Our Online Wine Guide will help you understand a bit more about the different wine grapes and their flavours so you can learn to experiment and appreciate the different wine varieties.
Wine Grapes Guide
Wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using different types of yeast. Yeast consumes the sugars found in the grapes and converts them into alcohol. Assorted varieties of grapes and yeasts are used depending on the style of wine being produced.
The most prominent varieties of red and white grapes are:
Red Wine Grapes
- Cabernet Sauvignon Grape – Thick skinned grape. It has a blackcurrant flavour.
- Grenache Grape – Rich and complex, with flavours of roasted nuts, blackberries and spices.
- Merlot Grape – Tastes of currant, black cherries and plum.
- Nebbiolo Grape – Mainly grown in the Piedmont region of Italy. The wines have rich flavours with a nose most often described as ‘tar and roses’.
- Pinot Noir Grape – Especially finicky. The best are hauntingly silky, with aromas of truffles.
- Sangiovese Grape – A black grape variety. When young, it has wonderful appeal of a fresh warm cherry pie. With age Sangiovese expresses flavours of dried leaf, dried orange peel, tea, mocha and earthy flavours.
- Shiraz Grape– Rich and spicy, with flavours of blackberry, pepper and dark chocolate.
- Tempranillo – Tastes of strawberries and plums.
- Zinfandel Grape – The aromas and taste of zinfandel are blackberry, boysenberry, raspberry, and dark cherry.
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White Wine Grapes
- Chardonnay Grape – The world’s most popular white variety. It is usually oak aged and has a buttery flavor.
- Chenin Blanc Grape – Common in the Loire Valley of France. It is a highly acidic wine that can range from very dry to very sweet. It is a decidedly aromatic wine of strong fruit flavours.
- Gewürztraminer Grape – Gewurztraminer has the aroma of rose petals, tinned lynches, musk, pineapple, ginger and Turkish delight.
- Muscat Grape – Produces the only wine to actually smell like grapes. Can have a variety of styles and popular in sparkling wines.
- Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio Grapes – Pale wine, with a straw type colour. Pinot Grigio flavors can range from melon to pear and some even offer a subtle tropical or citrus fruit
- Riesling Grape– Tastes of sweet fruit and floral aromas.
- Sauvignon Blanc Grape– Meant to drink young, these are the most tangy and pungent of the wine varieties.
- Viognier Grape – Aromas of flowers, peaches, stone fruits and spices.
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Acids in Wine – The acidity in wine is an important component in the quality and taste of the wine. It adds a sharpness to the flavors and is detected most readily by a prickling sensation on the sides of the tongue and a mouth watering after taste.
Tannins – Tannins are a family of natural organic compounds that are found in grape skins, seeds and stems. They are an excellent antioxidant and natural preservative; also helping give the wine structure and texture. Tannins provide an important flavour dimension in wine.
Wine Regions Guide
Wine can come from anywhere. But good wine comes from good regions.
McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Yarra Valley, Heathcote & Margaret River are some of the best known regions for producing top quality wine, not only in Australia, but in the world.
These regions produce wines of a higher standard than most due to the land, soil, aspect, topography and climate of the region. These factors combined help make wines from these wine regions some of the best in the country!
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