Red wine has been around for many years and will be around for many more. Red wine is a type of wine that is made from a variety of dark-colored grapes, is fermented with the skins making it more tannic, and is aged from four months to four years or longer. The red wine production is an extremely unique and long process from the first step of harvesting, picking and crushing the grapes, to fermenting sugar into alcohol, all the way to the end of fining, filtering and bottling. Each type of red wine has significant characteristics such as different fruits, tannins, and bodies that make the wine either easy to drink or pair well with certain foods. With a great selection of red wines the most common on the market are Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, and Zinfandel.?Cabernet Sauvignon, also referred to as ‘Cab’, is the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Blanc, and is one of the most widely recognized red wines on the market and most planted red grape in the world. With a Cabernet Sauvignon you can expect flavors of black cherry, black current and blackberry all wrapped together with a dash of black pepper, tobacco, licorice, or vanilla. It is an oaky wine usually 9-18 months of French oak and sometimes American and Hungarian oak.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a very bold and assertive full-bodied wine with higher tannins and acidity which can be perfectly paired with a charred gruyere burger, pizza, or a nicely cooked ribeye steak.Pinot noir without a doubt is the most romanticized red wine. It typically is a light to medium bodied, fruit-forward red wine that calls Burgundy home. It definitely holds a pleasant spot in the red wine spectrum, not too dry, but certainly not too sweet which is why it is a favorite to many. No other grape brings out such emotion and devout worship amount its enthusiasts. Pinot Noir was born in the Burgundy region of France, and it is in Burgundy where the best Pinot Noir is said to still be produced. Pinot Noir is one of the few variety of red wines that go well with all types of foods, and is even light enough in alcohol to drink on its own. Merlot, which means Little Blackbird in French, is the second most popular red grape wine in America.
It has strong historic ties to Bordeaux and the southwest of France. Merlot is a fruit-driven wine with plum, cherry, raspberry and blueberriesflavors and to have notes of chocolate and black pepper. Known for being soft, ripe and elegant, most Merlots are easy drinking reds that go well with both foods as well as on their own. This type of red because it can easily be so well off on its own is the most common red wine people tend to gravitate towards as the preference of all their choices. The softness of Merlot has made it an introducing wine for new red wine drinkers.?Now as for Malbec, this type of red wine is typically a medium to full-bodied, dry red wine with plenty if acidity and with relatively high tannin and alcohol levels. Like most red wines, Malbec origins in the French Bordeaux region. Its dark, inky purple color profiles and ripe flavors of plum, black cherry, and blackberry can give this wine a distinctly exclusive character.
Malbec’s earthy, chocolate and black pepper along with a slew of high profile spices can make for an interesting combination or aromas and flavors, adding to layers of complexity and unique food pairing profiles. Malbec is definitely a red-meat wine that is adaptable enough to pair with Mexican, Italian, Thai and Middle Eastern Cuisine. For decades Zinfandel was considered California’s grape, but it is now grown all over the world. The Zinfandel grape is an important key in the California red wine creating a big, ripe red wine that comes with some of the highest alcohol content of any red wine on the market to date.
The current popular sub-regions that make great Zinfandel are Napa Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Lodi. Depending on the region where the Zinfandel red wine is made can change the body of the wine. When you taste Zinfandel it often bursts with candied fruitiness followed by spice and often a tobacco-like smoky finish. Although Zinfandelis lighter in color and is a light-bodied red wine its moderate tannins and high acidity makes it taste fairly bold. Since Zinfandel is on the sweeter side of the types of red wines, it is greatly paired with spiced barbeque dishes and curry. There has been a wine theory to pick out the spices you taste in your wine and add them to the sauces in your food for the perfect wine and cuisine combination. ?As many people may not know there is a significant amount of information to learn about red wine and which type is most suitable for you. Learning the process of the red wine production as previously stated is an extremely unique and long process from the first step of harvesting, picking and crushing the grapes, to fermenting sugar into alcohol, all the way to the end of fining, filtering and bottling.
With the variety of different red wines it is easiest to start with the most common and popular ones; Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, and Zinfandel and make an executive decision from there.