“De Long’s WINE GRAPE VARIETAL TABLE is a wine reference disguised as a fine art print. Hang it anywhere you drink wine and you’ll find yourself referring to it again and again.”
Two years ago, during the last stop on a wine tasting weekend in Paso Robles, I found this wonderful geeky chart at the Donati Family Tasting Room. It is a wine connoisseur’s delight and immediately reminds one of the Periodic Chart of the Elements, something I wasn’t so enthralled with during my high school education! But this one, oh my! What a treat!
The table details each varietal’s (184 of them) acidity, character and notes, specific wines made from each varietal, the grape name, the principal countries where it is grown, and a few additional symbols for conditions specific to certain grapes.
For example, the Sangiovese, on the left, is a red grape varietal. The thick border represents the high acidity, and its charter, countries where grown, other names and the specific wines made from it are detailed. On the right is the Pedro Ximenez white grape varietal description. The thin border indicates low acidity and its characteristics, countries where grown and wines made from it follow.
This chart represents the layout of the varietals on the De Long’s Table. For the reds, the chart flows from left to right with low to moderate acidity to the higher acidic reds. From top to bottom, the light bodied reds flow into the fuller bodied ones. Conversely, the whites flow left to right from high to low/moderate acidity. For the whites, the body flows as the same as the reds…the lighter bodied whites at the top and the fuller bodied whites at the bottom.
The DeLong’s Grape Varietal Table is a very useful tool in learning about the grapes that make the wines we drink what they are. The table can be purchased online at Amazon.com and at other wine-related websites, as well as some fine wine shops. As of January 2012, it is generally priced between $25 and $30, excluding tax and shipping. It also comes with the Wine and Grape Index booklet and is packaged in a sturdy tube to keep it safe.
If you have any proclivity toward geekdom, I highly recommend this fascinating reference guide.