There are lots of different types of red wine, and each one has its own unique flavour profile and set of characteristics. Today, we’re going to take a look at 10 popular types of red wine, explore what makes them so special and discuss whether or not you will like each one. From Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot, red wines can vary a lot and if you are a fan then there is probably a red wine for you in this list! So, let’s explore these red wines.
Different Types of Red Wine
Red wines are classified according to the varietals used to make them. To produce various tastes or tasting qualities, some red wines combine several varietals. In addition, these crimson blends are frequently less expensive than Bordeaux, Napa Valley, or Australian single varietals.
Within these types of red wine, each has a distinct flavour: light-bodied, medium-bodied, or rich-bodied. Wines with a light body have an airy effect on the tongue. These wines, such as Grenache and Pinot Noir, are characterized by fewer tannins and a more punchy flavour.
Medium-bodied red wines, such as Merlot and Shiraz, have a higher alcohol content and provide a more persistent flavour than light-bodied wines. Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, is a full-bodied red wine from California with more than 13.5% alcohol and a complete mouthfeel. They’re rich and powerful, with distinctive tastes that linger.
Do you have no idea what kind of wine you’ll enjoy? We’ll break down the differences between red wines here. Plus, we’ll provide you with helpful suggestions based on your taste preferences.
10 Popular Types of Red Wine & Which Ones You Might Like
Cabernet Franc is a powerful red wine variety that’s grown in nearly every region that produces wine. It’s very popular thanks to a combination of medium acidity, moderate tannins, and undertones of dark fruits. Depending on where they’re made, Cabs have various flavour notes. French Cabernets, for example, are more herb-heavy, while California Cabernets are fruitier.
Who will love it: Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful choice for people who enjoy berry tastes and rich textures. Cabernets, Merlots, Riojas, and Chiantis are also popular among enthusiasts of the same. It goes great with everything from rosemary lamb shanks to bleu cheeseburgers with fried eggs and apple smoked bacon, and it complements just about every dish.
Pinot Noir is a red wine with a creamy texture and seductive flavour profile. It has cherry and raspberry notes, which are fruit-forward and approachable. Oregon and California’s top winemaking experts cultivate these grapes. Herbaceous and gamey aromas are also present in some Pinot Noir grapes. It’s a dry wine, which means there isn’t much residual sugar to it, so it isn’t cloyingly sweet.
Who will love it: If you want to keep the fruit rather than sweet wines, Pinot Noir is the perfect choice. It’s fantastic with salmon and other healthy fat-rich meals like avocado toast.
Merlot is a deep crimson wine with fewer tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, the most popular red wine. It’s a darkly tinted red with colours that border on purple and blue. Merlots from chilly climates have strawberry, black currant, and plum characteristics. Merlots produced in warm regions have dark cherries, blackberries, and vanilla notes.
Who will love it: If you’re exploring your preferences for red wine, merlot is a good place to start. The medium tannin content makes it robust enough for a rich taste without puckering your lips. Combine it with a juicy steak or a cheesy cordon bleu for a great meal.
This is the red wine version of those spicy red berry margaritas that are ideal for relaxing poolside or sunbathing on the beach. This is a variation on the aforementioned theme. Zinfandel wines have fruity and aromatic qualities with a light body and smoky finish. This sturdy, bright red wine is made from a blend of 100% Tempranillo and has robust tannin levels and a high acidity that gives it an intense flavour while maintaining its airy texture.
Who will love it: Zinfandel goes well with macaroni and cheese, or Gruyère Macaroni and Cheese. It has fruity and spicy undertones that include black pepper, blackberries, cherries, and liquorice. It’s delectable with a huge platter of spaghetti or gruyère macaroni and cheese.
This red wine is often known as Syrah among Europeans and Shiraz elsewhere. It’s comparable to Zinfandel, although it has bolder tastes with spicy, floral, and tangy undertones. This wine has notes of salty bacon and smoky herbs, as well as violets and fruits. Vanilla, anise, and cloves are found in aged European Syrah wines that have been fermented in oak barrels. With notes of blueberry and plum, Shiraz from South America is fruitier.
