Ask Sid: Are the words “Variety” & “Varietal” interchangeable?

September 13th, 2017
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variety varietal wine what's the difference

Question: Confused about the wine speak words of variety or varietal. Are they interchangeable?

Answer: Not really.

“Variety” is best used to describe the grape type: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir etc.

Use the word “varietal” only to describe the wine made from that specific variety: a varietal wine made from the grape varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot, or Pinot Noir etc. Not used for blends.

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September 13th, 2017

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