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Generic Wines

What are They?

Generic wines, such as Burgundy, Chablis, Champagne, Chianti, Sauterne, etc. are often named after European wine-making regions. The name provides a rough guide to the character of the wine, but it does not indicate the variety of grapes that went into making it. Generic wines are generally less expensive than varietal wines.

Red Generic Wines
Amerone (Ah-ma-ROE-nay): Hearty red wine from Italy.

Barbaresco (Bar-ba-RES-coe): Great red table wine made from the Nebbiolo grape in northwestern Italy.

Barolo (Ba-ROE-loe): Full-bodied and complex red wine made from the Nebbiolo grape.

Beaujolais (Boe-zho-lay): A light and fruity wine from the region of the same name in southern Burgundy, France.

Bordeaux (bore-Doh): Great table wine made from blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and other grapes, named after the wine region of the same name in southwestern France.

Bourgogne (Boor-GON-yeh): Or Burgundy in English. Red table wine named after the wine region of the same name in France.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape(Shot-toe-noof-duh-Pop): An excellent, complex dry wine from the Rhone region of southern France. Made from a blend of up to 13 types of grapes.

Chianti (Ki-AHN-tee): A dry red wine made from Sangiovese and other grapes from north-central Italy.

Collioure (Cole-Yoor): Dry red wine from southwestern France.

Cote Rotie (Coat-Row-tee): Excellent, age-worthy red from northern Rhone. Made primarily from Syrah grapes.

Coteaux du Languedoc(Coat-toe-duh-Lahn-geh-dawk): Dry red wine from southern France using Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut and other grapes, individually or in blends.

Gattinara (Gaht-tee-NAH-rah): Excellent red made from the Nebbiolo grape in northwestern Italy.

Hermitage (Air-mee-tahj): One of the top wines of the Rhone made from Syrah grapes. It is also made into a white wine.

Madeira (Mah-DER-ah): A fortified wine named after the Portuguese island of the same name.

Rioja (Ree-OH-hah): From northern Spain and named for the Rio Oja river.

Rose (Roe-zay): Pink wine made from red grapes, the skins of which are removed from the fermenter before they impart too much color.

Rosso di Montalcino (ROE-soe-dee-Mon-tahl-CHEE-noe): A good dry Italian red from Tuscany

Vin Gris (Vah-Gree): Pink wine (see rose); literally gray wine.

White Generic Wines
Chablis (Shah-blee): Great white wine made from Chardonnay grapes, from the region of the same name in northern Burgundy.

Champagne (Sham-pain): A sparkling wine, specifically the type made in the French region of the same name. Made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier grapes. The wine gains its sparkle by using the traditional process of a secondary fermentation in the bottle.

Eiswein (ICE-wine): Originating in Germany, this wine is made from late-harvest grapes allowed to freeze on the vine, concentrating the sugar.

Mosel (MOE-zuhl): Named after the German river and valley, this wine is made from Riesling grapes.

Orvieto (Orv-YEH-toe): Dry white wine from the town of the same name in Umbria, Italy.

Pouilly-Fuisse (Poo-yee Fwee-SAY): White Burgundy, Chardonnay-based, made in the region of Burgundy.

Sauternes (So-TAIRN): Great French dessert wine from the Bordeaux district of the same name. Made from late-harvest grapes of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Vinho Verde (VEEN-Yoh-VEHT-day): A light and often slightly sparkling Portuguese white wine.