Common Wine Grapes
For Ordering Online:
NSLC and LCBO are for Canadian In-Province Orders Only and Wine.com is for American Orders Only(Most all states)
MyWineCanada.com ships to Canadian addressess only.
All these website are great for browsing wine flavours, aromas and tasting notes.
The Carmenere grape is grown mostly in Chile, although it originally was planted in France. The Carmenere grape has medium tannins and produces a medium body red wine.
Flavours and aromas of this grape include: red berry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, plum, cassis, dried fruit, mocha, spice, vanilla, earthy, pepper, herb.
This grape is sometimes blended with Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
In Chile, the best wines are made in the Peumo wine region, and they can age for many years. To buy this wine, look for popular brand names like:
Casillero Diablo, Casa Silva, Montgras, Santa Rita, Araucano, Arboleda.
Alcohol content in these wines is 12-13.5%.
Food pairings for this wine includes: Sausages, Grilled Vegetables, Roast Chicken, Roast Pork, Stews, Moroccan, Lamb, Grilled Beef, BBQ, Game.
Browse Carmenere Wines - LCBO
Browse Carmenere Wines - NSLC
A red wine grape from South Africa, that can have flavours and aromas of plum, blackberry, raspberry, dark fruit, licorice, chocolate, mocha, coffee, sweet and sour, earthy, smoke, bacon.
Its`acidity is low, and
flavours are bold. The wine is usually oaked in French Oak Barrels to add additional flavours. Alcohol content in these wines is 12-14%.
Browse Pinotage Wines - LCBO
Browse Pinotage Wines - NSLC
Foods that pair with these wines include: BBQ, Ribs, Barbeque Chicken, Sausages, Pizza, Hamburgers, Roast Pork, Smoked Meat, Mild Curry, Lamb Stew, Casseroles.
This grape varietal is grown mostly in Portugal, where 30,000 acres of vineyards are planted. This red wine has flavours and aromas of, violet, blueberry, plum, blackcurrant, red fruit,
mineral, floral, spice, mint, earth, smoke, dried fruit, caramel, vanilla, nutmeg, marshmallow. The wine`s have high tannins and medium to high acidity, with high alcohol content,
usually 12-14%. Common wine regions in Portugal are Douro, Dao, Beiro.
Also used in blends, these grapes provide structure to the body, high tannins, and black fruit flavours.
Touriga is also a common blend in Portugal port wines.
Other regions where some grapes are planted include USA - San Jonquin Valley, and South Africa- Karoo, and Australia - Barossa and McLaren Vale.
These wines have good aging potential similar to Cabernet Sauvignon.
Touriga Nacional Food Pairings
Foods that pair well with these wines include: casseroles, stews, lamb, game, beef stew, sausages, BBQ, blues cheese, apertif.
Browse Touriga Nacional Wines - NSLC
Read About Portugals Wine Regions and Wines
A grape used mostly in port wines in Portugal, although it has also been used in red wines from the Dao and Douro winemaking regions. Australia and USA make port wines
from their Touriga Franca vineyards.
Portuguese winemakers use five grape varieties to make their blend reds and port wines including: Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz and Tinto Cao.
Unlike Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca produces reliable harvests and does best in warm climate regions like the Douro Valley in Portugal. Together these two blended grape varieties
make a great wine.
Touriga Franca Food Pairings
Foods that pair well with these wines include: cheese, nuts, chocolate, custards, game, blue cheeses.
Touriga Franca Wines - NSLC
Native to California, this grape is grown mostly in the Napa Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and Sierra Foothills. The Zinfandel grape is used to make
a red and a white wine. Although a light bodied wine, it has a bold taste because of its` its moderate tannins and high acidity.
Also used to make California red blend wines; blends often include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel.
Flavours and aromas unique to this grape include: blueberry, cherry, plum, cranberry, strawberry, boyensberry, licorice, black pepper, vanilla, spice, coconut, nutmeg, peach, mocha, coffee,
cinnamon, clove, tobacco.
Alcohol content can vary from 8-13% for lighter Zinfandel wines, and to 16% alcohol for the bolder wine types.
Zinfandel Food Pairings
White Zinfandel - chicken, turkey, chicken salad, pasta salad, shellfish, cheese, apertif.
Red Zinfandel - hamburgers, sausages, pizza, BBQ, pork, ribs, grilled beef, steak.
Browse Light and Fruity Zinfandel Wines - NSLC
Browse Bold Styles Zinfandel Wines - NSLC
Browse All Styles Zinfandel Wines - LCBO
Browse Zinfandel Wines - Wine.com
(USA Customers Only - For Ordering online)
Petit Sirah, aka Durif, is a small grape that grows best in dry climates like those found Australia and California. Earlier on it was used mostly as a blending grape
to add structure and color to the blends. It has aging potential because of its natural acidity and high tannins, and wines from Napa and Sonoma, are the best for aging.
