For those absolute wine connoisseurs, red wine at this time of year, or anytime for that matter, is an essential taste and requirement that satisfies the palate every time. But for some, when it comes to serving or drinking red wine, it can get a tad confusing as to what type of wine is right for the occasion. There are a wide variety of grape types that are associated with wine production and because of that, you can find yourself a little bewildered when faced with what to choose.
To optimize the pleasure and experience, red wines need the time to age properly, as well as a few minutes to breathe once the cork is removed before serving. Red wine does not and should not be chilled, and are suitable with meals such as dark meats.
As mentioned, fine red wines are produced from different varieties and strains of grapes grown from various vineyards throughout the world. The most famous and well known, originating from Europe. Experimenting will give you excellent samples of the different flavors, tastes and textures of red wines available.
There are six basic classic red grape varieties that make up the majority of the red wines. Beyond that, there are other strains. Here is an overview of the most common types available.
The 6 Varieties Of Grapes That Make Red Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape once traditionally associated only with the Bordeaux region, is now grown in other parts of Europe, as well as all over the world. It has a rich distinct taste of black current. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most established of red wines and is renown throughout, ranging from Eastern Europe, South America – Chile, and in particular Australia. The prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon wines coming out of Bordeaux, has matured to produce a smooth, expensive wine.
Merlot, also traditionally associated with the Bordeaux region of France, has not spread across the world the same way as Cabernet Sauvignon has, primarily due to specific soil conditions required to grow this grape. It has however found a happy home in the valleys of Northern California. This is a rich, juicy wine, with its taste resembling fruitcake and black currant.
Pinot Noir is closely associated with the Burgundy region of wineries. This particular grape has not been produced successfully anywhere else in the world until recently. New Zealand currently produces some of the finest Pinot Noir wines available. The red wine produced by this particular grape is described as summery in taste, which gives you a distinct reminder of summer fruits. After they have matured for 5 to 10 years, the taste of this wine changes to a much richer exquisite taste, and deservedly are more expensive.
Syrah or Shiraz
To the French, this grape variety is called Syrah, while it’s known to the Australians as Shiraz. This is traditionally grown in the Rhone Valley, but it has become popular throughout the world. There are now great varieties of this particular grape and distinct wine coming from: Australia, California, Chile, and South Africa. It is and always has been one of the all time favorites of red wine connoisseurs throughout the world. The flavor is described as fruity but at times peppery, making it a taste that everyone cannot get accustomed to.
Sangiovese is the most popular red grape variety in Italy. It’s famous for the great Chianti, which is a product of this grape. It has always been regarded by most as a ‘really tasty pour from the jug wine’. This is not particularly a fruity wine, but is a great companion for almost any type of food. It has a distinct taste of black cherries, but that’s not always obvious. This grape is gaining popularity as the rest of the world is beginning to get more acquainted with the great taste of Sangiovese grapes.
Nebbiolo is another one of Northern Italy’s well know classic grapes. Although it’s responsible for some of Italy’s finest wines, it has not made the jump into the rest of the wine drinking world as Sangiovese has. Its original home is Barolo, and is ideally suited to grow in warmer climates. The taste of this grape is of black cherries, making it a solid rich wine.
There are obviously a lot more strains and variations of grapes which blends into other complementary grape types that make great red wines. This is however, hopefully a suitable overview allowing you to start sampling and experimenting with the fabulous taste that is red wine.