Updated: May 20, 2020
There are 7 Noble Grapes of the wine world. Yes, some say there are more, but we are focusing on these 7: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah/Shiraz. These grapes are considered noble because they are prolific. Riesling originated in Germany while the rest originated in France. However, all of these grapes are grown and harvested for wine worldwide.
Styles Vary – Core Essence Remains
While these grapes grow in different soils with varying climates and production styles, the core characteristics are kept intact. For example, when you taste a Pinot Noir from California compared to a Pinot Noir from France, the California Pinot Noir will likely have deep red fruit flavors compared to bright red fruit flavors from the French Pinot Noir. You'll likely find slight differences in acidity and in the level of oak flavors as well. Even with these variations, the core characteristics from the look, taste, feel point to Pinot Noir.
Cheerios by Any Other Name…
And yes, this is similar to our experiences with other foods. When you taste regular Cheerios, or Honey Nut Cheerios, or Cinnamon flavored Cheerios, is there any question that you are eating Cheerios? Sure the shape gives it away, but the taste, texture, and core essence holds true even if the flavoring is a bit different between the 3 types.
The same thing holds true for wine. Think of a Sauvignon Blanc. The signature of this wine is its high acidity and light crisp taste. Whether a Sauvignon Blanc from Australia has more pear notes and higher acidity compared to a Sauvignon Blanc from France with light pear and grapefruit notes with medium levels of acidity. Those slight variances make it interesting to try wine from different parts of the world. Not to mention trying them from neighboring vineyards.
Taste the Difference
So, enjoy these variances. Pick up a couple of bottles from different regions of the wine you love or those you want to become more familiar with and savor the differences.