Nearly all the wines of the world are named according to their grape variety; that’s how fundamental the grape is.
Most of the 11 red grape varieties are Major Players, but those in the first four are particularly famous.
Here I list this most famous 4 below:
Nicknames: Cabernet, Cab
Where significant today: France’s Bordeaux region; southern France; California, Washington State, Long Island, and many other U.S. wine regions; Australia; South Africa; Chile; Argentina; isolated parts of Spain and Portugal; parts of Italy; Romania; Bulgaria.
Characteristics: Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are relatively small, their skin is relatively thick, and their seeds are large – all three factors contributing to a high solids-to-juice ratio. This ratio translates into deeply colored wines with a firm tannic structure. Wines make entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon can be so tannic that winemakers often blend Merlot and sometimes Cabernet Franc with their Cabernet. In the Bordeaux region of France, in fact, where Cabernet became famous, such blending is the norm.
If the grapes have not ripened perfectly, Cabernet wine can have vegetal aromas and flavors, specifically raw green bell peppers. At full ripeness, Cabernet gives its wine the aroma and flavor of black currants or cassis. The best wines from Cabernet tend to age very well, developing fascinating aromas such as leather, tobacco, lead pencil, and cedar along the way.