Week seventy-eight: CATAWBA (probability 30507), by David Sutton

CATAWBA is a variety of fox grape, or the red wine made from it; it takes its name from the Catawba, a river in the Carolinas, USA.

Given mankind's penchant for the fermented juice of the grape, it is not surprising that there are many more words designating varieties of grape, that can usually also be applied to the wines made from them. These will no doubt be already well known to the more sophisticated, or more bibulous, of my readers, but for the sake of those who like myself prefer a nice cup of tea any day here is a selection:

CABERNETa type of black grape used to produce a dry red wine
DOLCETTOan Italian variety
GAMAYa variety of red grape; a dry red wine made from this. Named for a French village.
GRENACHEa kind of black grape; a red wine made from this
HANEPOOT(also HAANEPOOT or HONEYPOT) a type of South African grape
MUSCATa sweet white grape used for raisins and to make muscatel wine
PINOTa variety of both black and white grape
RIBIERa large black grape
RIESLINGa type of grape grown especially in Germany; a dry white table wine produced from this
SYRAHa red wine grape; wine made from this. Named from the ancient Persian City of Shiraz, where the grape is supposed to have originated.
VERDELHOa white grape originally growing in Madeira; a white wine made from this

Less useful varieties, Scrabble-wise, include ZINFANDEL, SCUPPERNONG, TREBBIANO and GEWURZTRAMINER. Incidentally, CSW12 gives us a new word CEPAGE, which means the grape variety or combination of varieties used to make a particular wine.


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