Types of Red Wine: See How Much You Know
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 amore 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. There are many types of red wine, so let’s have a look!
The first of our types of red wine is Shiraz. Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is a wine that usually hails from Clifornia, Australia, or the Rhone Valley in France. Shiraz goes great with red meat and 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.
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.
Next up is Malbec, a red borne of the Bordeaux region of France – though it is now grown all over the world. Malbec 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 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 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.
Is that confusing enough for you? There are eight major types of red wine, but there is plenty of variation within each type. Quite often, the difference between one year and the next within the same varietal can be drastic, so just imagine the difference between wines made in California versus wines made in Italy! Wines have character from all across the board, so you have to keep an open mind!