All over the world, grapes are loved for their sweetness, juiciness and convenience.
They come in an abundance of colours and flavours, with some types used differently. Some grape varieties, such as table grapes, are typically eaten fresh or made into jams, juice, jelly, while others are used to make wine.
The colour of grapes varies from deep red to pinkish yellow to shades of green to black. We present 15 varieties of grapes, including some you might have never heard of.
Moon Drops stand out from other table grapes due to their unique shape and delicious taste. This type of black grape is seedless and has a surprisingly crunchy texture. Their colour is a deep blue, almost black. Long and tubular, they have a distinctive dimple on one end. This grape makes a great snack. Large in size, they can be stuffed with fillings like whipped cheese or roasted and tossed into a leafy salad to add natural sweetness. This grape was developed for the grape-growing firm The Grapery, and it took 15 years to perfect. Moon Drop grapes are well-known for their unusual shape, snappy texture, grape jelly sweetness, and ability to last longer in the refrigerator than most other grape varieties. You can find this grape between late July and late September.
Sultana grapes are one of the oldest known grape varieties. Small, green-white, and very sweet, this grape is also called the Thompson Seedless. Its sweet flavour has made sultana grapes the preferred berry for making white raisins. Sultanas are grown primarily in California, Australia, and Turkey, where they are harvested between July and September.
Concord grapes are known for their deep blue-purple hue and are popular as table grapes. They’re used to make tasty juices, jellies, jams, and baked goods. Concord grapes are also commonly used to make Kosher wine. These jewel-toned grapes are loaded with nutrients and high in flavonoid antioxidants and resveratrol, a phenolic compound with anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and heart-healthy properties. This grape is primarily grown in North America, particularly in the Finger Lake region in New York, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and Michigan. Grocery stores tend not to carry these grapes; however, some farmers' markets may sell them when Concord grapes are in season, from September through October.
Kyoho grapes have a deep, dark colour similar to concord grapes. Developed by crossing Centennial grapes with a variety known as Ishiharawase, they have been the most widely cultivated grape variety in Japan since 1994. The name Kyoho means ‘giant mountain grape’, which was inspired by Mount Fuji. Juicy, flavourful flesh surrounds their thick skin. Kyohos are very large and are packed with beneficial plant compounds, including anthocyanins. While the skin is tough and not palatable, it reveals a juicy, sweet flesh like a concord grape once peeled. It grows from July to August but isn't very popular outside Japan.
This blue-purple hybrid grape combines the juicy notes of plump concord grapes with the sugary sweetness of the Thompson seedless or sultana varieties. The grapes are seedless, firm, round, plump, with a pronounced characteristic of jam. They were developed in California in the '80s by grape breeders to create seeds-free grapes. It was a successful experiment, and this grape is available in many grocery chains from July to September.
These seedless grapes have a pretty dark pink to light red skin and green flesh. They are popular for snacking because of their sweet flavour and crisp texture. Californian plant breeders created this variety in 1989. The anthocyanins in Crimson grapes — like other red grapes — give them their beautiful colour and contribute to the health benefits they provide.
This popular oval grape can be found in many grocery stores from May through October. The red-green grape has thicker skin that keeps it fresh longer, but it is also somewhat tannic than other grapes. Crimson Seedless remains a popular choice when it comes to red grapes, and the grape's tart flavour makes it a household favourite.
The Himrod grape is characterised by its golden yellow clusters and is as sweet as it looks. Its origins are in Europe and Turkey, where it has been enjoyed for centuries. Although the Himrod grape is capable of growing in a variety of hot climates, it is seldom found outside its growing regions.
Flame Seedless is a widespread variety of table grapes loved for its delicious flavour. These medium-sized grapes grow in large clusters and have a dark red colour. They are sweet and crunchy, with semi-thick skin. They're high in nutrients and offer numerous health benefits. Flame Seedless gets its intense red colour from plant pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins protect your cells from oxidative stress by acting as powerful antioxidants. Flame Seedless grapes are hybrids, mixed with a few different grape varieties, mostly the Thompson Seedless and Cardinal. It's easy to find the Flame Seedless grape in many major grocery stores because it stores well. It's a great table grape due to all of its positive qualities. The grape was introduced to the market in the mid-1970s and has remained popular.
The Dominga grape is a white table grape with a sweet, pleasant flavour and yellowish skin. It’s exceptionally high in polyphenol antioxidants. Specifically, they contain higher levels of Flavan-3-ols than other grapes. These compounds have been proven to improve cardiovascular health. Consuming foods rich in polyphenols such as Dominga grapes may help preserve mental functioning, protect the nervous system, and promote many other health benefits.
Red Globe grapes are a large, seeded table grape that is widely consumed worldwide, particularly in Asian countries. This fruit has firm, crisp flesh, with a rosy, red colour. Many nutrients and beneficial plant compounds are present in these lightly sweet grapes. The large size of Red Globe grapes makes them an ideal snack, or they can even be frozen to serve as ice cubes, helping keep drinks cold while infusing them with their delicious flavour.
Black Muscat is thought to have been created by combining Muscat of Alexandria and Trollinger grapes. As well as being enjoyed fresh as table grapes, they are used for making several types of wine, including dessert wines and dry reds. These large blue-black grapes have a floral aroma and are bluish-black in colour. Sweet and juicy, they are a great match for salty, rich foods like cheese. Many bioactive compounds are found in Black Muscat, including beta carotene, alpha-tocopherol, and monoterpenols that can benefit the body.
Centennial grapes are a variety of large, white grapes. These grapes can be enjoyed as table grapes or made into large raisins that are perfect for snacking and baking. Harold P. Olmo, a plant breeder at the University of California, developed the Centennial grape in 1966. It is a seedless grape with a thin yellowish skin covering a firm, sweet flesh.
Autumn Royal's indigo-black hue results from a combination of Autumn Black, Ribier, Black Rose, Flame Seedless, and Calmeria. Autumn Royal was among the largest grapes available in 1996 – when it was released – and it still is today. The grapes are cultivated in California, where they ripen later than most table grapes. It has a mildly sweet taste, a crunchy exterior, and pale green inside flesh.
Glenora was created in 1952 when Ontario and Russian Seedless grapes were crossed. It is a prolific variety that grows in large clusters. They are medium-sized bluish-black grapes with an exciting flavour profile often described as sweet with a hint of spice. The disease resistance of Glenora grapes and their ease of cultivation make them a popular variety among growers and home gardeners alike.
The Tempranillo grape comes from Spain and is primarily used to produce red wine. Wines made with these dark, blackish grapes have a rich, smooth flavour often characterised by cherry, strawberry, and black currant notes.
Grapes from the Tempranillo varietal are often blended with other varieties, such as Syrah, Grenache, or Cabernet Sauvignon, to create delicious wines.
Tempranillo wines are usually paired with savoury foods, including lamb, pork, and spicy dishes.