are the main ingredient that makes wine taste the way it does.
While there can be differences in the wine made from a single
grape variety, the fact that a certain type of grape was used
lets you know the basic information about what the winemaker intended
Grapes do take on the flavor of the soil and
grow sweeter in the sun as they hang on the vines, but still, knowing which wine grapes went into
the mash gives you a head start on getting a wine you'll enjoy.
When it comes to naming grapes, winemakers
try to maintain an industry standard. However, some grapes go by different names or spellings
- such as the Syrah (or Sirah), which in South Africa is known as
the Shiraz; in Australia, Hermitage.
If the listings
in the reviews or on the wine labels confuse you, these grape primers will help you sort the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the
Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer, or the Muscat from the Muscadet...
More information about wine grapes around the Web:
The Super Gigantic Y2K Winegrape Glossary - It may not be pretty, but it really is - as
it says - super gigantic. As of the last update there were too many varieties listed to count,
with links to databases with thousands of additional entries...
Friends of Wine - Varietal Profiles - Clear and easy to understand, this wine grapes 101
primer provides solid information on many of the most common wine grapes in an easy click-on format.
The illustrations are special and the links are well chosen. You'll enjoy this lesson.
and the Wines of the World - A treasure of wine-related information, but here the focus
is on the grape vine inducing photos & illustrations of every part of the root, stem, leaf
structure, and more grape anatomy.
Wine Grape Varieties - If you don't know a Spätburgunder
from a Gewürztraminer this site can help. Simply click on
the name of the grape and you'll get a good picture with information
about where the grapes are grown and what types of wine are made