Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wine Word of the Day: Variety

"Variety" refers to a single type of grape used in making a wine. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are both grape varieties.  This term is often confused with the word "varietal," which refers to a type of wine.  If you are referring to a type of blend, such as a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot, you would use varietal.  Just to screw you up, "varietal characteristic" again refers to the grape and not the wine, referring to the distinctive qualities of that variety.  Cassis is a varietal characteristic of Cabernet Sauvignon.


Mike P said...

If what you say is true, I may be guilty. I always refer to cabernet sauvignon as a varietal, and never use the term variety in association with with it other than when I change things up a bit for....variety.

If I get tired Cab Sauvignon I open a blend...or a Syrah....or a Pinot. :)

Brad Coelho said...

you'll make Bob Flemming proud...has to be his pet peeve (to the degree that he's out on a mission, scanning post after post to right the wrongs of the varia-tribe verbiage).