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,
Is Cabernet Sauvignon a Burgundy wine?
—T., Amsterdam, N.Y.
Burgundy is a wine region in France, and as is common in wine regions in Europe, its wines are referred to by where they are from, which in turn implies what kind of grapes the wine is made from. The labels don’t say it outright like they do from other parts of the world.
Meanwhile, Cabernet Sauvignon is the name of a red winegrape and the wines made from this grape. Cabernet is grown all over the world, but not in Burgundy. Burgundy is best known for its reds made from Pinot Noir and the whites made from Chardonnay.
I get a lot of questions from folks wanting to know the difference between Burgundy and Bordeaux. Bordeaux is another famous wine region in France, and there the red wines are based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (and the whites Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon).
I remember when first learning about wines, this was one of the hardest concepts to wrap my head around—memorizing the grapes from the European regions while also trying to understand the differences between all the grapes and wines made from them. Hang in there; it will start to click, I promise.