Basic Types of Wine

Wines are made from grapes. The ones which are made from purple or black coloured skins form into red wines whereas the ones with yellowish skin colour are used in making of white wines. It is possible to chemically alter the natural colour of wines but it is the natural colour which is mostly retained in the wine making process. So, the basic types of wines based on colour of skin of grape is Red or White.

However, there are other categorizations of wines as well. These are based on following parameters:

1. Types of grapes- such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, etc. The types of grapes are distinguished on the basis of their physical characteristics, say leave structure.

2. Farming method- Organic, Vegan or Bio-dynamic. Organic vineyards are the ones in which the chemicals are not used. Vegan wines are organic and do not make use of animal residues in fining of wine. The bio-dynamic wines are made using the farming practices in accordance with celestial phenomenon.

3. Fermentation- In some wines, where second fermentation is allowed to take place, it leads to formation of the sparkling wines. These bubbly wines could be red or white.

4. Fortified Wines- If a little brandy is added to the wine, it leads to its fortification against damage, giving it a longer lease of life. The fortified wines are another special category of wines.

5. Dessert wines- Usually taken after the dinner, these are sweet wines and are comparable to taking dessert. These are sweet because the fermentation process is not allowed to complete and some sweetness is retained in the wine.

These are some of the most ways in which the wines are distinguished. In some countries, such as France, the wines are also labelled on terroir influences. Some classic examples are Champagne and Burgundy.


Wine Types Red That You Shall Know About


Red wines are more popular than the white ones. Reds are also considered to be good for health if drunk in moderation. Within this broad category of red wines, there are a number of different grape varieties that actually lead to the making of different types of red wines. These are made from different grape types that have purple or dark red hues. These red wine grapes are distinguished on the basis of their leaf structure and other physical properties.


Some of the most popular types of red wines are-

1. Cabernet Sauvignon- This is perhaps the most popular red wine variety globally. This also occupies a sizeable viticultural land area in Australia.

2. Shiraz- This is the most widely grown grape variety in Australia, although its share in worldwide wines is comparatively less as compared with some of the other varietals.

Both Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are used to make single varietals as well as blended wines.

3. Merlot- The name which comes to mind next to Cab Sav and Shiraz, is that of Merlot. This grape variety is grown all over the world.

4. Grenache- This is a popular grape variety of Spain which is also becoming famous in Australia. It is one of the ingredients of the famous GSM blended wines.

5. Pinot Noir- The word ‘Noir’ is a French word meaning ‘black’. The deep dark red hues of the grapes, which look like black, are the reason behind naming of this grape variety as Pinot Noir.

6. Malbec- Though grown originally in Argentina, this grape variety is also grown in wine regions of Australia. Malbec wines have created a niche for itself in the Aussie market, after taking the Argentine market by storm.

7. Tempranillo- One grape variety which is becoming increasingly popular in Australia is that of Tempranillo. This grape variety is also from Spain and is fast gaining popularity in Australia as well. This has a neutral profile as compared to Cab Sav or Pinot Noir in that it is not that aromatic.

There are certain other less than red grape varieties grown in Australia which give this country a rich viticultural profile and its people, many choices of wines.

