Wine Varietal Chart

wine varietal chartUse 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 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 food to match. You can dig deeper into the wine varietal chart by clicking on the name of the wine. This will take you to a page with additional information with a listing of where you can find this varietal in wine country.



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White Wines

Aromas and Flavors


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


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 Sirah 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