(Continued..) In the world of winemaking, there are only a few vines that grow the right grape to make wine. About 90% of wines are made from a vine called vitis vinifera. However, within vitis vinifera, there are thousands of varieties of grapes. I’ll introduce you to the major varietals: 20 to be exact.
17. Sauvignon Blanc- Pronounced as (soh-vihn-YOHN BLAHN) This varietal is a classic white in some areas of France. The one distinct thing about this varietal is the way it’s grown. It’s very delicate and therefore susceptible to things such as rot. Growers of this varietal must take extra precaution when growing these grapes even in the best climate conditions.
18. Syrah- Pronounced as (sih-RAH) This varietal is very high in tannins and very acidic. This means that it would pair very well with meaty and hearty dishes. For example, a nice, juice steak would pair perfectly well with Syrah. It has spicy, earthy, peppery notes to it that brings out all the good qualities of a dish like steak.
19. Tempranillo- Pronounced as (tehm-prah-NEE-yoh) This varietal is very popular and therefore widely grown in Spain. More recently, it has also become popular in Argentina. This varietal has strawberry and plum notes, but also earthy overtones.
20. Zinfandel- Pronounced as (ZIHN-fahn-dehl) This varietal originated throughout the old world, Europe. More recently it has become widely accepted and grown in California. Zinfandel can be made into what’s known as white zinfandel. White zinfandel is made with residual sugar and makes it an easy wine to drink for wine beginners.