Choosing the best wine is often less about what's popular and more about what's good. But it is worth considering the wisdom of crowds when you're looking to find something everyone might like. If a lot of people like a particular kind of wine, it's more likely to be a crowd pleaser at a dinner party.
So to lend you a hand in picking out that bottle of wine, we've narrowed down 5 of the more popular types of wines and even made some shopping recommendations.
Next: 1. Pinot Grigio »
1. Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is one of the world's most popular wines. It's also known by a few different names around the world, including "Pinot Gris" in France "Ruländer" in Germany.
Styles of Pinot Grigio wines vary depending on where they're grown and how they are made. Italian Pinot Grigio is often light and fruity while French Pinot Gris has more of a mineral flavor. To learn about the best foods to pair with Pinot Grigio, click here.
Two Pinot Grigios to Try:
Erste e Neue Pinot Grigio, $16
St. Michael Eppan Anger Pinot Grigio, $20
Next: 2. Sauvignon Blanc »
2. Sauvignon Blanc
The third most planted grape variety in California, Sauvignon Blanc may not have been featured in a movie but it is certainly one of the popular kids. Typically considered a warm weather wine, this dry white can be found all over the world.
This is another white wine that is influenced by where it is grown. Flavors that many note include citrus, pineapple and kiwi -- especially in those Sauvignon Blancs grown in New Zealand. Click here to learn about the best foods to pair with Sauvignon Blanc.
Two Sauvignon Blancs to Try:
Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc Reserve, $16
Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc, $20
Next: 3. Pinot Noir »
3. Pinot Noir
One wine took a hit from the movie "Sideways" and it's infamous line about not drinking any Merlot. But Pinot Noir may have gotten a bit of a boost. The wine didn't get it's own notorious line from the film but it was mentioned favorably once or twice.
The flavors found in a Pinot Noir range from dark fruit to spicy horseradish. Many think that Pinot Noir is actually a great wine to pair with a holiday dinner -- especially Thanksgiving. To learn how to pair Pinot Noir with Thanksgiving dinner, click here.
Two Pinot Noirs to Try:
Fort Ross Pinot Noir, $24
Heron Pinot Noir, $16
Next: 4. Chardonnay »
Always a good fall back white wine, Chardonnay is known worldwide. It's famous because of its success throughout France's famed wine regions, such as Burgundy. But it's also America's most popular grape.
Chardonnay has been known to have a tropical fruit tang to it but a lot of that has to do with where and how the wine was produced. It can also feature flavors of white fruit or vanilla.
Two Chardonnays to Try:
Lange Chardonnay, $16
Alta Maria Vineyards Chardonnay, $24
Next: 5. Cabernet Sauvignon »
5. Cabernet Sauvignon
For some winemakers, Cabernet Sauvignon is known as the "King of Red Wine Grapes." It has been a remarkably popular grape throughout Europe and the United States.
Most notably, black currant, anise and cedar dominate the flavors found in this wine. But occasionally this grape combined with others to make a Bordeaux blend-style wine. To learn a little more about this style of wine and how to pair it with food, click here.
Two Cabernet Sauvignons to Try:
Root 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, $10
Kuleto Estate India Ink Cabernet Sauvignon, $36
You may also like:
Six Wines You Should Buy
17 Pinot Grigio Wines Under $15
Five Key Wine Components and How to Detect Them