Your Complete Guide to Red Wine

words Alexa Wang

There are a wide range of wines, depending on the type, color and taste. Red wine to be specific, has a lot of variations and types. Unless you’re an expert in wine-tasting, it may be harder for you to differentiate various types of wines, regardless of the brand labels.

As there are great varieties of grapes which are used for making wine, similarly there are many varieties of wines, as well. Generally, grapes are grown all over the world, However the most popular wines are produced using the grapes harvested from the best grapes’ farms.

Guide Red Wine

The atmospheric and soil conditions play a vital role in not only the taste of grapes, but also the wines.  Wines labelled under the same brand may taste different because of the location of their production. Not only that, you can also differentiate between the shades of red wine to tell its age.  A clear distinction about the age of red wines is, the younger wines are mostly lighter in color while old wines are darker.

In this article, we’ve curated a list of various types of red wine, that will serve as your guide in future. You can also use the information to decide which wine you’ll like best.

Discovering your best match of red wine depends on your personal taste and preference. You may either like it dry or sweet. Browse through the different types of red wine and select the best wine for you. Wine tastes great when paired with delish foods. There are a variety of world cuisine you can pair with French wines for a flavorful dining experience.

Check this list to enlighten yourself on wines so you can have an easy time deciding what glass of wine you are taking next time.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular red wines. Though it originated from France it’s famous all over the world.. It’s produced from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, the most grown grape in the world. It’s a full-bodied dry wine signifying it’s high in tannins. Tannins are the organic substances usually found in the plant tissues, bark or galls, that is characterized by its bitter taste.

Some flavors and varieties included in this type of wine are black pepper, black cherry, asparagus, and cedar. It’s perfect when paired with some meat and stew. How great does it feel to have the fine wine and mouth-watering dinner with your loved ones!

Merlot

Merlot is a medium-bodied dry red wine. Merlot grapes are said to be the second most grown grapes in the world. It’s a bottle of alcoholic beverage available in exquisite flavors like black cherry, cedar and plum. This wine finds its origins from France, however it’s less in tannins than full-bodied wines and can be taken in combinations with variety of meals. You can enjoy the wine with some vegetables, as well!

The wine is also great in blending with other types of wine like Cabernet Sauvignon.

Guide to Red Wine

Pinot Noir

Another wine from France. Pinot noir is a light-bodied dry red wine. They are lightweight as they are less in tannins. It has a silky texture and is considered the best lightweight dry wine.

Being lightweight, you can take also Pinot Noir alone, but it tastes heavenly with fish, meat, and some poultry dishes.

Some flavors in this category includes vanilla, raspberry, cherry, and hibiscus.

Syrah/Shiraz

This grape is grown in France (Syrah) and Australia (Shiraz). Syrah is a full-bodied dry red wine with regal flavors like blueberry, blackberry, rosemary, mint, and plum. These rich flavors give Syrah a powerful and intense taste in the mouth. 

Being high in tannins and medium acidity, Syrah is the ideal pair for meat. It can also be paired with hearty burgers, cheese, and grilled foods. 

Malbec

Malbec is a full-bodied dry red wine with its origin from France, but it’s today mostly produced in Argentina. The wine has a deep purple color with amazing flavors like dark fruit, chocolate, and raisin. French and Argentine Malbec vary in terms of the level of bitterness. French Malbec is highlighted by additional bitterness because of higher acidity from black pepper, whereas Argentine Malbec is dark with a chocolate flavor.

It tastes divine when paired with juicy, spicey meat dishes.

Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a full-bodied, dry-sweet red wine with Croatian origins. They are lighter but high in tannins and acidity. They can reach up to 17% alcohol levels. Flavors included in Zinfadel wine are black pepper, berry jam, and cinnamon.

Being high in tannins, Zinfandel is great for pairing with filling dishes like steamy meat, barbeque, pasta, pizza, and curries.

Cabernet Franc

This is a medium-bodied dry red wine, originating from France. It’s black-skinned with sweet and sharp flavors like strawberry, blueberry, violets, and roasted pepper. Cabernet Franc is the parent of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Its high acidity levels make it great for partnering with pasta specifically meatballs and spaghetti. The wine is also great for pairing with beef and vegetable dishes. 

Nebbiolo

This is a bottle of Italian wine from the Piedmont region. Nebbiolo is a full-bodied dry red wine with the grapes solely growing in Italy. Attempts in other areas like California did not turn out well. It’s lighter in color, but it’s high in tannins and acidity. some flavors are tar, cherry, rose, and violet.

Nebbiolo is great when paired with fatty foods like a rib roast, pork, and cheese.

Barbera

Another wine from Italy. Barbera is a medium-bodied dry red wine with flavors like nutmeg, violet, vanilla, and blackberry. They are deep in color with lower tannins but higher acidity. They take less time to mature and offer great fruit flavors. 

The higher acidity makes it perfect to pair with fatty foods. You can also pair with pasta, blue cheese and mushrooms.

Sangiovese

This is another wine whose grapes are exclusively grown in Italy. It’s the biggest and most grown grape in Italy. Sangiovese is a dry semi-sweet dry wine with flavors like tart cherry, pie cherry, thyme, and red plum. This wine is associated with Chianti, another wine type from Italy. The presence of high tannins implies that its perfect for pairing with carbohydrates enriched meals like pizza, pasta, and fatty dishes with low sugar. The intense tannins have a lasting taste, so you need to be careful when you devour this wine.

Gamay

Gamay is a dry red wine, originated from France. It’s a very light wine, with sweet and mild flavors like strawberry, raspberry, cherry, blackcurrant, violet, and bananas. It may have a slight smell of bananas. It’s purple in color and tastes similar to Pinot Noir.

Gamay is great for pairing with regular meals like meat, chicken, vegetables like spinach, and salmon.

Key Takeaway

Wine is great but shouldn’t be taken in large amounts. Wine should be drunk in moderate amounts. Research shows that drinking moderate amounts of wine daily, that is 1-2 glasses per day can impart some medical benefits to your body. So, you need to enlighten yourself on some medical benefits of red wine, you will be surprised what wonders a glass of wine can make. Devour a glass of the classic red wine and enjoy it with your favorite meal!

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