17 different types of grapes explained


While all grapes are delicious, many lend themselves to being prepared in specific ways. Table grapes, for example – the ones we give to children as snacks or at parties – are often seedless, large, sweet and firm, with thin skins. They make excellent raisins in their later years (for Epicurious).

Juice grapes have a thicker skin, with a delicious, pulpy interior. They are used to make jams, jellies and grape juice. They are also edible, although some grapes like the native American Concord grape (originating in Concord, Massachusetts, according to the Concord Grape Association) have a slippery skin – a thick skin that easily slides off the inner pulp, making them even more fun to eat.

But why can’t you make wine with grapes you bring back from the store? As Vine pair explains, wine grapes are quite different from table grapes. It basically boils down to four main points: species, skin, sugar and size. All wine grapes come from the Vitis vinifera species, while table grapes include other species. Wine grapes have thicker skins, which gives the wine its beautiful color and mouth-drying tannins.

Finally, wine grapes tend to be much smaller (and there are fewer of them). This concentrates the flavor and the sugars – wine grapes are much sweeter than table grapes, which is great because that sugar is what the yeast devours to make the alcohol. Table grapes are larger because they contain more water, which dilutes that sugar (but means more juice!).


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