Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, indicating, or characterizing a variety, especially a biological variety.
  • n. A wine made principally from one variety of grape and carrying the name of that grape.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to a distinct variety of organism.
  • adj. Made from a single specific variety (especially of grapes in wine).
  • n. A wine made primarily from or exclusively from a single variety of grape, which carries the name of that grape.
  • n. By extension, a coffee made primarily from or exclusively from a single variety of coffee bean.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a variety; characterizing a variety; constituting a variety, in distinction from an individual or species.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In petrography, in the quantitative classification of igneous rocks (see rock), having the character of or producing a variety of a mode.
  • In biology, having the character of a zoölogical or botanical variety; subspecific, or of the character of a subspecies; racial, with reference to geographical variation; of or pertaining to varieties: variational: as, varietal characters; varietal differences or distinctions. See variability, 2. variation, 8, and variety, 6.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a wine made principally from one grape and carrying the name of that grape

Etymologies

From variety.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From variety + -al. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Hence, the varietal is sometimes called the "holy grail"; other times, it's the "heartbreak grape."

    Wine 101: Pinot Noir

  • I'm not a believer in varietal glassware yet, but this should be interesting.

    LENNDEVOURS:

  • My favorite red varietal is Syrah, and no one does it better.

    Diploma Dispatches: Rhône Wines

  • The premise is simple, buy two bottles of the same varietal from the same producer, one the 'regular' bottling and the other the 'reserve' and see how the juice inside those bottles differ.

    Wine Blogging Wednesday #32 Announced -- Regular vs. Reserve

  • With the myriad of older vintages still for sale out there, it does not take a whole lot of digging to secure a few bottles of mature chenin blanc in a variety of sweetness levels and see what fans of the varietal are always blathering about.

    Natural wines, premox, chenin blanc, 07 Port and Rhone – John Gilman | Dr Vino's wine blog

  • Honey that is harvested in this manner is referred to as varietal or monofloral honey.

    Ambrosial Delights of Varietal Honey

  • He discussed that pinot goes with Pacific salmon and then began to geek out on the idea of varietal variation among pinot noir clones in Burgundy.

    Sommelier Challenge

  • I suppose it's particularly New World-ish to believe that every location can produce every kind of varietal wine.

    The Circle of (New) Life: Red Newt Is Evolving

  • A lovely place called Urbana might have been more restaurant than wine bar, but it still took its wine seriously and gave us a chance to try a Cantina Nalles Gewürztraminer from the Alto Adige region of Italy ($10) that was beautiful, with the kind of varietal kick that we look for in a Gewurz.

    A Capital Idea

  • The service i experienced was lackadaisical, the wine list (i know it's unfinished, but it is called "varietal") extremely sparse, and the food the typical-nowadays grab-bag -- the octpus was well cooked but oversalted, the lobster nicely spiced/seasoned but overall not a successful entree (should have been an appetizer, and I DONT like large portions).

    Varietal, 832 finalillian stars

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