Best sparkling wine brands of Australia

House of Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Tasmania 2001
It has been voted the best sparkling wine of 2017 by many a wine shows in different cities of Australia. The flavour of this wine is generous and mouth-filling. Tannins have been managed skilfully which gives this wine a long after-taste.
House of Arras Blanc de Blancs, Tasmania 2001
This is another great Sparkling wine from the House of Arras in Tasmania. This is a bright yellow wine with medium full style. Smelling of hazelnut cream, toasted bread and egg custard, the wine is must have for good aromas and flavour. House of Arras seem to be kings of producing sparkling wines in Australia in 2017.
Brown Brothers Patricia Pinot Noir Chardonnay, King Valley 2006
The hue of the wine is light-medium which is a shade of straw-gold. Deep palate with richness of rose petal and quince jelly nuances makes this wine must-have. The balance of fruit and aged characters, the acidity and the liquor makes it a very balanced wine.
Deviation Road Loftia Pinot Noir Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills 2011
This is a wine of light but bright hue, gives out the aroma of a lemon. The palate is delicate and refined and persists well. This is a relatively young wine of 2011 vintage.
Macedon Ridge Blanc de Blanc, Macedon Ranges 2010
This is again a young wine and bears characteristics of a barrel-aged wine. The wine has mouthy feel and good flavour. The balance of the wine is excellent and leaves a long aftertaste.
Besides, certain other wine brands have also done very well in the year 2017. These wines have also won many awards and are rated highly. These are:
House of Arras Brut Elite Cuvee 601 Pinot Noir Chardonnay, Tasmania NV
Deviation Road Beltana Blanc de Blancs, Adelaide Hills 2008,
Printhie Swift Cuvee Brut, Orange NV, $40
Stonier Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula 2009
Chandon Australia Vintage Brut Methode Traditionelle 2010

How Are Different Types of Sparkling Wines Made?

Sparkling wines are so called because of the presence of carbon dioxide which lends effervescence to the wine. The carbon dioxide is released due to the process of fermentation. Fermentation is the process by which sugar is converted into alcohol in wine. Now, this fermentation can take place within a wine bottle as well as within large commercial tanks. Sometimes the secondary fermentation starts in which the carbon dioxide is enclosed under excess pressure and it becomes a part of content. Therefore, when the sparkling wine is opened, the bubbles rise.


There are as many as seven different methods in which sparkling wines are created. However, the first four methods are such which allow secondary fermentation within the bottle. These methods lead to creation of different types of sparkling wines. Let us briefly examine each one of these:

1.  Traditional Method
At first, wine is fermented in the barrel and then in the bottle after the addition of yeast, its nutrients and sugar. The precipitate of yeast, called lees, is removed from the bottle by a process called disgorging. In this process, the bottle having lees precipitate at the bottom is turned upside down and shaken a bit at different angles so that the lees comes down towards the mouth of bottle. Once all lees is collected at the mouth of bottle, it is frozen to make the lees into ice and the temporary closure of bottle is opened to allow frozen lees to get out of the bottle. Volume is replenished and cork is placed again.

2. Ancestral Method
This is perhaps the oldest known method of producing the sparkling wines and it precedes the traditional method by as many as 200 years. In this method, the alcoholic fermentation is not completed when the wine is put in bottle. Unlike the traditional method, there is no disgorging since there is no lees. Wines produced by this method are strong in aromas and the alcohol content is pretty low. These are best during 1 to 3 years in bottle.

3. Transfer Method
In this method, the initial phase is same as that of Traditional Method and the bottled wine develops lees. Thereafter, the bottles are transferred to a larger tank where it is filtered and then rebottled into new bottles for sale in market. The benefit of this method is that more uniformity in bottled wines can be achieved and even blends can be created with this method.

4. Dioise Method
This method is same as that of ancestral method except that yeast fermentation is controlled by cooling.

5. Charmat Method
In this process the fermentation of yeast with sugar is done in the tank itself. The tank is made of stainless steel. Thereafter, the wine is filtered out and bottled.

6. Continuous Method
This method is called the Russian Method. The secondary fermentation is done in the steel tank itself with added oak chips.

7. Soda Method
In this method, the carbon dioxide gas is added from carbonator to the wine bottle. These are called ‘aerated sparkling wines’ in Europe.

Are Biodynamic Wine Brands Being Superstitious?

As we all know that a biodynamic wine is the one which considers natural phenomenon, especially cyclical phases of moon, in agricultural practices, many people believe that this method of viticulture is borne out of superstitions. Despite the scientific rationale being provided in support of grapes thus grown, biodynamic wines are considered just a concept based on superstitious belief of biodynamic wine brands.


Does the belief that lunar cycles influence living organism is superstitious with respect to vineyards but is scientific when it comes to human beings? The fact that cosmic phenomenon, its force, vibrations and energy all have an impact on living organisms has been long established. Astrology, the science of studying the life of humans with respect to certain planetary positions is based on scientific logic and mathematical calculations. It might not be easy to provide verifiable proofs but the growing significance of these wines proves that people have already started believing in it. For this reason, increasing number of wine companies are now producing biodynamic wine brands.

