An Essential Guide To Popular Wine Grapes


You may have had some luck with judging wines by the bottle so, why not take it to the next level and try on a different approach at your next grocery run? 

Apart from its country of origin and winery, having basic knowledge of the kind of grapes will greatly enhance the experience– the taste, the aromas, and essentially widening your palate tenfold.

Below are a handful of the most popular grape varieties that you can familiarize with in no time.


We start with Cabernet Sauvignon, the most popular variety and most grown by volume globally. Cabernet Sauvignon was discovered back in the 17th century when two other grape varieties were combined, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Another fun fact as well, this nugget of trivia was just recently discovered in 1996 with DNA testing on the rise.

This grape variety is known to be a deep and heavy red, dry, and with flavours of dark fruits such as blackberries and plum.

Best Cabernet Sauvignon Wines:

Tonon Camul Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Bodega Volcanes de Chile Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon


Everyone thinks they know Merlot until they have a sip of another Merlot… that’s grown in a completely different climate. Like the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is also a descendant of Cabernet Franc but they’re known to be much fruitier. Though its flavor may dramatically vary depending on where they’re grown, its general tasting notes are blue, black, and red fruits paired with earth tones.

 Best Merlot Wines:

Cantina Cellaro Solea Merlot
Baracchi O’Lillo Toscana Rosso IGT


A grape variety native to Spain, Tempranillo has been around for almost 2,000 years and flourishes in climates that can go from extremely cool to insanely hot. Other red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, are dense but with the Tempranillo, it’s not as thick and syrupy. The usual tasting notes are of red fruits and one vital detail to note, the Tempranillo can be a good foundation for the classic Sangria.

Best Tempranillo Wines:



Sangiovese grape is synonymous with Tuscany. Despite its popularity in Italy, the grape variety is also known to grow well outside of the country such as in Argentina, Texas, and California. Its primary tasting notes include strawberry, cherry, and raspberry.

Best Sangiovese Wines:



Cabernet Franc, if you remember, is one of Cabernet Sauvignon’s “parents”. Unlike the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc is much lighter with dominant flavours of crushed gravel, chili pepper, and fruits such as strawberry and red plum. It’s also popularly and deliciously used in making ice wine.

Best Cabernet Franc Wines:

Gelso Della Valchetta Il Gelso Merlo Cabernet Franc Rustenberg John X Merriman 2019


With the Grenache, for a long time, it was believed to have originated in Spain but new information surfaced stating that it’s likely to have originated in Sardinia. Despite this developing trivia, the Grenache is typically blended with other grape varieties but in Spain, it’s also made into a single varietal wine. Its usual tasting notes are black grape while on the nose, it has hints of strawberry and plum.

Best Grenache Wines:

Glaetzer Wallace Shiraz Grenache Vina Zorzal Garnacha


If you’ve heard of Shiraz, it’s exactly the same as Syrah. Syrah is its first and original name while the name, Shiraz, came from Australia. It has a deep purple hue and is also known to yield the darkest of red wines. From its deep colour, you can expect deep flavours as well with tasting notes like blackberry, black pepper, blueberry, and black olives. One more thing, it’s a popular component in sparkling wine too!

Best Syrah Wines:

Cantina Celllaro Luma Syrah IGT Glaetzer Bishop Shiraz


These two grape varieties are genetically alike but with Zinfandel typically grown in the United States while Primitivo is grown in Italy. Its flavors resemble ripe red fruits such as raisins, cranberry, and raspberry and backed with tones of black pepper spice and coffee.

Best Zinfandel and Primitivo Wines:

Luccarelli Primitivo Puglia IGP

Luccarelli Campo Marina Primitivo di Manduria


Another popular name, the Pinot Noir! This grape variety originates from Burgundy, France which gave its other known name, “red burgundy”. It’s popular for many reasons but one exceptional one is that with a Pinot Noir, it suits any occasion– it’s good with fish, meats, and cheeses! While demand is undoubtedly high, growing Pinot Noir grapes can be challenging. Because of its thin skin, it’s susceptible to many factors like sunburn, mildew, and rot which is why these grow much better in cooler climates.

Its general tasting notes are mushrooms, raspberry, and cherry. When aged in oak, you can also taste tones of vanilla and baking spice.

 Best Pinot Noir Wines:

Felton Road Bonnockburn Pinot Noir Tonon Rosso del Camul 2015


Pinot Grigio is one of the grape varieties with a unique feature. When you look at its clusters, their shades sometimes vary from violet or green. If you’re wondering why the yield though doesn'tdoens’t lean towards red, it’s due to the process with how it’s made. The Pinot Grigio is mostly made from its flesh with limited blending with the gray, purple, and blue skins. Its usual tasting notes are different from those already mentioned above. It has tropical hints and mostly tree fruits and citrus… it’s light, crisp, and dry.

Best Pinot Grigio Wines:

Tonon Pinot Grigio San Osvaldo Pinot Grigio



Finally, back to Sauvignon Blanc, one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. This grape variety is often used in making dry white wines with flavors typically leaning towards papaya, dates, white peach, and melon. 

Best Sauvignon Blanc Wines:

Kalfu Molu Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc


Now that you know your grapes, let’s put it to the test and see how much more your palate can experience with the distinction of each grape variety. For safe and secure shopping, we deliver right to your doorstep. Shop at today and explore our carefully selected wine collection.


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