The Best Known Types of Wine

There are many types of wine, and many ways of classifying them. The most obvious is by color, red or white, but there are many more differences than just color.

The types of wine that most consumers know are: Table Wine, Champagne or sparkling wine, and Dessert Wine.

Table wine is a wine that is not a sparkling wine, and has an alcohol level of 14 percent or less. This is not always a hard and fast rule, since now many table wines have an alcohol level above 14 percent. In European countries table wines by law must have alcohol levels between 8.5 and 14 percent. But in grape producing regions that have warmer climates, and grapes are cut when they have a higher sugar content, some wines that are considered table wines by consumers may have alcohol levels of 14.5 to 15.5 percent.

Table wines are subdivided into:

Types of White Wine, Types of Red Wine, and within the realm of red wine; a table wine with an interesting term Meritage Wine, and a young wine that people around the world line up to try, Beaujolais Nouveau.

Champagne or Sparkling Wine is probably the most distinctive of the types of wine. It contains carbon dioxide, which produces the delightful bubbles.

Champagne is a sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France. Many people around the world call any sparkling wine "champagne", but the French do not take too kindly to this. France and many other wine producing countries, including the United States, have come to an agreement to use the name Champagne for sparkling wines produced in Champagne France.

Carbon dioxide gas is a byproduct of wine making. It usually comes about during a second fermentation process. This second fermentation can take place either in the bottle or in a tank.

It is this method of winemaking that produces the bubbles, and accompanying amusing tickle in your mouth. Dessert wine has more than 14 percent alcohol level. As we have seen before, some wines have a higher than 14 percent alcohol level, and are still considered table wines, though not necessarily by the tax man, since dessert wines are often taxed at a higher rate.

But true dessert wines are often fortified. It means that alcohol is added to the wine. This is true of the wines from the Jerez, or Sherry, region of Spain; and the wines from Oporto, or Port, in Portugal. Very often these wines are quite sweet, but some are not too much so, though they may be sweeter than most table or sparkling wines.

What is Your Favorite Wine Type?

Back to Home Page from Types of Wine