Robert Steiner, who first conceptualised this method of viticulture in 1924, believed that this was Spiritual way of growing vine, rather than the Superstitious way. The fact that the study identifies different farming practices, such as planting, pruning, harvesting, mulching, composting and manuring and relates these to lunar cycle by dividing the days into root, flower, fruit and leaf, itself signifies that these have been studied in detail. People have prepared detailed lunar calendars not just for vine growing but also for wine drinking.

Biodynamic wines and the lunar cycle

Ever wondered why are biodynamic wines are called so? What makes these different from the organic wines? Well, let us first understand what these wines are. Biodynamic wines are the ones that are prepared from grapes grown as per the occurrence of certain natural phenomenon. For example, the cyclic nature of moon phases influences not just tides but also our own behaviour (as our body has 70% water content). Similarly, it also has a bearing on vegetation and all other living organisms. If vineyards are managed holistically bearing in mind the cycles of these natural agents, the grapes so grown are said to have been grown biodynamically and the wines prepared from such grapes are called biodynamic.


Generally, it is the lunar cycle which is taken into consideration as it impacts the condition of soil and the microbial activity in soil and air during different phases of moon. Along with the geographical location which provides a specific climatic condition, the lunar cycle plays an important role in deciding which farming activities shall be done during a particular phase of moon.

Biodynamic wines are organic in nature. Doing away with the use chemical component introduced in farming methods by man, whether in the form of insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers or any other, is the first pre-requisite of growing bio-dynamic grapes. In order to fully incorporate the natural essence of all phenomenon in grapes, it is important to do away with human and artificial intervention (generally in the form of chemicals). This enables the grapes to have a fully natural content. A bio-dynamic wine Australia can be organic but an organic wine need not be a bio-dynamic one.

Merlot vs Malbec: How you can recognise them in blind tasting?

Merlot and Malbec are two red grape varieties widely used in making bold red wines and blends. Where Merlot wines has a successful history which dates back to 1784, Malbec has seen ups and downs since its first vine planted in 19th century. Though very different in genetics, both varieties come from vitis vinifera family and often confuse blind tasters with their almost similar aromas, texture and palate.


Let’s check out some amazing tips on how you can differentiate Merlot vs Malbec wines in a blind tasting.


Check out for the colour first. Though the grapes of both varieties fall in blue category and do not flaunt a red colour, but they produce red wines with hints of purple. Merlot flaunts a dark blue colour, whereas Malbec grape is purple in colour. When poured into a glass, a Merlot varietal wine shows ruby red colour, and a Malbec single varietal features inky dark colour.


Coming to the flavours! Merlot wines are soft and velvety in texture and usually have plum flavours, medium tannins and an elegant finish. It’s fruity and slightly sweet. On contrary, look for robust tannins, plumpy dark fruit flavours and signature smoky finish in Malbec wines. Malbec wines are typically made medium to full-bodied hence can be a great alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

You might have noticed that we’ve not mentioned aromas in this section to determine Malbec and Merlot wines. This is because, both Merlot and Malbec wines may tend to have different aromas depending upon where their fruit are grown. For example, a Merlot grown in warmer region will have different aromas when compared to Merlot grown in cooler climates. You will usually find aromas of black cherry, berries, plum, chocolate, and some herbs in Merlot wines. Similar is the case with Malbec. Cool climate Malbecs will have red fruit flavours like black cherry and raspberry, whereas warm climate Malbecs will have black fruit flavours such as plum and blackberry.

As you can see, both wines have almost similar aromatics, this is why it is difficult to differentiate these wines with just sniffing. With the brilliant tricks mentioned above you can get expertise in differentiating Merlot vs Malbec wines, but for that you need to drink them. Try them buying on discounts by subscribing to Trophy Club or taking VIP membership plan by Just Wines.