Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Where would I find a list of the different varieties of grapes used to make specific wines like Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet, etc.?
—Neil T., Nottingham, England
There are thousands of grape types out there, though I’ve heard that the number used to make wine commercially is probably closer to 1,300. If you’re trying to track them, it gets pretty complicated quickly—some grapes are clones of others, and some grapes have different names in different places. (“Syrah” and “Shiraz” may be the best-known example, but there are plenty of others.)