Wine production started with the discovery of grapes. The first wine was drunk by the ancient Greeks. They called this wine ‘the first vintage.’ It is believed to have been an alcoholic beverage. Throughout history, wine has become a popular drink produced from the vast vineyards of Europe.  

Today, wine is enjoyed worldwide by many people. Many different cultures also enjoy it. Sparkling wines are served during formal events, and some people enjoy red wine at home because of its health benefits. Nonetheless, there is nothing like the wines made from the beautiful vineyards in Europe.  

With the many European wine options, you might be wondering, “What Is Riesling wine?” or “What is Chardonnay?”  Read on to learn more about the most popular wines from Europe.

1. Cabernet Sauvignon 

Cabernet Sauvignon, also called the French-sounding Sauvoisin, is one of Europe’s most well-known red wines. Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich color, which varies depending on the type of grapes used and the weather conditions. But, the most commonly found variety is Cabernet Franc. This particular grape is native to southwestern France and Italy, and like all Sauvignons, is part of the Pinot Noir family.  

Cabernet Sauvignon grows in many different types of soil and at different times of the year. It is generally grown when the vines are young, around five years old, and harvested when they’re about one-half to one-third of an inch tall. Because Cabernet is so susceptible to disease, it is harvested much earlier. A large part of this harvesting time is spent curing the grapes’ skin for the wine’s final fermentation. It’s important that the skin is removed to keep the wine’s delicate flavor and aroma in check. 

Once cured, Cabernets can be stored in cool and dark wine cellars for several years, although it’s not unheard of for them to go into secondary fermentation even longer. The aging process can be slow to speed up the production process. Some of the Cabernets have a high tannin content, which aids in slowing down the fermentation process and prevents oxidation during fermentation. 

2. Pinot Noir 

Pinot Noir is sophisticated, light, complex, and usually has a light, fruity flavor. Many would claim that it is the perfect companion wine, perfect for a wide array of dishes, from beef and seafood to truffles and macaroni and cheese. 

Pinot Noir can work well with different types of food because the wine tends to be very versatile. For example, when paired with a dessert, such as a French Vanilla Panna Cotta, the wine adds sweetness to compliment the cake’s delicate flavor, while also contributing elegance to the occasion. 

3. Barbaresco 

Barbaresco originated in an ancient Tuscany region and is the most famous and widely distributed grape in the whole of Italy, especially on its most famous wine, Barbaretto Nebbiolo. Barbaresco Nebbiolo has been produced in the Piedmont area of Italy, in an area close to the northeastern part of Albau, to the north of Arco Della Gnaea and the south of Traverso, in an area that was originally part of the commune of Barterto and that now belongs to the commune of Nevere. The area’s climatic conditions make it ideal for producing a dry red wine of good quality. 

The history of this wine is fascinating and reveals the varied cultures, which is characteristic of Italian wine. It was made from the Nebbiolo vine, which grows wild in Tuscany, and is considered to be one of the best grapes in Italy. This type of wine is still widely grown today and is the second most popular wine variety in Italy. However, it was not until the 19th century that this grape was cultivated to its full potential, and, therefore, was given a new name of Barbarasca Nebbiolo. 

The best time of year to drink Barbaretto Nebbiolo is in spring or summer, when the grapes are at their peak of production and have higher sugar content. The wine should be chilled before serving it. 

4. Tempranillo 

Tempranillo is one of the best European wines under USD$20. Tempranillo is a red wine variety popularly planted in Spain. Tempranillo is named after the Tempranillo grape variety. The grape has dark reddish-brown skin, large, black flowers, and a distinct ‘sour’ taste. Tempranillo grapes are native to the dry, temperate regions of northern Spain and Portugal, although, in recent decades, vineyards have sprung up in Italy and France. Tempranillo wines from these regions are often described as being sweet and fruity. 

The name Tempranillo came from the Spanish word ‘temprano’ (meaning: early), which refers to the fact that grapes ripen earlier in Spain than most other European grape varieties. Tempranillo grapes have a relatively short storage time, lasting from two to five months, but don’t suffer from any mold or decay, like other types of grapes do. Some Tempranillo varieties also grow in full sun throughout the year, which allows the grapes to develop their rich colors throughout the growing season and into the fall. 

The wide range of wine produced from this grape variety is due in part to its long aging time. The wine ages in oak barrels to retain its complex flavors and aromas, but because the grapes are kept at cellar temperature most of the year, they do not have to ripen too quickly. This means that Tempranillo wine is often made in the cooler, dry months of the year, and is bottled in spring and fall when most grapes are ready to be harvested. 

Final Thoughts 

May people are drinking wine not just for its flavor, but also for its health benefits. There are other wines known to come from the beautiful vineyards of Europe. If you visit France, Italy, or Spain, you might want to visit some of the most notable vineyards and enjoy a bottle of some of these wines to experience their taste and quality fully. In many parts of Europe, like Germany and Portugal, they also produce other wine types that will suit your taste.  

One of the best ways to enjoy these wines is to pair them with the right food to enhance their flavor. Also, don’t forget to set them at the right temperatures so that their components won’t break down and their taste won’t degrade.