Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Is there a difference between the taste of grapes used to make wine and "food" grapes?
—Michael, Irvine, Calif.
There are many kinds of grapes out there, and they are chosen (and bred) for specific uses based on the desired flavor, size and texture. Wine grapes definitely taste different than table, juice, or raisin grapes—they tend to be sweeter and have lower acidity. You'll also notice a difference in the size of the grapes—wine grapes are smaller (a higher ratio of skin to pulp makes them more tannic), they have seeds, their pulp is softer and their skins are chewier. I find wine grapes more fragrant, sweeter and spicier, while table grapes are crunchier and refreshingly tart in comparison. Some grapes are popular both for eating and for making wine, such as the Muscat grape.
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