces a dense, dark, and acidic wine profile. The wine is known to be full-bodied with high tannins and a very noticeable acidity. In the presence of a cooler climate, this wine is often accompanied with flavors of green bell pepper (quite interesting), mint, and cedar. These flavors tend to become even more pronounced as the wine ages. If the wine is present in a more moderate climate, than one can expect a flavor profile that is a bit different than the one you would experience if the grapes were cultivated in a cooler climate. For example, one would experience the wine as having black cherry and black olive flavors instead of that pepper and mint flavor. The same can be said when the grape is grown in a very hot climate. The flavor can start to be reminiscent of an over-ripe or jam flavor. Of course, it is important to note that with climate and location, what you can expect from this grape will vary so if you are very particular about your wine and have a specific idea of what you want your wine to taste like than it is probably best if you do some extra research so that you get the most out of trying this magnificent noble grape.
With that being said we now move on to the next delectable grape variety that you should consider if you are doing a little wine making yourself. The Pinot Noir is definitely the most intricate grape variety out there. For sure this grape is insanely amazing when made into a wine, but to actually enjoy what this delicious grape has to offer, one really needs to put in the time, the effort, and the motivation. The pinot noir grape is infamous for being quite the difficult one when it comes to cultivation. This grape is the epitome of the classical saying “You get what you work for” (okay technically the phrase is you get what you pay for but you know what I mean). The black colored grape has a tendency to produce these tight little clusters that make it very sensitive to viticulture hazards such as rotting. Since the grape has a thin skin and low phenolic compound levels, the pinot grape tends to even go through a period where it produces a really smooth and enjoyable wine, but then succumbs to uneven and unpredictable aging. Despite all those obstacles, the pinot noir grape is still a wonderful grape to consider if you want to buy a good wine or make your own wine. The grape produces a red fruit profile when it is young. It is reminiscent of cherries, raspberries, and strawberries. Sometimes you can even get a hint of mushroom and a meaty characteristic when the grape is cultivated in medium climate. In a cooler climate (similar to the cabernet sauvignon), the wine can actually leave a bit of a vegetable and earthy taste similar to the taste of cabbage and leaves. Nonetheless once made into a fine wine, it is truly one to behold. It is the most infamous wine out there and surely one you do not want to miss out on! The whole world hasn’t and for good reason.
The merlot is truly a fierce wine to behold if you are looking for something sweet. It is the perfect dessert wine to enjoy and its flavors is what catapulted the wine into stardom during the 90s. The merlot grape is typically dark blue to black in color and is produced in a variety of regions such as Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Long Island, Hungary, Sonoma County, Australia, and more! This wine is extremely popular in the red wine markets and its flexibility in terms of its cultivation make it one of the most planted grape varieties (can’t say the same for its brother the pinot noir). Of course, like many grape varieties, the difference in climate will yield a different grape flavor, but overall you can expect the flavor of the merlot grape to fall around a fruity and sweet taste. In cool climates, the merlot grape takes on the taste of strawberries, red berries, plum, cedar and tobacco. In climates that are relatively medium the merlot grape is noted as having notes of blackberries, black plums, and black cherries. In hot climates, once the merlot grape is cultivated, it is said that the flavor falls along the lines of a fruitcake or chocolate (yum!). It isn’t hard to see that with these types of flavors being the forefront of the merlot wine, that this wine is mostly known for being the ultimate dessert wine to either have alone in a wine glass or sip up with an actual dessert. When enjoying a bottle of merlot, try enjoying a delicious decadent, warm brownie with it. For sure you will feel your wine experience increase drastically.
The chardonnay grape variety is a green grape that is known to produce a great tasting white wine. The ideal soil that best enhances the flavor profile of the chardonnay grape include soil that is chalky or with limestone. The chardonnay grape is well known for being produced worldwide in many notable wine regions. Since this is a white wine you can expect the flavor profile to be quite different from the previous grapes discussed before. The wine is known to be a lot lighter than the red wines and produces more citrusy flavors than that of the dark fruit and spiced flavors that tend to accompany red wines. Chardonnay is the typical white wine and is no exception to the rule. It is very lean, crisp, and has a high acidity when the grape variety is grown in a cooler climate and in medium climates the grape is noted for having a honey and tropical fruit flavor. Some other fruit flavors that are known to accompany this grape include lemon, pear, apple, pineapple, jackfruit, peach, and passionfruit. The wine can also carry hints of herbs, spices, and earthy tones like citrus peels, almond, jasmine, honeysuckle, vanilla bean, and more. It is a great wine pairing for soft cheeses, meats like chicken breast, halibut, turkey breast, and shrimp mixed with sauces that have some lemon, white pepper, parsley, and thyme seasoning in it. Vegetables that can go really well with this grape variety include white mushroom, asparagus, peas, zucchini, yellow squash, and more! With its lighter color and more lighter flavors, this is without a doubt another great wine variety to consider with wine making or trying out something different. The wine is popular worldwide and so many people are captivated by this grape variety making it something you must try next!
If you tried the chardonnay and you really enjoy white wine or grapes of the green skin then you also try the sauvignon blanc grape variety. It comes from the vitis vinifera species of plant and is originally from the country of France, though France is not the only place that cultivates this wine. Other notable regions include South Africa, Chile, California, Ukraine, and New Zealand. One fact you should note about this wine is while many other wines tend to taste good with aging, the sauvignon blanc grape is known to taste best when it is young. The taste tends to not be as pronounced or delicious as the bottle ages so keep that in mind when you decide to make the wine or buy it. If the grape was grown in a cooler climate than you can expect the grape to produce flavors like grass, green bell pepper, and floral notes. In warmer climates the taste profile develops more so into a tropical fruit taste with notes of peaches, slight grapefruit, pineapple, and more. Wine experts often use the words “crisp, elegant, and fresh” when referring to the sauvignon wine grape so for sure this is a wine that you need to put on your list of wines to make or buy.
Riesling is the last but certainly not least grape on our list of noble grapes to make into wine. It is a white grape variety that originates from Rhine, Germany. It is known to be a very aromatic wine and tends to give off scents of flowers. It is also popular for making sparkling white wines. In terms of the quality of this wine, it is known to be in the top three of white wine varieties so you know for sure that wine does not beat around the bush, it is top quality wine and there is absolutely no doubt about it. The grape tends to follow the phrase “terroir-expressive” which basically means that the ultimate profile of the Riesling wine is very much influenced by its place of origin. In cool climates like the German wine regions, it exhibits apple and tree fruit notes with an extremely noticeable level of acidity. If the grape is ripened at a much later time, (which is mostly characteristic of Riesling grapes that are grown in warm climates) than one can expect more peachy and citrusy notes to take over the flavor of wine. This generally happens in wine regions like Alsace and parts of Austria. It is the complete opposite of the sauvignon blanc wine in terms of aging and flavor profile. This wine tastes amazing when it ages and it is well known for being a well-aged wine so do not be hesitant about the quality of the wine if it has aged a bit!
Now the power of knowledge on these six legendary grape options, you can be sure that when buying or making your wine, you have harnessed only the best of the best wine grape varieties and nothing less for yourself, your family, your friends, and your loved one.