Taste the 7 Noble Grapes

Taste the 7 Noble Grapes

Mosaic WINE sign on brick wall.

The Noble Grapes are the prolific grapes of the wine world. They’re grown around the world while maintaining their core characteristics — or essence.

You can start exploring these wines by tasting the Noble Grapes side-by-side to reveal the type of wine you enjoy the most. Below you’ll find recommendations to taste all 7 Noble Grapes, Tasting Notes that describe the typical tasting profile for these wines and an Easy Rating System to identify what you like and don’t like.

   

Tasting Recommendations

Up close image of a line of glasses for wine tasting.

I’ve listed wine recommendations for each of the 7 Noble Grapes below. There are several ways you can conduct the tasting.

  • Invite friends and have each of them bring one of the wine recommendations.
  • Open them all, tasting the whites first then the reds in the order below.
  • Have everyone rate the wine for themselves to get a better idea of which type of wine they like the best.
  • Or split up the tasting and try the white wine side-by-side. Then at a separate time taste the red wines side-by-side.

White Noble Grapes Recommendations

Riesling: This grape originates in Germany and the wine varies from sweet to dry (not sweet). The wine bottle doesn’t always clearly indicate if the wine will be sweet or dry. However, there are tricks to figuring this out. Go to the Wine Tasting Guide for Riesling to find out more.

Sauvignon Blanc: This grape originates in France and is characteristically light and acidic which works well with seafood and is easy drinking by itself.

Chardonnay: Originates in France and is produced in 3 styles: Oaked, Unoaked and Sparkling/Champagne. Oaked means that it matures for a time in oak barrels which gives it a toast, vanilla, and buttery flavor. Unoaked means it matures in steel tanks which will give it a brighter, lighter taste.

Affiliate links are included for your convenience. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small amount. Your cost is the same with or without the link. Enjoy!

Pre-Filtered links to White Noble Grape Wines on Wine.com

Red Noble Grapes Recommendations

Pinot Noir: Originates in the Burgundy region of France. This is a light style red that is easy drinking by itself and one of the more versatile wines with food.

Merlot: Originating in the Bordeaux region of France. It is usually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon because the Merlot helps to smooth out the strong tannins typically found in Cabs. California and Washington offer single varietal Merlot which is a great food wine. It offers a nice balance of smoothness and tannin.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Another Bordeaux region grape in France. As mentioned above, this wine is blended with Merlot in both France and Italy. In California, you’ll find the best single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a great food wine because of the tannins (gives a dry mouthfeel) which compliment fatty dishes. I highly recommend having steak, burgers, or roasted portabella mushrooms on hand to try with this wine.

Syrah/Shiraz: While this is Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape, the name variation indicates the style of the wine. Syrah (typically French) is more elegant with tannin and soft fruit while Shiraz (typically Australian) is more fruit-forward (strong fruit flavors).

Pre-Filtered links to Red Noble Grape Wines on Wine.com

Tasting Notes

White Noble Grape Tasting Notes

See

Compare the color of the wine by tilting your glass slightly with a white napkin or paper behind it. See how clear or opaque the wine is along with the type and depth of color. This helps tell you the style of the wine. If a white wine is aged in steel tanks, it will be a lighter clear color compared to one aged in oak barrels which will have more of a golden straw coloring.

Riesling: pale straw
Sauvignon Blanc: pale straw with hints of green
Chardonnay: pale to golden straw coloring

Sniff

Smell the wine in your glass. Swirl the wine and smell again. An aromatic grape will have aromas that rise from your glass easily compared to a non-aromatic grape where you’ll have to really stick your nose in the glass to catch the aromas.

Riesling: an aromatic grape with floral and citrus notes
Sauvignon Blanc: an aromatic grape with tropical fruit, citrus and herbs
Chardonnay: not an aromatic grape. Contains apple and citrus aromas. This selection will have a light vanilla and toast aroma that comes from partial aging in oak.

Taste

Swirl the wine in your mouth to capture all of the flavors. You will notice certain notes initially while other notes will come through as you continue to taste the wine.

Riesling: flavor of apple, pear, peach with high acidity. No oak or tannin. Contains minerality (flinty) with light, crisp taste. Light body.
Sauvignon Blanc: tropical fruit with high acidity. No oak or tannin. Light to medium body.
Chardonnay: flavor of apples, light vanilla and toast with medium acidity. Light oak and no tannin. Medium to full body.

Red Noble Grape Tasting Notes

See

Compare the color of the wine by tilting your glass slightly with a white napkin or paper behind it. See how clear or opaque the wine is along with the type and depth of color. This helps tell you the style of the wine. These 4 reds will go from a light opaque, ruby to a deep opaque, dark red or plum color.

Pinot Noir: Light ruby and more translucent.
Merlot: Deep red in color. Slightly opaque.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Dark red in color. Very opaque (can’t see fingers between glass and napkin).
Syrah/Shiraz: Deep dark red in color. Very opaque.

Sniff

Smell the wine in your glass. Swirl the wine and smell again. Red wine is typically not aromatic. Really stick your nose in the glass to identify the aromatic differences between the wine.

Pinot Noir: Not an aromatic grape. Notes of cherry, raspberry, vanilla and toast.
Merlot: Not an aromatic grape. Notes of black cherry and plum.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Not an aromatic grape. Notes of black cherry, black currant and rich earthy scents.
Syrah/Shiraz: Not an aromatic grape. Blackberry, coffee and pepper.

Taste

Swirl the wine in your mouth to capture all of the flavors. You will notice certain notes initially while other notes will come through as you continue to taste the wine.

Pinot Noir: Light fruit flavors of cherry and raspberry. Medium levels of acidity. Light levels of tannin. Oak aging which gives hints of vanilla and toast.
Merlot: Black cherry, raspberry, plum. Medium levels of acidity and tannin. Oak aging gives hints of vanilla and toast.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Black cherry, black currant, black pepper, green pepper, vanilla and toast. Medium acidity and oak. Medium-high tannin. Medium to full body.
Syrah/Shiraz: Black fruit, blackberry, coffee, pepper. Medium acidity and oak. Medium-high tannin. Full body.

Easy Rating System

After you taste each wine, give it a rating using this easy rating system. Add notes to help remember what you liked or didn’t like about the wine.

5pts   Love!
4pts   Like
3pts   Good, but not great
2pts   Meh
1pt     Not for me