There are less than 11,000 acres planted and most are in
California. Wine regions there include Lodi(Best Value Wines), Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino. Plantings are also in Chile, Brazil, and South Africa.
Blended With Zinfandel
In California, modern day Petit Sirah is used as a blending grape with Zinfandel, where it adds complexity, and structure to the blend.
Flavours and aromas unique to this bold fruity grape variety include; blackberry, blueberry, plum, jammy, chocolate and black pepper, mocha, licorice, herb.
This wine can be served at a slighter cooler temperature than most reds.
Petit Sirah Bogle Brand - NSLC
Petit Sirah Bogle Winemaker Notes
Petit Sirah - Bear Flag Brand, NSLC
Petit Sirah - Bear Flag Brand, Bold Style, NSLC
Petit Sirah - Mcmannis Brand, Bold Style, NSLC
There are about 80,000 acres of this grape planted, mostly in France, with some plantings in New Zealand, Canada, Oregon.
Gamay is typically a light to medium bodied red wine, and 75% of the world`s wine is produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Look for the Beaujolais name on the bottle label.
Flavours and aromas of this wine type include; redcurrant, strawberry, cherry, blackcurrant, violet, peach, plum, raspberry, earthy, spice, cinnamon.
The alcohol content is 12-14%.
Like all wines in France, Gamay wines are labelled by region; Village wine or Villages is better quality than a Regional wine, and Grand or Premium Cru are better
quality than the Village wines. Example of Villages wine is - Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages. For Gamays, you can buy some better quality Village wines for about the
same price as the Regional wines.
In Canada, Gamay wines are often blended with Pinot Noir, although there are a few winemakers that make a single Gamay varietal like the Casa Dea brand. The
Harpers Trail brand makes a Gamay blend with Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc.
These wines go well with these foods: mild cheeses, cured meats, BBQ, roast chicken, pork.
Browse Light and Fruity Gamay Wines - NSLC
Browse Light and Fruity Gamay Wines - LCBO
Browse Gamay Wines and Gamay Blends - MyWineCanada.com
This grape is grown mostly in France, Australia, South Africa and Chile, and there are some vineyards in California. France has about 30,000 acres; Australia about 15,000 acres.
South Africa, Chile, and California have much less acres devoted to this varietal.
At one time it was considered an important grape and had considerable plantings in these regions, however,
due to its lack of intensity and complexity, it is not popular in many of the new world wine regions, and has since reduced its plantings and production in France, South Africa, and Chile.
In France, it is used in white dry wines like Bordeaux Blanc, and white sweet wines known as Sauternes. In sweet wines it is usually the dominant grape,
and in white dry wines it is usually a smaller percentage blending grape.
In France, Semillon, Muscadelle, and Sauvignon Blanc are blended together to make the Bordeaux Blanc dry wines. These blended wines can be found in
Pessac-Léognan, Graves, and the Entre-Deux-Mers regions of France. Sweet wines are found in Sauternes, Barsac and Cérons. These sweet wines can be aged for many years.
In Australia, Semillon is blended with Chardonnay and or Sauvignon Blanc grapes to make white dry wines. Australian winemakers also make a Sauternes sweet style.
Winemaking regions include Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley, and Margaret River. The cool climate Adelaide Hills regions is also making a Semillon with good success.
In South Africa, Semillon is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc, and they also produce a sweet style.
In California, Semillon is mostly blended with Sauvignon Blanc.
Flavours and aromas can include: Lemon, Lime, Citrus Zest, Apple. Pear, Peach, Herb, Spice, Floral, Mineral, Honeysuckle, Ginger, Butter, Pie Crust, Cream.
Semillon Food Pairings
Food pairings for semillon include: shellfish, fresh cheese, grilled fish, white fish, chicken, roast chicken, scallops, custards, blue cheeses, pasto(pesto), vegetarian, and apertif.
Bordeaux Blanc Semillon
Icewines originated in Germany - Eiswein; however, only Canada has a climate which can produce these cold weather harvested grapes on a yearly basis.
Vinexpo in Bordeaux, the most important wine fair in the world, is where Ice Wines from Canada took center stage in the early 1990s, and put Canada winemakers front and center for
producer and exporter of these types of wines. Canada`s most lucrative wine export is Ice Wines.
Nowadays, the grape is mostly grown in Canada, Germany, and some regions in USA.
This grape is winter harvested (cold weather). The grapes are left on the vines to allow the
sugars and acidity to be concentrated enough for making of Ice Wines.
