Get to know this wine term, because you'll hear it often. Here's the scoop: A varietal is a wine named for the type of grape variety from which it was made. If a wine is made up mostly of Chardonnay grapes, the varietal is Chardonnay. Each country has strict rules mandating the minimum percentage of a certain grape that the wine must be composed of (in the United States it's 75%), and some wines are made entirely from the same grape variety. The majority of wine on the market is named either for the varietal used to make the wine (e.g., Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon) or the place where the grapes were grown (e.g., Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja). Most wines made in the United States have varietal names, whereas European wines are almost always named after the region or appellation they are from. There are exceptions, such as wines from Alsace.