The 18 Noble Grapes

I hope you have dabbled in a few different kinds of wines, expanded your palate and hopefully found something you like.

If you haven’t quite found what you enjoy yet, I suggest you start with the 18 Noble Grapes to get the full range of flavours wine has to offer. After you find what you enjoy drinking, work your way from there!

Noble grapes are also known as International Varieties, which are grape varieties that are widely planted in most of the major wine producing regions and have widespread appeal.


These are organized from lightest to richest

Aka easiest to drink to more flavourful

Pinot Grigio– Light and zesty, high acidity

Reisling– Dry to sweet with scents of lime, honey and apricots, and high acidity

Sauvignon Blanc-Green and herby

Chenin Blanc– zesty notes of floral and citrus

Moscato– Sweet wines, usually taste like peaches and oranges.

Gewurztraminer-Off-dry to sweet, taste of ginger and honey

Sémillon– Dry medium bodied wines with lemon notes

Viognier– Florally, medium bodied

Chardonnay– Full bodied and dry



Organized from lightest to darkest

Pinot Noir– The gateway red, and the easiest to drink

Grenache– Fruity and light, often sweet

Merlot– smooth tannins but unpredictable. Can be light or bold, but generally fruit forward.

Sangiovese– More tannic than Pinot Noir, and has bold cherry flavours

Nebbiolo– A savory high tannin/acidic wine that is also very light in colour

Tempranillo– Tempranillo is earthy with rustic tobacco notes and high tannin.

Cabernet Sauvignon– The King of the Red’s, savory with a long finish

Syrah/Shiraz– Bold, dark fruit and lighter tannin.

This has nothing to do with the 18 noble grapes, but it’s a fun activity to try.


My cousins and sister had a  wine tasting at the cabin. We bought 3 different types of wine from the same brand. We asked her husband to tape over the names and guessed which wine is which. We went into the tasting thinking that we all wouldn’t like the Merlot, but we all guessed incorrectly. AND I disliked the Shiraz, usually my favourite!


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