Time to unwind with some red wine….
Wine (especially red wine) is an acquired taste, and discovering your favourite red wine is all about tastes. Some people like it sweet and others like it dry. Some prefer the richness of full-bodied red while others find themselves coming back to the easy drinking of an airy, light-bodied red. The red wine your best friend falls head over heels for might not necessarily be your cup of tea (or glass of wine).
Whether you’re seeking a red that’s light-bodied, full-bodied, or somewhere in the middle, start here with our quick guide. Then, get ready to pop corks and drop knowledge at your next dinner party with some mouth-watering food pairing suggestions.
This red wine variety, also lovingly called a Cab, is full-bodied and cultivated in nearly every area that produces wine. It’s wildly popular thanks to a blend of medium acidity, moderate levels of tannins, and hints of dark fruits. Cabs offer different tasting notes depending on where they’re produced. French versions, for example, tend to be more herb-laden while California Cabernets are generally fruitier.
If you’re into berry flavors and rich textures, Cabernet Sauvignon is a great choice for you. While it pairs well with practically anything, Cab’s big body, bold flavours, and mile-long finish can match the meat and marinade like none other.
Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red that features a silky texture and sultry flavours. It is fruit-forward with cherries and berries as the most prominent notes. Popular options are cultivated by winemaking experts in Oregon and California. Some Pinot Noir grapes also offer herbaceous and gamey notes. It’s a dry wine, meaning it has little to no residual sugar so it’s not cloyingly sweet.
If you prefer non-sweet wines that are still fruity, Pinot Noir is the ideal choice for you. It’s great with salmon and other healthy fat-rich foods like avocado toast.
Merlot is a rich red wine that has fewer tannins compared to Cabernet Sauvignon — the only red wine more popular than this one. It’s a deeply hued red wine with colors that border on purple and blue. Merlots produced in cool climates offer hints of strawberries, black currants, and plums. Merlots from warmer climates offer tastes of dark cherries, blackberries, and vanilla.
If you’re learning to love red wine, merlot is a good place to start your tasting adventures. The medium tannin content makes it bold enough for rich flavor without making your lips pucker. Pair it with a juicy steak or a cheesy cordon bleu.
With mid-range tannins and high acidity (plus high alcohol content) it’s bold without being heavy. This wine offers fruity and spicy flavors with a light body and smoky finish.
If you like fruity and spicy notes such as black pepper, blackberries, cherries, and licorice, you’ll adore Zinfandel. Pair it with a huge bowl of pasta or gruyere macaroni and cheese.
Syrah is all about bold flavour with spicy, floral, and tangy notes blended into one amazingly delicious beverage. This wine offers notes of everything from salty bacon and smoky herbs to violets and fruits. European Syrah wines that are aged in oak barrels develop notes of vanilla, anise, and cloves. Shiraz from South America tends to be fruitier with notes of blueberry and plum.
Syrah wines offer a range of flavors that tend to be bold. If you love food in general and flavours that rock your taste buds, Syrah is the wine for you. Enjoy a glass of Syrah while barbecuing at the park or sip it alongside a fancy meal of roasted duck. It’s also perfectly suited to charcuterie and cheese plates.
While originally produced in France, most Malbecs now come from Argentina and Chile. The main flavors of a Malbec are blackberry and black cherry. Depending on where it was produced, it can also offer undertones of milk chocolate, sweet tobacco, and violets. The wine is a deep red hue, making it a stunning addition to any meal.
Malbecs are easy to drink though they do offer bolder flavours than lighter-bodied wines. If you love mildly spicy and smoky hints, try a Malbec. Bring a few bottles to your next wine tasting party or down it along with your favorite Mexican tacos or Indian curries.
Tempranillo wine wows audiences with its ruby and garnet hues. It’s packed with hints of fig, cherries, and tomatoes. It’s largely produced in Australia, Portugal, and Argentina and blends earthy undertones with fruity high notes. It has both medium tannin and acidity levels and offers a bold yet understated tasting profile.
Tempranillo wines are popular among people who enjoy Cabernets. It’s full-bodied and goes well with hearty lasagna, polenta dishes, and loaded nachos.
Now you are ready to paint the town red with your newfound love of red wines! Enjoy.