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Red Wine

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There is a countless number of red grape varieties in the world, some superb for wine, others best suited for grape juice. Right now, the world wine market focuses on about 40 to 50 different red wine grape varieties. Below we've shown the most widely recognised and used.

What differentiates red wine from white is first, the skin colour of the grape, and second, the amount of time the grape juice has with its skins. After picking, red grapes are put into tanks or barrels where they soak with their skins, absorbing pigments and other aspects of the grape skin, such as tannins. This is how red wine gets its red colour. The exact colour, which can range from light red to almost purple, depends on both the colour of the particular grape skin and the amount of time spent on the skins. Remember, the inside of almost all grapes is a light, golden colour – it's the skins that have the pigment. For example, much of Champagne is made from Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier, both red grapes. Yet because the juice for Champagne is pressed quickly, with little time on the skins, the colour of Champagne is often white.

The list below is roughly organised from lighter-bodied to fuller-bodied, lower tannins to higher tannins and light colour to deeper colour – but note that this is not an "always" list, just a general guideline. And, European and old-world countries tend to label their wine by region, while new world wine is most often labelled with the grape variety.

Grapes Where they grow best
Gamay Beaujolais, France
Pinot Noir Burgundy, France; California; Oregon; New Zealand; Chile; Champagne, France; Australia
Tempranillo Spain
Sangiovese Tuscany, Italy; California
Grenache/Garnacha Rhone, France; Spain; California; Australia
Merlot Bordeaux, France; California; Washington State; Chile
Zinfandel California
Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux, France; California; South America; Australia; South Africa
Nebbiolo Piedmont, Italy
Syrah/Shiraz Rhone, France; Australia; South Africa; California; Washington State

 

Other popular red grapes and where they grow best:

Grapes Where they grow best
Barbera Piedmont, Italy
Carmenere Chile
Malbec Argentina; France
Mourvedre France; Australia; California
Petit Sirah California
Pinotage South Africa

 

There is a countless number of red grape varieties in the world, some superb for wine, others best suited for grape juice. Right now, the world wine market focuses on about 40 to 50 different red wine grape varieties. Below we've shown the most widely recognised and used.

What differentiates red wine from white is first, the skin colour of the grape, and second, the amount of time the grape juice has with its skins. After picking, red grapes are put into tanks or barrels where they soak with their skins, absorbing pigments and other aspects of the grape skin, such as tannins. This is how red wine gets its red colour. The exact colour, which can range from light red to almost purple, depends on both the colour of the particular grape skin and the amount of time spent on the skins. Remember, the inside of almost all grapes is a light, golden colour – it's the skins that have the pigment. For example, much of Champagne is made from Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier, both red grapes. Yet because the juice for Champagne is pressed quickly, with little time on the skins, the colour of Champagne is often white.

The list below is roughly organised from lighter-bodied to fuller-bodied, lower tannins to higher tannins and light colour to deeper colour – but note that this is not an "always" list, just a general guideline. And, European and old-world countries tend to label their wine by region, while new world wine is most often labelled with the grape variety.

Grapes Where they grow best
Gamay Beaujolais, France
Pinot Noir Burgundy, France; California; Oregon; New Zealand; Chile; Champagne, France; Australia
Tempranillo Spain
Sangiovese Tuscany, Italy; California
Grenache/Garnacha Rhone, France; Spain; California; Australia
Merlot Bordeaux, France; California; Washington State; Chile
Zinfandel California
Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux, France; California; South America; Australia; South Africa
Nebbiolo Piedmont, Italy
Syrah/Shiraz Rhone, France; Australia; South Africa; California; Washington State

Other popular red grapes and where they grow best:

Grapes Where they grow best
Barbera Piedmont, Italy
Carmenere Chile
Malbec Argentina; France
Mourvedre France; Australia; California
Petit Sirah California
Pinotage South Africa
There is a countless number of red grape varieties in the world, some superb for wine, others best suited for grape juice. Right now, the world wine market focuses on about 40 to 50 different red wine grape varieties. Below we've shown the most widely recognised and used.
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  • Fat Bastard Pinot Noir 2022

