The biddies dive into the red noble grape varietals. Whether you’ve heard there are three, four or twenty red noble grapes, the biddies discuss the three that are most agreed upon: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Pinot Noir.

This episode includes:

  • The definition of noble grapes
  • An overview of the three core red varietals considered to be noble grapes

Grab a glass of anything red and join us!

*This is an encore release of Episode 4 – Red Noble Grapes! The same content but updated and re-recorded for higher quality sound.*


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Wine Folly

Study Notes for Intro to Wine Styles:


The noble grapes consist of the 6 grapes (3 red, 3 white) that are grown across the world with ‘pleasing results’. The original noble grapes are 6, some newer lists add others as making quality lines throughout the world (as many as 18 / 20)

  • Used throughout history
  • Used internationally
  • Consistently produce quality wine

Predominantly French: Out of these six grapes, five originate in France, and the sixth, though born in Germany – Riesling – also found success in the Alsace region of the country.

  • French historically exported luxury goods like wine
  • Synonymous with luxury since court of Louis XIV and Versailles
  • Others also wanted to be able to grow the wine, French were happy to work as consultants


  • The world’s most popular wine
  • A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc
  • Originated in Bordeaux
  • High Tannin Content with Rich Flavor
    • Black Cherry, Black Currant, Cedar, Baking Spices, Graphite
  • Grown in: France, Chile, United States, Australia, Spain
    • Chile grows more Cab than the US? 
  • Wanna break out? Try Merlot, Cabernet, Carmenere, Nero D’Avola
  • One of the best-known grapes
  • Small, thick-skinned berries
  • Requires warmth with a long ripening period
  • High in tannins, so does wel with aging
  • In US, mostly planted in CA (Napa, Sonoma)


  • Cherry, Plum, Chocolate, Dried Herbs, Vanilla
  • Grown in France primarily, followed by Italy and the US
    • Grown more in Moldova than Italy and US?
  • Could also be found in the widely exported claret / originate in Bordeaux
  • Ripens early -> higher alcohol levels
  • Rich, fruity flavor, softer tannins than cabernet
  • Planted all over the world, France & Chile are big ones, fell out of fashion in CA but still planted in Washington, often found in Chianti and Super Tuscans
  • Apparently a line in the movie Sideways “If anyone orders merlot, I’m leaving” dampened the market for merlot
  • oftens the intensity of Garnacha and Syrah in Priorat blends and lends an Old World sensibility to American-made Meritages
  • Branch out and try: Malbec, Petit Vrdot, Montepulciano, Valpolicella


  • Most popular light bodied red with soft tannins
  • Cherry, raspberry, clove, mushroom, vanilla
  • France, United States, Germany and again Moldova
  • New Zealand a very popular and up and coming category
  • Millenial of grapes – thin skinned, temperamental, lazy, sensitive\
  • A bitch to grow – Pinot knows everything
  • Anthocyanins – the pigments in the grape skin – differs from grape to grape
  • Should be able to read through it 
  • Done very well in cooler climate regions like New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland
  • Germany – Spatburgunder
  • Switzerland – Blauburgunder
  • Branch out and try: St. Laurent, Gamay, Nerello Mascalese, Schiava, Zweigelt

BONUS: Syrah

  • Very rich red wine from the Rhone Valley of France
  • Most planted grape in Australia (Called Shiraz)
  • Blueberry, Plum, Milk Chocolate, Tobacco, Green Peppercorn
  • France, Australia, Spain, Argentina
  • Branch out and try: Touriga Nacional, Monastrell, Petite Sirah, Mencia, Alicante Bouschet
  • Can also produce full bodied roses