Sweet Red Wine: Learning About Your Favorite Wine
Most wine connoisseurs will tell you that red wine is the place to be. Red wines are rich and velvety, often dry and appeal to a more “cultured” palate. Not that white wines don’t have their place, mind you, but red wines tend to take longer to warm up to and appeal to someone with a more mature taste in beverages. But what if you want a sweet red wine? Is there anything for you out there? Well, let’s take a look!
The first of our types of red wine is Shiraz. Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is a wine that usually hails from California, Australia, or the Rhone Valley in France. Shiraz goes great with red meat and though dry, will often have flavors of wild black fruit, roasting meat and black pepper spice.
Next you have Merlot. An oft-maligned red, Merlot is grown all over the world and is very soft, which led it to becoming the “introductory red” for many wine beginners. Merlot typically features flavors of black cherry, plum and herbs. It goes great just about anything really. Merlot isn’t technically a sweet red wine, but is great for getting your feet wet in teh world of reds.
Then there is Cabernet sauvignon. Cabernet sauvignon grows anywhere except the coldest wine regions and is often blended with other reds. Cabernet sauvignon features a very strong, full-bodied flavor and goes great with simply-prepared red meats. Definitely not a sweet red wine.
Next up is Malbec, a red borne of the Bordeaux region of France – though it is now grown all over the world. Malbec, though dry, usually tastes of plums, berries and spice and goes with all sorts of meat.
Then you have Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir originated from the Burgundy region in France and is often very delicate and fresh, with not-necessarily-sweet flavors of strawberry, cherry, plum and faint tones of damp earth, worn leather and tea leaves. This red goes great chicken, lamb, or grilled salmon.
Zinfandel is a purely Californian wine. Zinfandel is a very versatile grape and can even be used to make white wine. This red tends to be very zesty, with flavors of pepper and berry. Its pairing vary widely depending on its freshness and heaviness, but it usually goes great with barbecued and grilled meats, tomato-based pastas, and pizza.
Sangiovese, as you can probably guess from the name, is very popular in Italy, where it originated. Sangiovese goes great with Italian and other Mediterranean dishes and, though dry, features fresh plum and berry flavors.
Last, but not least, on our list of types of red wine is Barbera. Barbera originated in Italy, but has become very widespread in California these days. Barbera wines are very versatile, but often go well with tomato sauces. Look for flavors of plum and juicy black cherry in this dry wine.
If you are really looking for a sweet red wine, you might not want to jump headlong into any of the aforementioned wines, though Merlot is easy going down if you aren’t ready for the sturdier reds. You could also try a Beaujolais, Lambrusco, Port (more of a dessert wine, definitely sweet though), or a sweet red wine made from strawberries or blueberries.