First things first, wine is a kind of beverage - specifically the alcoholic kind - that is produced via fermenting grapes or other types of fruits such as elderberry, plum or blackcurrant. Wines that are not made from grapes are called country or fruit wine, and those that are made largely from materials such as starch come out as rice wine, barley wine or sake. Take note that beverages that come from other materials that are fermentable, such as honey, are not really wines. Basically, wines are produced from one variety (or probably more) of the species Vitis vinifera from Europe.
A varietal is produced when one of the varities like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot are used predominantly (between 75-85% minimum). Believe it or not, wines that are blended are not inferior to varietals. A lot of winemakers all over the world use multiple varieties of grapes in order to produce different wines.
The following are different types of wine and varieties you may encounter in your wine-tasting adventure. Cabernet Sauvignon This is a variety that is considered as most famous among the producers of red wine. The best one comes from France in Bordeaux. However, there are already areas in the US that produce wines that are just as great-tasting in their complexity and richness and they are usually in California specifically in Napa Valley. Chardonnay This has been considered as the white dry wine that is most purchased all over the world. Chardonnay is actually grown in many parts of the world.
This type of wine is aged inside barrels of oak resulting in an aroma and flavor that is strong and rich. This type of wine has a character that tastes fruity and has buttery and vanilla components. Chenin Blanc This type of wine has been considered as common and cheap.
The grapes used for this wine are grown widely in the United States, specifically California. This wine is also fruity and blends well with the more popular Chardonnay thus adding to its acidity and fruity quality. Grenache This is considered as the grape plant variety that is most planted. Grenache actually tastes sweet but does not have much character unless if it is vinnified well.
This variety is usually grown in areas where there is drought and heat that is quite extreme. Merlot This type of wine is ranked along the same lines as Cabernet Sauvignon, but it has more lush. Merlot's flavor is actually full-bodied with various flavors available such as plum, cherry, chocolate. Pinot Blanc This type produces a dry, soft and fruity white wine the taste of which is compared with Chardonnay.
Pinot Blanc actually has tasteful hints of spice and apple and has a high acidity. Unfortunately, Pinot Blanc does not age very well and is less complicated that Chardonnay. Pinot Gris The grape used for this wine is brown in color and is quite successful in a place called Oregon. This wine is white and is crisp and dry with a rich spicy flavor. Pinot Noir This grape is considered as one of the premier ones in France, specifically in the region of Burgundy. This grape, though a bit difficult to grow, when grown well actually tastes complex and rich.
It tastes more like raspberries, cherries, mint. Riesling Considered as a great wine among the other wines in the world, Reisling need to grow in one of the cool climates such as Germany. Its acidity is quite high and is very fruity and floral in taste.
This wine ages well. Semillon This type of wine comes from white grapes that contains acidity that is quite low and has a roundness that is peachy. This wine partners well with Sauvignon Blanc. This is an inexpensive wine.
White Zinfandel This wine is light blush pink in color and is usually made in the United States, specifically in California. The grapes called Zinfandel are red in color and is separated quickly from the skins when they are crushed and fermented. This results in a wine that is light pink in color. Zinfandel white grapes are made in a style that is sweet in order to balance it with the grape's acidity. All in all, wines will always be available for those who value its exquisite taste, flavor, aroma and the process it goes through just to make it exquisite for the palate.
Lee Dobbins, an avid wine drinker, writes for http://wine.leisure-webzone.com where you can learn more about wine and how to use it properly.