Wines are becoming more and more popular every day. Many people drink a large variety of wines with their lunches or dinners. Many people even use it to cook. Wines are not easy to produce, or store, however. It can cost thousands of dollars to purchase and adequately store wines. And it takes months to produce a wine from start to finish because the grapes that make them have to be grown first. That doesn’t take into account the aging process, which can take years; some wines taste better if they are allowed to ferment over long periods of time. Because so much goes into producing wines and they cost so much, it makes sense that people want to choose the right ones – and in many cases, varietal wines are the way to go.
To put it simply, these wines are wines that are produced primary from one single grape variety. Many wines are actually a mix of different types of grapes. However, varietal wines are wines that are produced using only one single type of grape – and varietal wines are very common. They typically use the most popular types of grapes. In fact, in many places like California, varietal wines are the most commonly purchased. California boats a large selection of varietal wines for sale. These include both red and white varietal wines. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Gewürztraminer are examples of white varietal wines and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah are examples of varietal red wines.
Many people confuse the term vine variety with the term varietal – when one refers to variety, they are referring to the vine or grape but the phrase varietal refers to the actual wine that is produced by said variety. That’s why one can use the term varietal in conjunction with cider made from the same type of apple. It’s easy to confuse the term because they are related but they do not mean the same thing; bottles will display the name if their variety on them. Varietal wines are usually thought to have a stronger flavor than others because they are made up of only one main component.
However, varietals are labeled differently from country to country. Australia, for instance, has entirely shifted over from labeling their bottles with “claret” “hock” or “Chablis” to the typical varietal wine system. Interestingly, this allowed the interest in alternative varietal wines to truly take hold in Australia. In Europe, for a wine to be called a varietal wine it has to contain at least 85% of that variety; some national limits might place that restriction higher but not lower. In France, wines typically do not have any variety listed at all; champagne is an example of a blend of three separate types of grapes but the labels there do not indicate this fact at all. Now, varietal labels have become more common but they are far from widespread.