The Most Popular Types of Wine You Need for Entertaining

Types of Wine

If you entertain guests often, you will do well to know the most popular types of wines and some basic information about each.  There are four of the most popular types of wine that are sure to impress guests.  

Chardonnay- Types of Wine

The number one white wine in the United States is Chardonnay if you go by how many acres have been planted here.  It has led the grape Cabernet Sauvignon in most grapes planted, but the two are close in acreage.  On the other hand, other white varieties are far behind Chardonnay.  

The most common type of Chardonnay is one that is “oaked”, fermented in oak barrels.  Typical food pairings are chicken and fish.  The rule of thumb is lighter fare pairs better with a white wine, and it’s true in this case.  

Cabernet Sauvignon- Types of Wine

The number one red wine by acreage in the U.S. is Cabernet Sauvignon. According to the Washington Post in 2019, the grape surpassed Chardonnay grapes by 100 acres. In fact, California Cabernet Sauvignon is considered one of the best in the world   The hallmark of a good Cabernet Sauvignon is its rich, robust taste. 

 It is definitely a dry wine, which means that most people will find it isn’t sweet.  With its earthy tones and hint of dark fruits, it is considered a good match for red meats.  Typical food pairings include hamburgers, steak, and other beef.  


This red wine, second in acreage in the U.S., is also considered dry. However, it tends to be slightly sweeter and fruitier than its rival.  Like Cabernets, Merlots are rich in tannins and darker in color. It pairs well with beef and savory dishes. 

Pinot Noir

As a popular variety, you’ll find Pinot Noir as a red wine, but it is sometimes made into white wine. This is a more delicate grape and the resulting red wine is lighter in color and body.  It is considered the easier wine to pair because it has characteristics of red wine while having some of the lightness of a white wine.

A good Pinot Noir pairs well with meaty fish, such as tuna and salmon, and yet can be paired with beef just as well.  It can match up with all types of meats, especially grilled or roasted meats.  

How to Serve Wine

Chardonnay, like other white wine, is best if served cold.  To be more specific, the temperature would be 45° F to 50° F. You can keep it in the refrigerator, but you may want to wait to chill it until close to the time you serve it. 

Red wines can be served at room temperature.  However, this term is really too general.  Room temperature before modern HVAC systems was more likely to be 55-60° F, lower than the 70-degree temperatures in a climate-controlled home.  This means you’ll want to cool off your Pinot Noir or other red if you are having guests, but this can be done close to 

How to Store Wine

If you plan to keep multiple bottles on hand, you want to have a plan for where to keep it. The ideal spot for wine is dark and cool.  It does not have to be refrigerated or kept on its side, unless you plan on keeping it for years or if it is already an old vintage

You need to keep it away from heat and temperature fluctuations.  This means it can’t be stored near the oven or against an outside wall.  You also want it to be away from windows to keep it out of the sun’s rays.  

Once you have your collection, you’ll be ready for all types of parties. You are certain to have a wine that your friends will enjoy.


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