different varieties of wine

Enjoy all varietals of wine

Know your wines – wine varietal chart

Use this wine varietal chart of the significant California wines for pairing food and wine, to learn the aroma and flavors of different varietals, and to identify the body (weight) of wine. If you find this wine 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 menu to match. You can dig deeper into the wine varietal chart by clicking on the name of the wine to learn additional information about the grade and a listing of where you can find this variety in wine country.



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



Red Wines

Aromas and Flavors

Body

Pinot Noir Strawberry, berries, cherry Light-medium
Merlot Blackberry, plum, currant, 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 Sirah Blackberry, pepper, jammy Heavy
Sangiovese Cherry, fruity, spice Light to medium
Cabernet Franc Raspberry, cassis, herbaceous Medium
Barbera Berries, red fruit Medium
Malbec Cherry, strawberry, plum Medium