If you’re a newbie to the world of wines, you might find the sheer volume of wine varieties available utterly overwhelming. Among the literally thousands of wines out there, how do you determine what’s what? And how do you choose a good wine to try for the first time?

While people often confuse a red wine’s fruity flavor with it being sweet, a true mark of sweet red wine is its residual sugar.

  • Sec (Dry): A dry wine with very little residual sugar
  • Off-dry: Has residual sugar levels in the 0.6% to 1.4% range
  • Demi-sec (Half dry): Medium-sweet wines with medium to high acidity, like Zinfandel
  • Late Harvest: Made from grapes that are harvested later than usual (overripe grapes have concentrated and sweeter juice)
  • Dessert: Sweet dessert wines with around 5-15% residual sugar 
  • Doux: Sweetest of Champagnes or sparkling wines, with over 50g of residual sugar per liter
types of wine

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“A sweetheart is a bottle of wine, a wife is a wine bottle.”

Simply put, wine is the fermented juice of a wine grape. A wine grape is far different from your grocery store-variety grape: it’s small, sweet, thick-skinned, and contains many seeds.

There are two types of grapes wine is made from white grapes (which are actually green-colored) and black grapes (which are actually red-colored). And within those types of grapes, there are hundreds of varieties used to make thousands of wine varietals and blends.

Many other factors influence a wine’s character, like the wine region, tannins, sweetness, acidity, body, and flavors, but we won’t get into the complexities of all that right now. Instead, let’s keep it simple and take a look at the six main types of wines:

drink wine


alcohol contnets

Apart from sweetness, sweet red wines are also distinguished by lower alcohol content

If a bottle of wine has low alcohol content, there’s a great chance it’s a sweet one. But, there are exceptions – a German Riesling can have up to 12% alcohol and still be exceptionally sweet. Also, sweet red wines, unlike their dry counterparts, don’t have the full tannic flavors of traditional red wines like Cabernet Franc or Merlot.

wine bottles
alcohol contnets

If you’re new to the world of wine, trying out the most popular kinds is a good place to start. When you aren’t sure what types of wine you like, you should try out a variety. Anyone can find the perfect wine for them — with so many different types available with unique characteristics and flavors, there’s a wine for everyone.

Have your wine with food,Why not Drink wine every night

Red wines are made from black grapes fermented with the grape skins (which is where the red colour of the wine comes from), seeds, and stems. Red wine is high in tannins, which causes that bitter, dry taste in your mouth after you take a sip.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine. It’s the most popular variety of wine in the world. If you have a discerning palate, you’ll primarily taste black cherry and blackcurrant. 

Merlot is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon but has its own unique flavor

Pinot Noir is mid-bodied red wine that has the taste of several red flavors — red fruit, red flowers, and red vegetables.

drink wine

White wines are made from both white grapes and black grapes. But while red wines are fermented with grape skins, white wines are not. Instead, the skins are separated so only clear grape juice is used. White wine has few tannins; its acidic nature is what outlines its fresh, crisp, and tart flavors.

Made from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling grapes.

Always chill white wine before drinking it to bring out its flavors.

How to read wine label

Rosé is a wine known by its blush or pink colour. This pretty colour is created when the juice of black grapes is fermented with the skins for a very short period of time, from a few hours to a few days until the juice turns colour. Like white wine, it is also low in tannins, though some rosés are dry. Rosé is a popular crowd-pleaser, especially for summertime parties, and a great choice as a starter wine because of its light, sweet flavour. 

How to read wine label

Sparkling wines are carbonated wines, hence the nickname “bubbly.” Sparkling wines are made from black and white grapes, and carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring byproduct of fermentation. The most well-known sparkling wine is champagne, which is often used in celebrations like New Year’s and weddings.

Dessert wines are very sweet wines that are drunk after a meal with (and sometimes as) dessert. 

Fortified wines are wines with spirits like brandy added in during the fermentation process. Because these wines are sweetened by alcohol, the ones with lower alcohol content are considered dessert wines and are also paired with desserts.

Fortified wines have a higher alcohol content than other wines.