There are over 10,000 different varieties of wine grapes in the world today. Here we will break down the 5 main types of wine.

What is Wine?

Simply put, wine is the fermented juice of a wine grape. A wine grape is far different from your grocery store-variety grape: it’s small, sweet, thick-skinned, and contains many seeds. There are two types of grapes wine is made from: white grapes (which are actually green-colored) and black grapes (which are actually red-colored). And within those types of grapes, there are hundreds of varieties used to make thousands of wine varietals and blends.

Red Wine

Still wine made with black grapes. Red wines range from light to bold.

Starter Picks: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chianti, Beaujolais

Food Pairings: Pair red wine with hearty dishes containing red meat, such as steak, pasta, and pizza.

White Wine

A still wine produced from white and occasionally black grapes. Flavors in white wines span from light to rich.

Starter Picks: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling

Food Pairings: White wine goes best with lighter dishes, such as poultry, fish and other seafood, curries, cheese, and salads.

Rosé Wine

Still wine from black grapes produced by removing the skins before they stain the wine deep red. 

Food Pairings: Rosé goes well with light dishes and snacks, including poultry, fish, fruit, and cheese.

Sparkling Wine

A style of winemaking involving a secondary fermentation that makes bubbles! Sparkling wine can be red, white, or rosé and ranges from lean and dry, to rich and sweet.

Starter Picks: Champagne, Prosecco

Food Pairings: Light foods, such as soft cheeses, seafood, including smoked salmon and shrimp, salad, and fresh fruit.

Dessert Wine

A style of winemaking involving fortifying wine with spirits. Typically, dessert wines taste sweet, but many dry, fortified wines exist, such as dry Sherry.

Starter Picks: Icewine, Moscato

Food Pairings: Soft cheeses, cake, vanilla pudding, biscotti, chocolate, and crème brûlée.