The Nine Primary Wine Styles & Their Main Characteristics

Every other thing grows old and starts rotting, but wine? For many styles of wine, they can only get better. There’s so much to know about every bottle of wine you find in your cellar or the bottles of wine you shop for to add to your collection. The lessons don’t end when you open the bottle because even at the bottom of a good wine bottle, there’s still so much to learn.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the nine primary styles of wine. It may seem relatively insignificant, but without this knowledge, it would not be easy to understand the more complex nature of good wines. There are nine primary styles of wine, and they’re all going to be explained in subsequent paragraphs. 

What Are The Different Styles Of Wine?

Sparkling Wine

It’s a special occasion anytime a sparkling wine is sighted. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a grand event or reading a book by the side of the pool. What matters is that you have your favorite bubbly drink made from all grape varieties in a wine glass in your hands, and that makes the occasion special. 

Sparkling wine first gained popularity in France before it spread its refreshing elegance to other parts of the world. The process of manufacturing sparkling wine is a lengthy one, but the result makes the whole long process worth it. 

When you taste this wine, you discover it has some underlying notes of toast, citrus, light berries, and peach. 

The most common types of sparkling wines are:

  • Champagne
  • Cava
  • Crémant
  • Prosecco

You can drink your sparkling wine with delicious foods like seafood, salads, cheese, or fish.

Light-Bodied White Wine

This wine is known for being zesty and tart. Light-bodied white wines are also known to have high acidity, and that’s why light-bodied white wines are not encouraged to be preserved for long periods. They’re the best drunk in their prime when they’re young. 

Light-bodied whites are very crisp and can’t be compared to any other. A glass of this wine will have you tasting fresh notes of melon, Apple, grapefruit, peach, or citrus. 

Light-bodied white wines are easy to drink and are one of the most highly purchased wines in the World. Some common types of light-bodied white wines include:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Gris
  • Soave
  • Grüner Veltliner
  • Albariño

This wine best goes with foods like cheeses, shellfish, and chicken because it is acidic and mineral in nature.

Full-Bodied White Wine

If you’ve always been a fan of red wine, but you want to try something new, say white wine, then full-bodied white wine is your best bet. This wine has a rich creaminess with subtle notes of ripe fruit and spice like Apple, star fruit, or pineapple. 

Full-bodied white wines are created with unique winemaking processes, such as oak barrel aging to bring out the butter and vanilla notes.

You can try having your next glass of full-bodied white wine with seafood, buttery dishes, and assorted cheeses. 

Examples of this rich white wine include:

  • Warm climate Chardonnay
  • Viognier
  • Semillon
  • Pecorino

Aromatic White Wine

The aromatic white wine is best known as the go-to wine for beginner wine drinkers. Aromatic grapes, like Muscat, are the oldest variety in the world. And the formative white wine is made of these grapes, giving it some sweet-smelling aroma that’s instantly pleasant to your nostrils. 

Due to the detailed production process, the wine tastes sweeter. Also, aromatic white wine’s significant flavours are apple, honeysuckle, pear, flowers, and beeswax. Aromatic white wines are at their best when they’re old. Examples of the most purchased aromatic varietals include:

  • Gewurztraminer
  • Chenin Blanc
  • Riesling
  • Muscat Blanc
  • Moscato d’Asti
  • Torrontés

You can take your aromatic white wine with white beans, pungent cheeses, spicy fish, or Indian cuisine.

Rosé Wine

Rose wine has become more prevalent during this past decade. It gained popularity due to its pale red, almost pink tones. This wine isn’t produced from a combination of white and red grapes. Instead, it was made by “dyeing” a wine with a few red grape skins for a short while.

This shows there is a whole lot to learn about this wine style. Examples of Rose Wine:

  • Garnacha Rosé
  • Pinot Noir Rosé
  • Sangiovese Rosé
  • White Zinfandel
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot

Light-Bodied Red Wine

Light-bodied red wines are more “see-through” wines than rose wines. This wine is lighter in tannins, and they’re preferable for those who love fruit-forward reds. They’re among the easy-to-drink wines, making them highly sought after. Some examples of light-bodied red wine you should have in your collection include:

  • Pinotage
  • Grenache
  • Young zinfandels

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

The following wine style in the world of red wines is the medium-bodied reds. These wines tend to get better with age and are compatible with different foods. The medium-bodied red wine has formed the basis for most wine cocktails.

There’s a wide variety of medium-bodied red wines to look out for; some of them include:

  • Grenache
  • Merlot
  • Zinfandel
  • Barbera
  • Montepulciano
  • Sangiovese
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Carmenere

Medium-bodied reds are produced in different ways, and they have different tastes. When you drink a glass of middle-bodied red wine, you’d taste the subtle notes of stone fruits like plum and cherry and earthy flavours like cured meat. 

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Full-bodied red wines are for people who have mastered the art of savouring red wine. It’s not for newcomers to red wine because it has high tannins; it has flavours like cherry, currant, tobacco, and cedar. While it’s not for people who can’t hold their liquor, they’re good wines that can go along with hearty meals or as a drink to end the night.

These are typical examples of full-bodied red wine:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Montepulciano
  • Malbec
  • Syrah
  • Pinotage

Dessert Wine

Dessert wine used to be popular in the 19th century but now, not as much because they’re highly alcoholic and sugary. Modern drinkers no longer find it appealing. However, they are considered the boldest and most highly flavoured aromatic wines. These wines are not encouraged to be consumed in large quantities. Some of the most common types are:

  • Madeira
  • Sherry
  • Port
  • Marsala

Love Wine and Want To Start A Collection? Start Cellaring.

If you love wine and want to start a collection, Papro Wine Cellars & Consulting helps people design, build and maintain wine cellars for their homes.  Contact us today to start your cellaring journey.

Papro Wine Cellars