Being that we’re a wine company, we’re constantly talking about interesting grape varietals from across the world. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to take a step back from the atypical and pay homage to wine’s roots – the OG Top 5. These guys are the big hitters, stars of wine country, and some of our forever faves.
Who doesn’t love a big, bold Cab? This varietal is found in nearly all climates, but it’s most commonly grown in France. Taking up 6.3% of the varietal market, cab is a full-bodied wine that adds depth and structure when blended with Merlot or Syrah. A classic pairing for Cabernet Sauvignon is hearty lamb or beef, which bodes well for the wines characteristically higher tannins. When you want to spend the night in with comfort food, Cab is your #1 guy to depend on.
Also found in France, specifically Bordeaux, Merlot takes up 5.8% of the market. Merlot tends to be slightly deeper in color than Cab with less tannins, but blending it with all-star #1 can create a complex and bold wine. This medium to full-bodied varietal needs a juicy mushroom swiss burger to bring out its black cherry and cedar flavors, while highlighting slightly earthy notes.
In third place, this varietal likes it hot and dry. Airen is found in Spain and claims 5.4% of the varietal market. What’s unique to Airen is it tends to always be blended with something else, specifically full-bodied red wines and the brandy industry. Yes, white wine and brandy go hand-in-hand! Pair this most commonly grown white grape with grilled fish or chicken with citrus to mirror the wine’s acidity.
Originating from Spain and comprising 5.05% of the market, we have Tempranillo. This vino loves warm temperatures and has found solace in regions outside of España, including California, Australia and Turkey. What this bottle brings to the table is spicy, full-bodied flavor with high levels of acidity. Tempranillo’s wide range of tasting notes pair flawlessly with flavorful dishes like Jambalaya.
A white wine classic. Chardonnay is most widely planted in France, namely Burgundy, but it can be found in almost every grape-growing region in the world. With the ability to be oaked or unoaked, it’s no wonder that this full-bodied, tropical fruit-forward varietal makes up 4.32% of the market. What pairs best with this wine is a cup of warm, creamy vegetable soup.