Under this aspect the European wine law differentiates between three major groups of wine:
Internationally, there are clear distinctions made between the Germanic and Romanic wine systems. While varietal specification is more common in the Germanic system (e.g. in Austria, Germany), the Romanic wine system (Italy, France, Spain) will distinguish a wine according to its regional typicity and origin.
For example, an Austrian consumer (using the Germanic system) might be asked “Which wine did you drink yesterday?”, and the most likely answer would be the name of a variety, such as “I drank a tasty Zweigelt last night”. By contrast, wine drinkers in Italy, Spain or France would probably refer to the region of origin, such as “I drank a Chianti/Rioja/Bordeaux....” respectively. In the romanic system, however, wines are not generally defined by their origins. If someone would say, for example, “I drank a wine from the Thermenregion”, very few details (such as whether it was white, red or sweet) are provided for this wine.