Main styles of wine

Guy Palmer-Brown

Kiss Of Wine

At Kiss of Wine, unsurprisingly, we love wine, but there's so much of it.. right? Different countries, regions, grape varieties, wine styles, producers, colour... and on it goes. Here we are going to try to break it down for you, into little tasty bites, for you to pick at when you want, imagine a smorgasbord of wine info.

Sparkling wine alongside a birthday cake.

SPARKLING

Fizzy wine (aka party wine). Whether it be expensive old Champagne or your everyday favourite prosecco, there is so much to explore in this not so little category. Some of the ones you might recognise include Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, Crement and Moscato. They're wine with bubbles, made in a variety of ways; from long ageing to simply pumped full of gas, and each one is different.

Selection of Kiss of Wine white wine cans including Crisp, Zesty, Smooth.

WHITE

We’re going to attempt to cover this in one paragraph, here we go.. White wines are made from white grapes and don't have any skin contact. What's that you ask? We will come on to that a bit later, but for now it is good to know that colour in wine comes from various pigments present in the grape skin, and so if the juice and grape skins can't spend time together (skin contact), you have a colourless wine. The majority of whites fall into this category. The main white grapes you're going to see are Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio (also known as Pinot Gris). There are hundreds more but these are the main four. These wines are best drunk straight from the fridge, although in some rarer cases they taste a bit better after warming up for a few minutes

Kiss of wine rose Chill canned wine alongside glass.

ROSÉ


Okey dokey, let's talk a little more about that skin contact thing. Rosés are made from red wine grapes but with only a teeny bit of skin contact. Rarely, you can find a rosé that is a blend of red and white wine together (mainly in pink fizz), the first method is more common. The red grape skins are left in contact with the grape juice for just a few hours, imparting that lovely pale salmon pink colour we all know and love.

Glass of orange wine enjoyed by lady.

ORANGE

I promise that this is the last time we'll mention skin contact... If rosé is made from red grapes with a small amount of skin contact, then orange wines can be considered the opposite of that - they are wines made from white grapes with a hell of a lot of skin contact! It’s worth noting that even white grapes have some pigments in them. The resultant wines are orange in colour, very aromatic, and quite textural.

Two glasses of red wine alongside a plate of nuts, cheese and red grapes.

RED

This is a simpler one to remember - red wines are made from red grapes. These are some of the big hitters in the wine world. We're talking Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (Cab Sav), Pinot Noir and Grenache. As with white grapes, there's heaps more, but we'll get to those further down the line. These wines are best drunk at room temperature (unless you live in Antarctica or the Sahara) or a touch cooler.

Two glasses of sweet wine, including white and rose.

SWEET

All the wines we’ve talked about up to now are generally made as dry wines, as in the opposite of sweet, so without sugar. It’s worth noting that you may come across a sweeter red, but they are pretty rare. Sweet wines do exactly what they say on the tin, they are wines that are deliberately made with sugar in them. The sugar is not added to the wine, but in fact it's the natural grape sugars that haven't been fermented. That's why some sweeter wines are a little lower in alcohol. Sweet wine can also be called dessert wines, so these include wines like Moscato, but also fortified wines like Port and Madeira. These latter styles have extra alcohol added to them, that stops the fermentation midway, and as previously, leaves some sugar in the wine.

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