The 8 Common Types of Wine

With many written about the health benefits of wine, you should really get into the habit of moderately drinking the alcoholic beverage every once in a while. But if these health benefits won’t cut it, then maybe learning that there’s actually more than one flavour of wine can make the habit more interesting for you.


Try to eavesdrop between two wine connoisseurs and you’ll be bombarded with wine flavors, textures and terms such as “Sauvignon” and “Chardonnay”. These are just 2 of the common types of wine. To develop your own taste or preference for a type of certain, you need to know all 8 of the common types.


Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular wine in the world. It is a full-bodied red grape with a taste combination of black currant, black cherry baking spices and cedar.

Food pairing: beef, lamb, smoked meats, firm and hard cheeses

Alternatives: Bordeauc Blend, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Merlot, Sangiovese


Sauvignon Blanc

A dry white grape from France, Sauvignon Blanc is a light to medium-bodied white wine. In taste, it’s tart, citrus with herbal green fruit flavors.

Food pairing: pork, chicken, fish, French, Mexican, and select cheeses such as Gruyere

Alternatives: Gruner Veltliner, Verdejo, Vermentino



Chardonnay is a full-bodied white wine from the white grape of Burgundy. Oak aged, Chardonnay is zesty with apple and citrus, but also with hints of spice and bourbon.

Food pairing: crustaceans, pork, chicken, mushroom, cream sauces, French and soft cheeses

Alternatives: Semillon, Viogner


Pinot Noir

Dry, light-bodied with high acid and soft tannins, pinot noir has mixed flavors of red fruits cherry and cranberry, and red rose with subtle tang of  beet or mushroom.

Food pairing: duck, cured meat, pork, chicken, cream sauces, French, German, and soft and nutty cheeses

Alternatives: Gamay


Pinot Gris

Dry, light-bodied white wine, Pinot Gris is citrus and fruity with notes of cheese and white floral.

Food pairing: Poached fish, salad, light and mild cheeses

Alternatives:  Albariño, Muscadet, Soave



Also called Shiraz, Syrah is a full-bodied red wine with intense fruit flavors and a meat quality to it.

Food pairing: smoked meat, lamb, beef, Mediterranean, French, and American cheeses

Alternatives: Malbec, Monastrell, Petit Sirah, Pinotage



Riesling can be dry or sweet, floral, fruity and high in acid.

Food pairing: duck, turkey, chicken, pork, curef meat, German, Indian, Moroccan, Thai, Vietnamese, and washes cheese.

Alternatives: Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Blanc, Torrontes



Medium-bodied red wine from Croatia, Zinfandel, also known as Primitivo, is fruity and spicy.

Food pairing: lamb, beef, pork, chicken, American, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Thai

Alternatives: Carignan, Grenache, Rhone Blend, Tempranillo