Who will love it: Syrah wines have a wide range of tastes, which are often strong. Syrah is the wine for you if you enjoy food and taste sensations that rock your world. Syrah pairs well with all sorts of grilled fare. Sip it while grilling at the park or have a nice dinner of roasted duck. It’s also wonderful for charcuterie and cheese plates.
Most Malbecs are now produced in Argentina and Chile, with a few from France. The primary tastes of a Malbec include blackberry and black currants. It has undertones of milk chocolate, sweet tobacco, and violets when produced in various areas. The wine is a rich crimson colour and adds a beautiful touch to any meal.
Who will love it: Malbecs are simple to consume, with more powerful tastes than lighter-bodied vintages. If you enjoy the faintest of spicy and woody undertones, a Malbec is right up your alley. Try a bottle at your next wine tasting or pour it with your favourite Mexican tacos or Indian curries.
Garnacha (also known as Grenache) is a variety of red wine that comes from Spain and the Côtes du Rhône region of France, and it’s generally a spiced, berry-heavy wine. This varietal is frequently combined with other red fruit wines including Mourvedre and Syrah. Strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, and grapefruit flavours are enhanced by subtly coloured spices. The wine is crystal clear and adds a beautiful visual element to the wine-tasting experience.
Who will love it: The alcohol content of Grenache is higher than that of other red wines, resulting in a lighter body and flavour. Try a Grenache with paella or a hearty dish if you enjoy lively and tangy qualities.
The Sangiovese grape, like the Italian people, is bold, good-natured, and tasteful. The Chianti region of Tuscany is where most of this wine is made. With high acidity levels and a gritty flavour profile that’s woody and fruity, the Tuscan wine has a lot of tannins. It’s a medium-bodied red wine that’s frequently aged in oak barrels, with notes of cedar and vanilla.
Who will love it: Looking for a wine that’ll shock and open your palate to new experiences? Sangiovese is it. It’s a delectable wine with tannins that make you pucker your lips and exclaim, “Wow!” This red is ideal for you if you enjoy dark chocolate with smoky tastes. It’s a good match for salami and cheese or roasted chicken breast.
Another well-known Italian wine is Nebbiolo, which is also used to produce Barbaresco. This grape type has a light flavor and a complex aroma profile. With every sip, you may anticipate notes of leather, anise, rose, and berries to float across your palate. This wine ages well and is ideal for special occasions or marking life’s most significant moments.
Who will love it: Nebbiolo wines are ideal for individuals who enjoy strong characteristics with a light, lingering aftertaste. You’ll appreciate the bold tastes of Nebbiolo if you like Bordeaux mixes and Burgundy wines. With any sort of game from boar to venison on hand, serve it with a big meal.
Tempranillo wines dazzle audiences with their cherry and burgundy tones. It has undertones of earth and fruit, as well as juicy high notes. It’s mostly made in Australia, Portugal, and Argentina, where it mixes gritty undertones with fruity high notes. It’s medium-bodied, with both neutral tannin and acidity levels, and a robust yet understated flavour profile.
Who will love it: Tempranillo wines are popular among those who enjoy Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. It has a robust body and pairs well with hearty lasagne, polenta meals, and loaded nachos.
How to Choose the Best Red Wine
It all comes down to personal taste, whether you’re choosing a white wine like Chardonnay, an old vine rosé, or a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. Depending on where they’re grown and produced, each varietal’s flavour profile varies significantly. Each climate contributes its own distinct flavour to the wine. Choosing the finest wine is all about what you enjoy tasting.
Consider the body, tannin level, and acidity of each wine while purchasing. Consumers who like strong, pungent tastes will appreciate wines with a lot of tannins, whereas beginning wine drinkers may be happier with less-tannined red wines.
The feel of a wine in your mouth is referred to as its body. If you enjoy the texture and a rich sensation, go for full-bodied wines; if you prefer an airy experience, choose something light-bodied. The acidity of wine might also have an impact on the drinking experience. If you enjoy tangy flavours, try high-acid wines like light-bodied reds.
All of these components come together to create outstanding bottles of delicious wine. It is entirely up to you which one is the best. Taste a variety of wines and discover what you prefer.