Grapes are a common sight in grocery stores around the world, but that often leaves an impression that the only varieties of grapes are red, yellow, and purple. Grape lovers may also be familiar with seedless grapes that remove the bitter taste of seeds.
However, there is much more to this delicious fruit that regular shopping runs don’t reveal. Humans and grapes go back thousands of years. This rich history has resulted in an astounding 10,000 varieties of grapes. Another interesting fact is that grapes are technically berries.
Even though grapes are a popular snack worldwide, it is estimated that people use over 70% of the world’s grapes for making wine. Notably, wine grapes are pretty different from those at the grocery store.
Types of Grapes
Naturally, I won’t be covering the thousands of different grapes here. Instead, I’ll focus on the most popular types of grapes, what they taste like, where they grow, and how to make the most of them.
This variety of grapes was first cultivated outside of Concord, Massachusetts, in 1849.
Since then, Concord grapes have become one of the most popular grape varieties in the world. They are easily recognizable by their dark blue color and large size.
Concord grapes are lovely and have a musky flavor. You can use this type of grape for jams, jellies, and juices.
This variety of grape has a delicious flavor that is sweet and full-bodied. Concord grapes are easy to peel and have easy to avoid seeds.
They grow throughout New England, Washington, and Michigan and are in season from August to September.
Sweet Jubilee Grapes
These grapes are a newer variety, having been around since the 1990s.
They were developed in California and are a cross between two other types of grapes, the Vitis vinifera, and the Vitis labrusca.
Sweet Jubilee grapes are large and have a deep purple color, and they are delightful and have a flavor similar to concord grapes.
They are sweet and firm and have a distinct gape flavor. These grapes are also often used in juices and jams.
Unlike other grapes, Sweet Jubilee grapes are so large that they are no longer bite-sized. They are delicious raw but also go well on a PB and Jelly sandwich or a salad.
Sweet Jubilee grapes are only grown in Central California and are in season from September to October.
Crimson Seedless Grapes
Crimson seedless grapes are a relatively new variety of grapes. They were developed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in 1989.
These grapes are a type of table grape and are very popular in the United States. They are a bright red color, cylindrical, and seedless.
When ripe, the flesh is crisp and firm. Meanwhile, the skin is thick and a bit tough.
Crimson Seedless grapes are large and have a slightly tart flavor. They are often used in salads and as a snack.
Crimson Seedless grapes are grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. They are also a popular grape variety in Australia. They are in season from June to September.
Valiant grapes are a type of table grape that was developed in the 1970s. They cross two other kinds of grapes, the Vitis vinifera, and the Vitis labrusca.
Valiant grapes are large and have a deep purple color. They are delightful and have a flavor that is similar to concord grapes. Similarly, Valiant grapes are also often used in juices and jams.
One of the unique characteristics of Valiant grapes is how resistant they are to cold weather.
They thrive in cold weather and poor soil conditions. As a result, this variety is widely grown in Alaska and Canada.
This delicious grape variety is in season from August to September. Get them while you can!
Kyoho grapes could be easily mistaken for a plum. This variety is one of the largest in the world.
In fact, “Kyoho” means “giant-mountain grape” in Japanese and got its name from Mount Fuji.
Kyoho grapes are a type of table grape and are very popular in East Asia.
They are a deep purple color, oblong, and have large seeds. The flesh is lovely, and the skin is thin and edible.
People often use Kyoho grapes in jams, juices, and wine. They are also a popular snack because of their sweet taste and large size.
Kyoho grapes are grown in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. They are in season from August to October.
Moon Drop Grapes
Moon Drop grapes stand out from the other grape varieties on this list due to their unique shape.
This grape variety is finger-shaped with almost black skin. They are sweet and have seedless, juicy flesh.
Moon Drop grapes are not as sweet as other grape varieties, but it still tastes a bit like grape jelly. The flesh is firm and crisp and will stay good in storage for up to a week.
Moon Drop grapes are a type of table grape popular in the United States. They are grown in Central California and are in season from July through September.
Sultana grapes, also known as Thompson Seedless, are the most popular type of raisin grape used in many kinds of baked goods.
You will not likely find this type of grape in the grocery store.
You are more likely to find them in a Michelin starred restaurant served alongside squid or in a watermelon salad.
Sultana grapes are golden yellow and have thin skin. They are sweet and have a chewy texture.
Sultana grapes are grown in many places worldwide, including the United States, Australia, Turkey, and South Africa. They are in season from July to September.
Cotton Candy Grapes
I think that Cotton Candy grapes have the best name on this list. Ironically, the grapes don’t look like cotton candy, but they certainly taste like it.