The wines have fruity and floral flavours and aromas, and are especially sweet.
Harvesting Grapes For Ice Wine
The harvesting of grapes for Ice wines is time consuming, as the grapes must be hand picked when frozen on the vines. Then they must be pressed before they thaw,
which gives them their high sugar content, acidity, and juicy flavours that can include: honey, lemon, orchard fruit, lychee, citrus, apricot, peach, and with a complex palate.
They are commonly made from the Vidal Blanc grape, although winemakers make ice wine from these grape varietals also; Riesling, Gewurz, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay,
Cabernet France, and Syrah. Sometimes they blend grapes also.
The NSLC website, has selections made from Vidal Blanc, and the LCBO website, has selections made from different grape types, and the MyWineCanda.com has a good
varied selection from many Canadian Winemakers.
LCBO Ice Wines
NSLC Ice Wines
Prices for Ice Wines is usually more expensive than dry white or red wines. The bottle size is usually 200ml or 375ml, and some winemakers have a 50ml size bottle.
Typical prices are in the $21 - $60, and less than $10 for a 50ml size. The alcohol content varies from 9 - 12%.
These wines can age well, usually for 10 years, and ice wines made from Riesling can age for 20 or more years.
Food Pairings Ice Wines
Ice wine can pair with a variety of foods, and you can compliment or contrast with this type of wine.
The flavour and rich textured ice wines pair well with cheeses like; Blue Cheese, Triple Cream, Goat Cheese, Rind Cheeses, Aged Cheeses, and Salty parmesan cheeses.
The bold flavour of Ice wines are good for a variety of appetizers like: fresh oyster, savoury orderves.
For your meal, Ice Wines are great with rich seafood, sushi rolls, and thai cuisine.
And, Ice wines are delicious with desserts. Serve white Ice wines with fruit based desserts, and red Ice wines with goes with chocolate desserts.
And, make sure your Ice wine is sweeter than the dessert your serving it with.
Macabeo is a white wine grape used in Sparkling type wines of Spain. Cava is the most well known sparkling wine from Spain. It is usually blended with
Xarel-lo and Parellada wine grapes. Xarel-lo adds earthy flavours, while Xarel-lo adds fruit notes.
Macabeo can have flavours of floral, honeyed, nutty, and with a crisp light body style.
The Cava sparkling wines can also be aged for 15 months to 30 months, similar to the aging times of Champagne from France.
Reserva and Gran Reserva Wines
Typically, a Reserva Cava is aged 15 months, and a Gran Reserva is aged for at least 30 months. This is just 6 months less than
the aging requirement for Vintage Champagne from France`s famous champagne region. This makes the aged Reserva Cava sparklings from Spain very good value wines because they
are a lot cheaper than Champagne but they have comparable tastes to the more expensive champagne type of sparklings.
The Reserva and Gran Reserva wines have very good aging potential, many can age for decades.
Although Spain has the most vineyards for the Macabeo grape, about 30,000; there are also about 2500 acres in the Roussillon region of France.
In France, the late harvested Macabeo grape is often used in making fortified wines.
These wines pair with foods like tapas, shellfish, fresh cheeses, and apertif.
Cava Sparkling Reserva Wine - LCBO
White Wine Blends
In addition to producing Cava type white wines, the Macabeo grape is also used in White Blend non sparkling wines in Spain. When used as a white wine blend grape it is known as the
Viura grape, commonly labelled as Rioja Blanca.
These wines are mostly made with the Viura grape and also common is Malvasia and Garnacha Blanca blends.
Viura makes light, medium, to full bodied white wines that are sometimes fermented in American Oak producing flavours and aromas of hazelnut, almond, and dried yellow fruit.
Citrus and floral are common flavours.
Viura Wine - NSLC
Another common blending grape is Verdejo. It is blended often with Viura, to make some of Spain`s finest white wines. Typically, this wine has a aromatic, crisp, unoaked style.
The Verdejo wine can be produced as a single varietal, or blended with Viura and sometimes blended with Sauvignon Blanc.
If labelled as Rueda
Rueda, it is a blend variety; and 50% of the blend must be Verdejo, with the remaining blend being either Sauvignon Blanc or Viura(macabeo). And, if the
label reads Rueda Verdejo
, then the wine must contain at least 85% Verdejo, although commonly it is 100% Verdejo.
Alcohol content in these wine types are usually 12 - 13.5%.
These wines pair well with tapas, white fish, appetizers, nuts, mild curry, shellfish, apertif.
Rueda Wine- NSLC
Rueda Verdejo - LCBO
The Albarino grape from Spain makes light bodied wines, similar to Sauvignon Blanc and Dry Rieslings. The alcohol content is usually 12-13.5%.
