Wine 101: The 4 Basic Types of Wine

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Wine is one of the earliest kinds of alcoholic beverage. Since ancient times, people have been enjoying wines of all types. 

Nowadays, the wine market is huge. And it can be overwhelming, with all of the options and different types of wine. If you’re going to be consuming wine, you need to know the answer to “what are the 4 types of wine?”. 

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got a quick and handy guide to the different types of wine that is sure to help you next time you’re browsing the wine aisle. Read on to learn more!

Red Wine

Red wine is probably the most recognizable and popular type of wine. Named for its color, this wine is generally darker in both appearance and flavor than the other types of wine.

Red wines are generally full-bodied and rich. They taste best at room temperature, although some varieties do well at a slight chill.

There are three popular varieties of red wine. These are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. 

Cabernet is very full-bodied and tannic. Pinot Noir, such as Russian River Pinot Noir, tends to be drier and fruit-forward. Merlot can be herbaceous and is the driest of the reds. 

There are other less-common varieties of red wine, but they are typically found in specialty markets. Knowing the three listed here will get you a long way. 

White Wine

White wine differs from red not only in color but in the overall flavor profile. It is used more in cooking than red wines but also pairs well with lots of foods. 

There are quite a few more varieties of white wine on the market. Some of the most popular include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Moscato.

White wines, much like reds, range in flavor profiles from dry to sweet to full-bodied. However, they tend to overall be much lighter. They pair with lighter dishes such as fish, salads, and pasta. 

What type of wine is sweet? Some white wines, like Moscato and Riesling, are “dessert wines,” due to their dry and sweet flavor. White wines are almost always chilled before serving. 


Rosé is also known as “blush” wine. It is pink in color. However, it is not a blend of white and red, as some people believe (and some cheap wines pass themselves as). 

Rosé wines come from the same grapes as red wines. However, the skins are removed early in the wine-making process, which gives them fewer tannins and less red coloration.

This makes rosé wine a perfect medium between red and white wines. They tend to be dry like white wines, but with a more fruity profile like red wine.

Sparkling Wine

The most famous kind of sparkling wine is Champagne. True Champagne is only made in the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wines from other regions cannot use this label.

Other famous sparkling wines include prosecco and cava. These are produced in Italy and Spain, respectively. 

What Are The Four Types Of Wine?

To answer the question “what are the four types of wine?”: there are four main types of wine: red, white, rosé, and sparkling. Each has its own distinct flavor profiles and pairs with different foods. 

Trying a wide variety of wines is not only fun but it’s a great way to get to know what you like best. So don’t be afraid to experiment and try them all!

For more useful articles on wine and other beverages, be sure to check out the “Drinks” section of our blog. And feel free to contact us at any time! 

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