Part I – Grape Variety

You might be asking yourself what makes a wine perfect. There is no doubt that one of the best aspects of producing a good wine is the ingredients used. Robert Mondavi once said, “You can make bad wine with great grapes, but you can’t make great wine with bad grapes.”

A wide variety of grapes are used in the production of wine, and they are divided into two separate classes – white wine and red wine grapes.

White wine is mainly produced from white grapes and it is also possible to use red grapes. We’ll be learning more about some of the more common white wine grapes today.

Sileni Lodge Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2018

Chardonnay – The most popular variety of white grapes. Wines from this grape, depending on how they are made, are dry and light (crisp apple like flavour) to medium and full-bodied (buttery).

Wild River Sauvignon Blanc 2019, North Cantebury

Sauvignon Blanc – In the collaborative zest to mix wines, the acidity makes this a popular blending variety. It is blended with Semillon most frequently. For the most parts, wines made from these white grapes are very dry and young, intended to be consumed until ready-made. Their intense tastes and aroma with suggestive notes of green grass and gooseberries give it a distinct and easily recognisable flavour.

Peace Of Eden Riesling 2019

Riesling – This classic German variety makes fine white wines all over the world, from bone dry to very sweet. Even though they are light in body and low in alcohol, they still give off a strong flavour that will linger and leaves a lasting impression. Regardless of the style of wine, high acidity always balances out the richness.

Semillon – This versatile grape makes a range of white wines, from dry to sweet. It is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Semillon is perhaps greatest when subject to noble rot, making some famous dessert wines like Sauternes and Barsac.

Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Cuvee Theo 2018

Gewürztraminer – The highly aromatic wines made from this spicy variety are full bodied. Whites that can be dry or sweet. They have low acidity and high alcohol content, often over 13% ABV. With its exotic perfume and intense lychee flavour, Gewürztraminer is one of the few wines that can go well with spicy food.

Chenin Blanc – These grapes are distinguished by a very high acidity, which requires plenty of sun to mature properly, otherwise the wines would taste tart. Good dry wines are fresh and fruity, well balanced and honeyed sweet wines. Aging improves good quality sweet Chenin Blanc by bringing out the fruit more.

In our next Wine Cave Dive, we will be talking about red wine. Stay tuned. =)


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