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FAQ - Wine Locales Online

Types of Wines

Unlike Europe, where part of the name of each range of wines are usually named after the region in which the grapes are grown ie Bordeaux, Champagne, Chianti etc, Australia and New Zealand usually label their range of wines after the grape variety that the wine is made from ie Cabernet, Chardonnay etc.

‘Varietal’ refers to the grape variety used to make the wine, and is most often applied to non-European wines.

Red Wines
There are over 35 red grape varietals grown in the world today. Reds can vary from light to full-bodied in texture; that is lighter to deeper in colour (this generally corresponds to perceived acidity); low to high in tannin level; younger to older in age. The redness of the wine depends on the contact with the skin of the grape, as can be seen by, when you separate the grape skin from its flesh soon after picking will produce a white red.

Types of red wines

Aromas / Flavours

Cabernet Sauvignon A deep coloured, thick-skinned grape that produces a very flavour able wine, and can have the potential to age for a long time green pepper, capsicum, tomato leaf, beetroot, eucalyptus, fresh mint, blackcurrant, plum, liquorice, dark chocolate, black olive, dusty, mulberry, cedar, cigar box, pencil shavings, earthy, cassis.
Merlot Usually less tannic and less blackcurrant like than Cabernet Sauvignon. It produces a plumper, juicier wine that is more rounded and seem to be sweeter. Aged Merlot becomes very soft and velvety. cherry, plum, spices, violets, fruitcake, chocolate, raisins, blackberry, roses, green beans, asparagus.
Pinot Noir With a colour that can range from light cherry red to deep purple-red, and almost brown as the wine ages. raspberry, strawberry, cherry, currants, coffee beans, mocha, meatiness, black truffle.
Shiraz/Syrah Dark, full-bodied, powerful, alcoholic wines with great aging potential. black pepper, white pepper, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, plum, jammy, mint, black olive, eucalypt, salami, dark chocolate, cedar, charred oak, cloves, tobacco, earth, violets, gaminess, leather characters.
White Wines
There are about 50 major white grapes grown in the world today. Of the following grapes, Riesling is the lightest and Chardonnay being the most full-bodied.
Types of white wines

Aromas / Flavours

Chardonnay Can be easily developed into a variety of styles and flavour characteristics. grapefruit, apple, pear, peach, nectarine, banana, lemon, fruit salad, tropical fruit, pineapple, fig, cashew, toast, butter, nutmeg, oatmeal, smoke bacon, vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, paraline, bacon fat, woodsmoke, honey, toast, melon.
Chenin Blanc Requires a lot of sun to bring out its fruity flavours and to soften its acidity, with some Chenin Blanc that have a soft, simple, crisp and fruity flavour. apple, pear, nuts, marzipan.
Riesling With a vivid fruitiness and lively balanced acidity, Riesling has the potential to age for many years. floral, perfumed, apple, grapefruit, pear, lemon, lime, orange, mandarin, citrus, peach, apricot, passionfruit, pineapple, tropical fruit, honey, toast, kerosene.
Sauvignon Blanc Usually high in acidity and not as complex or as full as a Chardonnay. Usually it’s very best when drunk young. grass, flint, green peas, asparagus, cat’s pee, herbaceous, gooseberries, apples, pears, passion fruit, ango, blackcurrant.
Semillon Grapes from cooler regions are likely to have herbaceous tones coupled with citrus characters, while those from warmer regions will be less herbaceous and have a greater citrus intensity and tropical fruit characters. grass, citrus, lime, lemon, peach, apricot, gooseberry, peas,lanolin, barley sugar,  honey, vanilla custard, toast.
Bubbly Wines
The only bubbly that can be rightfully called ‘Champagne’ are those made in the north region of France ‘Champagne’, according to the ‘Methode Champenoise’. All others should be labelled as ‘sparkling wine’ and if they follow the same method, it is called the ‘Classic Method’ or ‘Methode Traditionnelle’.

Dessert/Fortified Wines
Such labelled wines are made with the addition of spirits to raise the alcohol content.

(Source: variety of places including those listed below)
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