Australia has more than 65 wine regions and is a major wine exporter, although its locals love it too. In 2018, it was estimated the average Aussie drank nearly 27 litres of wine that year. As one of the top 5 exporters of wine, Australia exports 60% to over 100 different nations, including China, the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand.
There are numerous types of wine in Australia, so we’ll outline a few of the most common. White wine, in particular Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, are two of the most popular in Australia. Especially in this hot climate, cooler and lighter wines can be enjoyed year-round.
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5 of the Most Common Types of Wine in Australia
Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. If you don’t know these wines, then you definitely need to read this article.
There are 5 main types of wine in general; red wine, white wine, Rosé wine, dessert (sweet) wine and sparkling wine. However, some wines fall into multiple categories. For example, Moscato is a white wine, but since it’s sweet, it’s labelled as a dessert wine too.
Tannins are a group of bitter and harsh compounds, found in things like wood, leaves, bark, fuit, tea and wine. They exist to deter animals from eating fruits before they’re ripe, but can be a pleasant bitterness in things like coffee, wine and chocolate. Therefore, if a wine has lower tannins, this means it is less bitter.
The more acidic a wine, the less tangy it is. Red wines have higher acidity (3.5-4+), leaning towards coffee, which has an acidity of 4.5-5. On the other hand, white whiles are a 3 to 3.5 on the acidity scale, giving them a more acidic and tangy taste, like lemons.
1. Red wine.
Pinot Noir (my personal favourite) is a dry, light-bodied red wine with notes of raspberry, mulberry, cherry and truffle. Lucky for me, it’s been called one of the healthiest types of wine, with the highest concentration of Resveratrol (one of the most potent antioxidants, which is found in grape skin). Furthermore, Pinot Noir is smooth and easier to drink compared to other reds, due to its higher acidity and lower tannins.
Tip: Tread Softly does an amazing Pinot Noir and plants a native tree for every 12 bottles sold.
Zinfandel, AKA ‘Zinny’, is a medium-bodied ruby-red wine with a peachy aroma and drier taste. It’s known for its jam-like taste and smoky finish, which goes great with dishes like curry. This wine can be dry or sweet and tastes great as it ages, but can lose its rich berry over time (30+ years).
Shiraz is a full-bodied red wine with a flavour profile of blueberry, plum and black pepper. This well-known red is dense and fruity, replicating dark fruits and a rich taste.
Cabernet Sauvignon, AKA ‘Cab’, is another full-bodied red wine. With notes of black cherry and currant, oak and spices, this red is the most popular wine variety worldwide.
Merlot is a medium-bodied, smoother red with higher alcohol content and notes of blackberries, plum, blueberries and has less tannin and acidity, making it a good wine for beginners.
Malbec is another full-bodied red, similar in flavour to Shiraz with its dark fruit flavour and smoky finish. This wine can be described as a more dense version of Merlot, perfect for avid wine drinkers.
2. White wine.
White wine is enjoyed in Australia all through the year. As a chilled beverage, it is thirst quenching and the perfect drink for a warm summer’s day.
Pinot Grigio is another Aussie favourite, making it one of most popular types of wine in the country. This light, dry white wine has a higher acidity level compared to Chardonnay, making it the less sweet of the two, but more crisp. Recommended for beginners, Pinot Grigio is refreshing and easy to drink. Flavours you may taste while sipping on a Pinot Grigio include lemon, pear, apple, lime and honey.
Sauvignon Blanc is a white win with notes of lime, passionfruit, kiwi, white peach and green apple. This is the most popular type of house wine (table wine) in Australia, offered at a majority of restaurants and bars.
One of the most popular wines in Australia is Chardonnay, and we’ll tell you why it’s loved by so many Aussies. Chardonnay is a full-bodied white wine, drier than Pinot Grigio, with a buttery finish and primary notes of apple, lemon, pineapple and vanilla (when aged with oak). Chardonnay can taste different depending on how it’s made. With its versatile flavours, more people can enjoy the wine for all it has to offer.
Riesling is a great summer wine, due to its high acidity, crisp taste and flowery aroma. Rieslings can be sweet to dry, allowing anyone to enjoy this refreshing white wine.
Sémillon is a full-bodied, dry, white wine. It’s main flavours include lemon, green papaya, apple and pear. However, its flavour profile can change based on where the grapes are grown. Its flavours can also include honey and citrus flavours.
3. Rosé wine.
Rosé is made in a similar way to red wine, but is fermented with grape skins for less time, giving it a lighter colour compared to red wine. This type of wine can be dry or sweet and its fruity taste varies depending on grape variety and production process. From Grenache Rosé to Tempranillo Rosé, there are a few varieties to offer you multiple tastes.
- Fruity and light.
- Flavours: strawberry and orange.
- Flavours: green melon, raspberry, cumin, strawberry, cherry and roses.
- Flavours: watermelon, strawberry, floral.
- Flavours: cherry, pepper, lime zest.
4. Dessert wine (sweet wine).
Dessert wines are sweeter, lighter and can also be sparkling. They are recommended to be served chilled. Here are a few of the most common dessert wines:
- Late Harvest/ Botrytis Riesling
- Botrytis Semillon
5. Sparkling wine.
Sparkling wine, or ‘bubbles’, is a type of wine that’s fermented using a specialised process to make wine sparkling.
Champagne / Brut.
Champagne is a celebratory sparkling wine, often used to spray and not even drink. However, for educational purposes, we’ll still outline its tasty features.
A bubbly wine is only classified as Champagne if it has actually come from the region of Champagne in France. This wine features smaller bubbles and is good on any occasion, any time. If it’s not from Champagne, then it may be called a Brut, which is also lower in sugar.
Prosecco is a sweeter sparkling wine and a popular friend to cocktails. Originally from Prosecco, Italy, this wine has larger bubbles than Champagne and is often added to cocktails.
Originating from Catalonia in Spain, this sparkling wine is known for its refreshing, lemon taste. This wine has a floral aroma and is not as sweet as the more famous Prosecco.
Wanting to try a new drop? Find your local wine bar on localsearch.com.au.
Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly. We promote the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages and do not condone underage, binge, excessive or other unsafe drinking behaviour. If you or someone you know needs help with unsafe drinking behaviour, please contact your local government helpline.