CHOW's Note Cards

Use these virtual note cards to study up on the grape varietals found in the wines that every bartender and server should know! 

Cabernet Sauvignon

Grows best in the Bordeaux region of France, Napa, California and Chile. Tends to have blackberry, blackcurrant and violet flavors. Generally full-bodied and a higher tannic structure.

Pinot Noir

Grows best in the Burgundy and Champagne regions of France, California and Oregon. Tends to have raspberry, red cherry, and earthy flavors. Acidic for a red wine. Generally very light-bodied and little to no tannic structure.

Sangiovese

Grows best in Tuscany, Italy. Tends to have black cherry and blackberry flavor with cedar and vanilla aromas. A bit of spice. Generally a medium-bodied wine. The major grape used to make Chianti.

Merlot

Grows best in the Bordeaux region of France and Napa, California. Tends to have blackberry and plum flavors. Can smelly a little toasty at times. A medium bodied wine with a velvety texture, not many tannins.

Tempranillo

Grows best in the Rioja region of Spain. Tends to have a fruitier taste like cherries but the way it is produced can also exudes tobacco flavors and aromas. Generally a medium-bodied wine.

Syrah/Shiraz

Grows best in the Bordeaux region of France, Napa, California and Chile. Tends to have blackberry, black current and violet flavors. Generally full-bodied and a higher tannic structure.

Zinfandel

Grows best in California. Tends to have cherry and ripe berry flavors, sometimes spicy. Tends to be medium-bodied.

Nebbiolo

Grows best in the Piedmont region of Italy. Has flavors like plum and raspberries, natural tasting even. Wines are full-bodied and have a higher tannic structure.

Gamay

Grows best in the Burgundy region of France. Has very tart flavors like raspberries and cranberries. A very light-bodied wine with virtually no tannins. Best drunk when young.

Malbec

Grows best in the Bordeaux region of France and in Argentina. Tends to have blackberry and plum flavors. Jammy and juicy in taste. Typically a full-bodied wine high in tannins. Found in Bordeaux style wines.

Grenache/Garnacha

Grows best in the Spain, Italy, and southeastern France. Tends to have strawberry and candied flavors. A medium-bodied wine. Used in Rhône-style blends and rosé wines.

Carménère

Grows best in the Bordeaux region of France and Chile. Has tart flavors like cherries but also smokey and spicy . A very medium-bodied wine. Best drunk when young. Referred to as the "lost grape of Bordeaux" as it stopped appearing in European vineyards until found growing in Chile.

Riesling

Grows best in the Alsace region of France, Germany, and Washington state. Tends to have citrusy and tropical fruit flavors. Known for its sweetness.

Chardonnay

Grows best in the Burgundy and Champagne regions of France, California and Australia. Tends to softer fruit flavors like apple, melon, and pear. Some are known for their buttery, oaky qualities.

Sauvignon Blanc

Grows best in the Bordeaux and Loire regions of France, California and New Zealand. Tends to be citrusy and grassy green flavors.

Chenin Blanc

Grows best in the Loire region of France and California. Tends to have citrusy and tropical fruit flavors. Versatile but typically dry.

Gewürztraminer

Grows best in the Alsace region of France and in Germany. Can be sweet but with a bit of spice. Exhibits fruits like apricot. Texturally rich.

Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio

Grows best in Italy, California, and Oregon. Tends to have citrusy and tropical fruit flavors. Typically a dryer, lighter wine.

Albariño

Grows best in Spain and Portugal. Tends to exude grapefruit, apricot, and lemon peel flavors and aromas with a bit of salinity. Typically a dryer, lighter wine.

Verdejo

Grows best in Spain. Tends to have citrusy and grassy flavors. Wines tend to be fuller-bodied and soft in texture.