The characteristics of wine phenolics found in several North American and (for comparison) European grape cultivars grown in China were analyzed. This was done to find non-Vitis vinifera wines with prominent features in order to diversify the kinds of wines. The phenolic richness and antioxidant activity decreased in the order: red > rose > white wines. In the red wines, the American grape 'Cynthiana' had the highest total concentrations of phenols, anthocyanins, flavonols and phenolic acids, as well as antioxidant capacity, followed by the French hybrid 'Chambourcin', the lowest were detected in two European grape varieties, 'Merlot' and 'Cabernet Sauvignon', while the total flavon-3-ols levels were reversed among these red grape cultivars. The highest concentration of stilbenes out of all the wines analyzed was found in the 'Merlot' variety. There were significant differences among wine phenolic compositions between North American and European grape cultivars. The antioxidant activities were significantly related to the concentrations of total phenols (r² = 0.996), anthocyanins (r² = 0.984), flavonols (r² = 0.850) and gallic acid (r² = 0.797). The prominent features of wine aroma and nutrition could make the American grape wines attractive to consumers. It is therefore necessary to perform further research on cultural practices and wine making involving these grapes.