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Major Types of Red Wine
Cabernet SauvignonCabernet Sauvignon is the most planted grape in the world. California Cab grapes are a bit fruitier but French Cabs are a bit more herbal. Both have notes of cherries, currantsand spices. Cabernet Sauvignon wines are full-bodied with strong tannins. The aroma of the wine has notes of dark cherry and vanilla, and tasting notes may be herbaceous and have hints of green pepper. Cabernet Sauvignons pair well with steak and other rich red meat dishes.
MerlotMerlot is the second-most planted grape worldwide. The Wine is medium-bodied, medium-dark, and very smooth. Merlot wines have different flavors depending on where they are produced. Merlots produced in warmer climates are more fruitier, with less tannins and some notes of raspberry, cherry, and mocha. Whereas Merlots produced in cool climates have higher tannins with an earthier, and full-bodied flavor. Merlot red wines pair with most foods.
ZinfandelZinfandel is a light-bodied red wine that is bold and flavorful. The flavor notes include jam, cherry, and blackberry. This wine is on the sweet side, with some spicy or smoky finish. The wine has moderate tannin, high acidity, and often higher alcohol content compared to other types.
Syrah or ShirazSyrah only used by European vintners is a well known dark, full-bodied red wine. Syrah is smooth and has flavors of dark fruit like blackcurrant and plum. Syrah has gripping tannins and is pairs well with red meat and most flavorful foods and cheeses. The Shiraz is used by vintners in Australia.
MalbecMalbec is a full-bodied red wine that is mostly produced in Argentina, and some being produced in France. Argentinian Malbec is more fruitier with flavors of blackberry and plum. A French Malbec has flavors of black plum and currant with higher acidity and peppery flavors. Malbec wines pair with dark meat poultry, red meats, and appetizers such as blue cheese and mushroom.
Pinot NoirPinot Noir wine has complex flavors, is a light-bodied wine with a light red color and is translucent. The flavor is subtle with low tannins. Pinot Noir has a nice and bright acidity with a fruity and delicate taste. The wine has notes of cherry, strawberry, or raspberry with earthy flavors. Pinot Noir pairs with different mushrooms.