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The main type of grapes

Red wine grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon

First of all a typically Bordeaux vine-variety, the Cabernet Sauvignon also grows in the Loire Valley, in Languedoc Roussillon, Provence and in the South West.

In Bordeaux  region, mainly in Graves and in Médoc, where vine growers sometime calls it "Petit Cabernet", Cabernet represents over half the planted grape-varieties. In wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is traditionally associated to Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  


Cabernet Sauvignon small bunches give a strong in tannic wine with aromas of blackcurrant and green pepper. Therefore the wine is harsh when young but develops a very delicate bouquet in aging.


Aromas : black currant, violet


French wines : Médoc, Graves, Matgaux, Bergerac... 


Food matches for Cabernet Sauvignon:
Europe: Fillet steak with foie gras and truffles; veal and mixed bell-pepper stew
Asia: Korean-style beef stir fried in garlic, soy and sesame
Americas: Five-spice braised bison; Texas barbecue
Australasia/Oceania: Crumbed, roasted eggplant with a tomato and basil ragout
Africa/Middle East: Lebanese fried mushrooms with garlic

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is grown mainly in the Bordeaux region. In Pomerol and Saint-Emilion it is known as "Bouchet". Further north, in the Loire Valley and, particularly in Touraine and in Saumur it sometimes appears as "Breton". Cabernet Franc is a grape-variety which gives small bunches of tiny blackberries. Vine growers appreciate it because it is not demanding and any soil is convenient.


Cabernet Franc wine, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon  wine, is of a bright and shinny color. It brings strawberry and blackberry aromas. However because it is less perfumed and structured, it is often associated to other vine-varieties.The only terroirs to supply pure Cabernet Franc are the red wines from Loire Valley  : Bourgueil, Chinon and Saumur-Champigny red only.


Aromas : strawberry, blackberry


French wines : PomerolSaint EmilionBourgueilSaumurMadiran, etc


Food matches include:
Europe: Cèpes a la Bordelaise (sautéed mushrooms); rabbit rillettes
Asia: Fried stuffed peppers (putgochu jeon)
Americas: Lentil soup with smoked ham hock 
Australasia/Oceania: Herb-crusted lamb rack



Merlot is a Bordeaux region grape-variety. Merlot is the most important grape in the Bordeaux region.

It is classified in the Cabernet group.


It is a fragile grape, sensible to dryness as well as cold. Merlot gives a richly colored wine, with body and softness.Merlot matures quickly. This grape has less tannins than Cabernets. It is one of the most productive grapes. Merlot is the perfect variety to accompany Cabernets.


Aromas : blackcurrant, blackberry


French wines : PomerolSaint EmilionCahors, etc


Food and wine matches for Merlot:
Europe: Braised lamb with truffles; osso bucco (braised veal shanks)
Asia: Pork belly baked in a miso sauce
Americas: Brazilian pork and black-bean stew (feijoada); stuffed and roasted bell pepper
Australasia/Oceania: Braised Angus beef cheek


Syrah (or Serine) is supposed to have been brought in the south of France from the region of Syracuse by the Roman.

The vine-variety is the principal grape in the north of the Rhône Valley. Syrah appreciates poor soil and hot climate. The Syrah wine is strong, rich and colored with aromas of pepper, violet or raspberry, depending up on the soil. We owe to Syrah the best Côtes du Rhône such as Côte Rotie or Hermitage and also Languedoc-Roussillon wines.


Aromas : raspberry, black pepper, licorice, violet


French wines : Chateauneuf du PapeCote RotieHermitageCoteaux du LanguedocCotes de Provence, etc 


Matching Food suggestions:

Europe: Hearty stew of confit duck and pork sausage (cassoulet) 
Asia: Steamed pork spare ribs with black bean; curried eggplant
Australasia/Oceania: Rosemary-crusted lamb tenderloin with jus; confit duck with sweet potato (kumara) mash
Africa/Middle East: Spicy lamb meatballs in a tomato and cilantro sauce


Grenache is one of the most largely cultivated red wine grape varieties in the whole world. Since it ripens late, Grenache needs dry, hot areas like France, Spain, and California. Aside from being generally spicy, it is berry-flavoured and smooth on the palate with moderately high alcohol content. For best results, it requires careful control on yields. Grenache tends to lack color, tannin, and acid.

Grenache is most largely complemented with the wines of southern France and of the Rhone. With its propensity for high yields and high alcohol content, the variety suited to be cultivated within Gigondas and Vacqueyras regions. Right now, Grenache has massive plantations in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, wherein it is blended with Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsaut.


Aromas : red fruits, lavender, thyme


French wines : Chateauneuf du PapeCotes du Rhone, Gigondas, Vaqueyras, Coteaux du Languedoc...


