wine types


Wine Varietal Chart
| Wine Types | Know Your Wines

Use this wine varietal chart of the major California wines for pairing food and wine, to learn the aroma and flavors of different varietals, and to identify the body (weight) of a wine.
If you find this varietal chart to be helpful, you might also be interested in using it together with our information on matching wine with food. Choose a varietal and then choose a food to match.

Click on an individual varietal to get in depth information on that particular grape. We also suggest which California wineries produce this varietal. This is one way to plan a trip to the California wine country. Planning your trip by the grape is always an interesting option.

White Wines

Aromas and Flavors

Body

Sparkling Wine

Apple, pear, yeast

Medium

Sauvignon Blanc
(also Fume Blanc)

Herbaceous, grassy, hay, citrus, grape-fruity

Light to Medium

Chardonnay

Pear, apple, oak, buttery,creamy

Medium to Heavy

Viognier

Floral, peach, apricot, pear, fruity

Medium

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio

Crisp, pear, peach, apricot

Light

Pinot Blanc

Pear, apple, floral

Medium

Chenin Blanc

Peaches, fruity

Light

Gewurztraminer

Lychee nut, spices, rose petals

Medium

Riesling

Apple, lemon, floral, apricot, fruity

Light

varietal wine chart

Red Wines

Aromas and Flavors

Body

Pinot Noir

Strawberry, berries, cherry

Light - medium

Merlot

Blackberry, plum, current, chocolate, vanilla

Medium

Zinfandel

Berries, jammy, cherry, earthy

Medium to heavy

Cabernet Sauvignon

Blueberries, black current, cassis, raspberries, oaky

Heavy

Syrah

peppery, spice, blackberry, cinnamon

Medium to heavy

Petite Syrah

Blackberry, pepper, jammy

Heavy

Sangiovese

Cherry, fruity, spice

Light to medium

Cabernet Franc

Raspberry, casis, herbacious

Medium

Barbera

Berries, red fruit

Medium

Malbec

Cherry, strawberry, plum

Medium

 

   

Wine Country Regions

  • Mendocino
  • Monterey
  • Napa Valley
  • Paso Robles
  • Russian River
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Sierra Foothills
  • Sonoma Valley
  • Wine Country Map
  • Napa Lodging
  • Lodging in Healdsburg
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