Weekly wine defined: Varietal

Mary writes:

Varietal: This is the grape name, such as cabernet, malbec, Riesling, etc., of a wine.

The varietal name will be on the label IF the bottle contains 75 percent of that varietal from the same vintage. Generic label names such as red, white, meritage or some proprietary name, generally tells you that the contents are a blend of grapes and possibly vintages.

With few exceptions, such as Alsace, Austria, German, and some Italian wines, varietal names are not used except for on the American market.

Most Europeans understand that a white Burgundy is made with chardonnay and a Chianti is made from sangiovese and canaiolo.