Food matches include:

Europe: Polbo a feira (octopus with olive oil and paprika) (rosé); roasted squab (pigeon) with quince purée; black forest cake (schwarzwälder kirschtorte) (fortified)
Asia: Tuna tataki (rosé); beetroot curry (thel-dala)
Americas: beef, potato and cheese stew (locro)
Australasia/Oceania: Lamb cutlets
Africa/Middle East: Spicy lamb meatballs in a tomato and cilantro sauce

Petit verdot

Petit Verdot is a variety of red wine grape, principally used in classic Bordeaux blends.[1] It ripens much later than the other varieties in Bordeaux, often too late, so it fell out of favour in its home region. When it does ripen, it is added in small amounts to add tannin, colour and flavour to the blend. It has attracted attention among winemakers in the New World, where it ripens more reliably and has been made into single varietal wine. It is also useful in 'stiffening' the mid palate of Cabernet Sauvignon blends.

When young its aromas have been likened to banana and pencil shavings. Strong tones of violet and leather develop as it matures.

White wine grapes


Chardonnay is the most famous grape-variety throughout the world. For several centuries it has been the only grape used for whiteBourgogne. It is also one of the main variety used in the elaboration of Champagne. In The Champagne region, Chardonnay vinified on its one is called "Blanc de Blanc".


The grains are shiny and golden. Chardonnay are among the best white wines, thick and delicate, traditionally dry. Depending on there origin some of them can be aged for several years.Chardonnay grows in most wine producing countries. Its name is borrowed from a village of the region of Macon (Burgundy)!


Aromas : apple, linden, almond


French wines : ChablisMeursaultMontrachetPouilly-FuisséAnjou,Saumur, etc


Food and wine matches for Chardonnay:
Europe: Sole meuniere; butternut squash risotto 
Asia: Japanese pork-belly; Ipoh-style roast chicken with rice (nasi ayam)
Americas: Roast chicken or turkey, apple and walnut salad; Conger-eel chowder 
Australasia/Oceania: Whole-roasted barramundi; barbecued garlic shrimps
Africa/Middle East: Tunisian tajine (baked egg and cheese ragout)



Muscadelle is a white grape-variety from the Bordeaux region. It is associated to Sauvignon and Semillon in the Graves wines and in the universally famous Sauternes.


Muscadelle matures very fast and its grapes are quickly invaded by noble rot which gives it a very pronounced taste.Muscadelle is not classified among the Muscat family.


Aroma: acacia


French wines : SauternesGravesMonbazillac, etc


Food matches include:
Europe: Almond bread pudding 
Asia: Steamed crabs 
Americas: Pumpkin pie 
Australasia/Oceania: Apple crumble 


Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the best French grape-variety. It is the reason why it has been selected in several regions. Sauvignon grape is used for Pouilly-Fumé and Quincy and it is the exclusive variety used in Sancerre. Sauvignon is mostly a Loire variety. In the Bordeaux region it is used as well as other white varieties to elaborate Graves and Sauternes. It is also used in South West or Provence wines.


Sauvignon Blanc gives wines an herbal character with aromas of mineral and melon.In the Loire Valley, Sauvignon wines have acquired such a renown that there are the "vins de Sauvignon" (Sauvignon wines) and the others.


Aromas : melon, mineral


French wines : Pouilly FuméSancerreEntre Deux MersSauternes,Graves, etc


Food matches include:
Europe: Sainte-Maure de Touraine goats’ cheese with rocket salad; grilled shrimps (gambas a la plancha)
Asia: Fresh spring rolls (nem cuon); Dace fish balls; Thai green curry
Americas: Waldorf salad; Peruvian ceviche (citrus-cured fish)
Australasia/Oceania: Bluff oysters with dill and lime vinaigrette; Asparagus risotto


CHENIn Blanc

Chenin Blanc or Pineau de la Loire is the grape-variety which produces the best white wines of Anjou and Touraine. It has nothing in common with grapes of the Pinot family.

The variety gives all its fullness in the Loire Valley, elsewhere it did not acclimate.

Chenin Blanc is used for dry and sweet wines. It is subject to noble rot and for that reason is harvested as late as possible, sometimes in november. Chenin Blanc wines such as Vouvray and Saumur age very well.


Aromas : apple, cinnamon, quince


French wines : VouvraySaumurAnjouCoteaux du Layon, etc


Food matches include:
Europe: Cancale oysters (dry still and sparkling); shrimp ravioli ; tarte tatin (sweet)
Asia: Caramelized barbecued pork patties (bun cha) (dry); sticky rice with mango (sweet)
Americas: Tacos of slow-roasted, marinated suckling-pig (dry); parmesan gratinated scallops  (dry)
Australasia/Oceania: Whole-roasted flounder (dry); salt-cured Tasmanian ocean trout (dry); lemon meringue pie (sweet)

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