Red wine is a staple and favorite among wine drinkers. However, wine connoisseurs know there is more to red wine than its characteristic blood red color. The most popular red wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Malbec, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo.
The most popular red wines come from a variety called Cabernet Sauvignon which translates to “Savage.” Cabernet is grown almost everywhere where a lot of wine is produced. Cabernet Sauvignon is dark red and near impermeable to light. It’s associated with oak as it’s stored in a barrel to soften the tannins to make it more palatable. Good red wine gets its benefits from spending several years in a cellar which softens the tannins. This helps to bring out the richness and diverse flavors of the grape from which it’s made. Cabernet Sauvignon is paired with many dishes including roasted, grilled, or braised beef, steak, burgers, duck, venison, lamb, cheese, and dark chocolate.
Pinot Noir means “black pine” which comes from the cluster of grapes from which it is produced that actually look like dark pine cones. Its grapes are produced in cool climates with plenty of sun such as Oregon, California, France, Germany, and New Zealand. Then there are two types of Pinot Noir: Burgundian and California Pinot Noir. The former is grown in volcanic soil for an earthy taste. The latter is in a warmer climate with plenty of sun. Both are extremely rich. This is served well with beef, chicken, roast duck, lamb, pork, salmon, tuna, veal, smoked meats, mushrooms, and goat cheese.
Syrah was thought to be first made by the Romans. It’s an extremely dark wine whose grapes come from hot climates in California, Australia, Rhone Valley, France, and Grenache. Syrah is full of antioxidants and has a very distinct flavor reminiscent of pepper, vanilla, blackberry, and spice. It’s drunk alongside heavy meats, beef, barbecue, lamb, duck, venison, sausage, mushrooms, and tuna.
Malbec is another popular wine from Bordeaux and Cahors, France, as well as, Argentina. It tastes like plum, raspberry, fig, and spice. It’s best drunk alongside steak, beef, and lamb.
Zinfandel is grown in California and Southern Italy. It’s a grape used in many styles of red wine from dessert wines to roses to light red wines to even very hearty and rich red wines. The quality of the wine varies depending on location, climate, and age. In great quality Zinfandel you’ll taste a bit of Eucalyptus, cherry, cinnamon, currant, and spice. It goes fantastic with burgers, pizza, Mexican or Thai foods, barbecue, sausages, turkey, tomatoes, and strong cheeses.
Finally, Tempranillo is a fan favorite red wine. Its grape is the largest grown grape per acre. It’s typically found in Spain, California, Australia, South America, Turkey, New Zealand, and Texas. There are strict laws in its production to maintain its authenticity. This specific wine has a lot of potassium, so it is very acidic and must be aged correctly to make sure it’s ready for consumption. When drinking it, you’ll taste plum, berries, leather, tobacco, and herbs. It’s typically served with cheeses, charcuterie, sausage, risotto, and rice dishes.
You don’t need to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate the beauty and detail in these red wines. They take a good dish and make it fantastic. Here at Assaggio we have many red wines you might enjoy including Hear Rosso Blend Kris 2015 from Alto Adige, Italy or the Paxxo Stefano Accordini 2012 from Veneto, Italy.
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