These grapes are lovely and have a flavor similar to the carnival treat.
After you bite into one, you will immediately understand why this grape variety has become so popular.
Growers first developed the Cotton Candy grapes in the 1990s. They are a hybrid of two other types of grapes, the Vitis vinifera, and the Vitis labrusca.
Cotton Candy grapes are small and have a greenish-white color. They are in season from July to September and are grown in Central California.
You might believe that you use Champagne grapes to make champagne.
However, you would be mistaken. Instead, you use these grapes to make white wine. They are the most popular type of grape used in white wine production.
The grape itself is small, round, and has a greenish-yellow color. The skin is thin, and the flesh is very juicy. Champagne grapes have a high sugar content and are very acidic.
In addition to wine production, chefs use Champagne grapes extensively in the kitchen. They provide a perfect edible decoration to many dishes.
Champagne grapes are grown worldwide, including in France, Italy, Spain, and the United States. They are in season from June to September.
Gewürztraminer grapes are certainly a mouthful in more than one way. These types of grapes are large and have a mild flavor.
They are less grapey than other grapes and have a clean and soft finish. The raw grapes taste pretty similar to the wine that they make.
The grape is white or yellowish-green in color and has a thin skin. The skin is pinkish-red and quite different from the wine it produces.
The flesh is juicy and has a strong aroma. People use Gewürztraminer grapes to make both white and red wine.
Gewürztraminer grapes are grown in many places worldwide, including France, Germany, Italy, and the United States. They are in season from July to September.
Lemberger grapes are also known as Blauer limberger and Blaufankish. This German variety of grapes has rapidly grown in popularity in recent decades.
The grape is large and has a deep blue color. The skin is thick, and the flesh is firm. Lemberger grapes have a mild flavor and are slightly sweet. You use this grape in the production of red wine.
This grape does well in various soil types, making it a popular grape for new growers.
Lemberger grapes are grown worldwide, including in France, Germany, Italy, and the United States. They are in season from July to September.
Pinot Noir Grapes
No confusion here; you use Pinot Noir grapes to make wine. They are used to make some of the best wines in the world.
The grape is small and round with a dark blue color. The skin is thin, and the flesh is very juicy. Pinot Noir grapes have a high sugar content and low acidity.
The flavor of the grape is quite complex. It has notes of cherry, raspberry, and even chocolate.
Pinot Noir grapes are grown worldwide, including in France, Italy, Spain, and the United States. They are in season from August to September.
Riesling grapes are another wine-making grape. However, they are also delicious on their own. Riesling grapes are pretty sweet, and you can taste their sweetness in their wine.
The grape is small and elongated with a greenish-yellow color. The skin is thin, and the flesh is very juicy. Riesling grapes have a high sugar content and are very acidic.
The flavor of the grape is quite complex, with notes of peach, apricot, and even floral aromas.
Riesling grapes are grown worldwide, including in France, Germany, Italy, and the United States. They are in season from August to September.
Moon Ball Grapes
As their name suggests, Moon Ball Grapes have a round shape. They are also relatively small, about the size of a blueberry.
The grape is greenish-white in color and has a thin skin. The flesh is very juicy and has a mild flavor. People often use Moon Ball grapes in the production of white wine.
Moon Ball grapes are grown in South Africa, so it is difficult to find this grape in other parts of the world.
Fry Muscadine Grapes
Fry Muscadine grapes have one of the more fascinating names for a grape. But, they are also a very delicious grape.
The grape is large, about the size of cherry tomatoes, and has a brown-gold color. The skin is thick, and the flesh is very juicy. Fry Muscadine grapes have a high sugar content and are very acidic.
The flavor of the grape is quite complex, with notes of peach, apricot, and even floral aromas. They are grown in Georgia and season for only the month of September.
Types of Grapes
- Concord Grapes
- Sweet Jubilee Grapes
- Crimson Seedless Grapes
- Valiant Grapes
- Kyoho Grape
- Moon Drop Grapes
- Sultana Grapes
- Cotton Candy Grapes
- Champagne Grapes
- Gewürztraminer Grapes
- Lemberger Grapes
- Pinot Noir Grapes
- Riesling Grapes
- Moon Ball Grapes
- Fry Muscadine Grapes
I hope you’ve gained some new insights into the diverse world of grapes. As you can see, there is no shortage of various types of grapes that all bring something unique to the table. Likewise, there are different ways to make the most of their key features.
Whether you enjoy munching on grapes as refreshing snacks, or use them to enhance the visual appeal of a dish as well as the taste, I encourage you to try out some of the listed grapes if given the chance.
Did we leave out your favorite grapes from this list? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll make sure to check them out.
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