Flavours and aromas can include: citrus, floral, peach, apple, pineapple, lime, and oaked toasty flavour. Minerality is common also.
These wines pair with foods like shellfish, grilled fish, pasta salads, chicken, and apertif.
Albarino Wine - NSLC
This grape was created in the Ontario region of Canada. Today, most vineyards for this grape are in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
Flavours and aromas can include: fresh flavours such as citrus fruit, and some herbaceous character. When oak aged; buttery nuances, pear and apple flavours, and creamy textures.
This grape is hardy, and it ripens early and is disease resistant.
Wines similar to L`Acadie Blanc are Chardonnay for its body and texture, and Sauvignon Blanc for its herbaceous nature.
L`Acadie Blanc wine has crisp acidity, with distinct minerality, and a good finish. The best wines are from cooler climate regions like those found in Canada`s wine regions.
Sparkling wines are also made from this grape.
These wines pair with foods like: fresh cheeses, salads, shellfish, goat cheese, apertif, oysters.
L`Acadie Blanc - Wines NSLC
Nova Scotia Wineries with Wine Tours & Tasting Rooms
Wineries of Nova Scotia and Wine Standards
Agiorgitiko and Moschefilero are wine grapes made in Greek wines. Agiorgitiko is the most planted grape in Greece, and
red wine produced from this grape is characteristically spicy with notes of plum. It has low acidity and fruitiness, and typically a
Light and Fruity body.
Usually made as a single varietal, it is also blended with Cabernet Sauvignon in some wine regions.
These wines pair well with Grilled Lamb, BBQ chicken, Fresh cheeses, Sprinklings of Cured Meats(like Bacon Bits), Roasted Potatoes.
Agiorgitiko Wines NSLC
Moschefilero grape is aromatic type similar to Muscat. Used to make wines of different styles like Dry wines, Sparkling wines, and Dessert wines.
This grape has good acidity. It makes bold styles with perfumy aromas and spicy notes. It is also similar to
Riesling, Traminer and Viognier wines which like Muscat, are characterized by their distinct floral aromas. Alcohol content in these wines is
These wines pair well with grilled fish, chicken, scallops, goat cheese, apertif.
Moschefilero Wines NSLC
A grape native to France, nowadays it is also planted in lesser quantities in USA, Australia, South Africa, Israel and Greece.
In northern Rhone France, it is usually blended with the Marsanne grape to make white still wines. Look for the label names of
Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph for white wine blends. In other areas of France it can be blended with Chardonnay.
This grape variety grows best in warmer regions like southern France, California, and warmer wine regions in Australia.
As a blend grape, it has good blending potential to create complex and quality wines. In northern Rhone(Rhone-Alpes), where mostly red wines prevail, Rousanne and
Marsanne are the only two white grape varieties allowed in wine production.
Wine style is aromatic, with medium to high tannins, and flavours of honey and pear with floral notes, and vanilla and oak from barrel aging.
The blending partner of Roussanne, this grape variety grows best in cooler climates, and adds structure to the blend, while Roussane adds more of the flavours and floral aromas.
Marsanne is also blended with Viognier. Like Roussane, it produces mostly Rhone blended white wine types.
Marsanne can be characterized as having earthy minerality, lifted by notes of melon and honeysuckle. Typically most Marsanne wines are a dry style. The alcohol content in
these wines is usually 12-13%.
Together, these two wine grapes can produce wines that are complex and ageworthy, some can age up to 15 years.
These wines pair well with foods like: moroccan, mild curry, grilled fish, roast chicken, shellfish, asian noodles.
Marsanne Wines - NSLC
Roussane Wines - NSLC
Roussane Wines - NSLC
Zweigelt is a wine grape used to make red wines in Austria. The grape ripens early and does best grown in cool climate regions like those found in Austria.
Although grown throughout Austria wine regions, its' best wine comes from the Burgenland region, where medium bodied wines with medium to rich tannins are produced.
The acidity is low to medium.
Flavours and aromas can include cherry, raspberry, floral, and spicy notes. The wines are said to be aromatic reds with spicy notes.
Sweet wines are also made from this grape variety, known as strohwein and ice wine. Sweet wines and ice wines made from Zweigelt are usually pricier.
This grape is also blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to make a red wine blend, which are similar to the blends used in the Bordeaux Red wine of France. The
Bordeaux from France can also include Cabernet Franc.
This unique tasting wine is also planted in other wine regions, most notably, Canada's Okanagan Valley where it is used in Ice Wines. Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, England,
Czech Republic, and Japan also have vineyards of this grape variety.
Foods that pair with this wine include: beef, lamb, pizza, cured meats, pork, pasta.
Zweigelt Wines - NSLC
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