    $14.99
    or $14.24 in case of 12 bottles.
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  • Umani Ronchi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ‘Podere’ 2022

    (1)
    $21.70
    or $20.62 in case of 12 bottles.
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  • Craggy Range Sophia 2013

    (1)
    $124.98
    or $118.73 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2020

    $99.99
    or $94.99 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Guigal Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge 2020

    $29.99
    or $28.49 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Chateau Mont-Redon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2021

    (1)
    $119.02
    or $113.07 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2021

    $64.99
    or $61.74 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Domaine Naturaliste Rebus Cabernet Sauvignon 2022

    $30.00 $35.00
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  • Tread Softly Pinot Noir 2023

    (1)
    $12.50 $13.13
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  • Bonacchi Chianti Riserva 2018

    $25.00
    or $23.75 in case of 12 bottles.
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  • Alain Graillot Syrocco Syrah 2021

    $51.77
    or $49.18 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Te Mata Coleraine 2022

    (1)
    $148.96
    or $141.51 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2022

    (1)
    $60.64
    or $54.57 in case of 12 bottles.
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  • Ministry of Clouds McLaren Vale Shiraz 2022

    (1)
    $32.49
    or $30.87 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Alamos Malbec 2023

    $24.16
    or $22.95 in case of 12 bottles.
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  • Château St Georges 2018

    (2)
    $91.47
    or $86.90 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • La Tour Travers Bordeaux Rouge

    $23.99
    or $22.79 in case of 12 bottles.
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  • Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2020

    (1)
    $117.14
    or $111.28 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Little Giant Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2022

    $17.49 $18.36
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  • Te Mata Coleraine 2021

    $146.63
    or $139.30 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Little Giant Barossa Shiraz 2022

    $17.49 $18.36
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  • Fraser Gallop Parterre Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

    (1)
    $57.82
    or $54.92 in case of 12 bottles.
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  • Oliver’s Taranga HJ Reserve Shiraz 2020

    $68.22
    or $64.81 in case of 6 bottles.
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  • Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz 2022

    (1)
    $32.16
    or $30.55 in case of 12 bottles.
    View details

Red wine, with its deep hues and multifaceted flavors, has been a cornerstone of many cultures for centuries. Made primarily from black grapes, the range of tastes and aromas these wines can exhibit is truly astounding, all thanks to varying grape varieties, fermentation processes, and aging techniques. One of the Red wine, with its deep hues and multifaceted flavors, has been a cornerstone of many cultures for centuries. Made primarily from black grapes, the range of tastes and aromas these wines can exhibit is truly astounding, all thanks to varying grape varieties, fermentation processes, and aging techniques. One of the most celebrated aspects of red wine is its ability to evolve in the bottle. Over time, flavors meld and mature, transforming a young, fruit-forward wine into a more nuanced, complex delight. This aging process, whether it takes place in oak barrels or in the bottle itself, gives enthusiasts the thrill of experiencing a wine's evolution. Regions play a crucial role in defining the characteristics of red wines. The temperate climate of Bordeaux produces structured wines like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, while the sun-baked vineyards of Tuscany yield the Sangiovese grape, forming the backbone of the renowned Chianti. Tannins, those compounds that can lend a puckering sensation to the mouth, are another signature feature of red wines. These natural preservatives are what allow some wines to be cellared for decades, emerging more refined and harmonious with age. Beyond just being a beverage, red wine is a journey, a reflection of the land and climate, the grape variety, and the vision of the winemaker. It's a testament to nature's bounty and human innovation intertwined in every bottle. read more... less

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Red Wine?

Red wine is a type of wine made primarily from dark-colored (red or black) grape varieties. The actual color of the wine can range from intense violet, for young wines, to brick red for mature wines, and even brown for older red wines. The juice from most purple and red grapes is greenish-white; the red color comes from anthocyanin pigments present in the grape skins. The winemaking process involves fermenting grape juice in contact with its skins, allowing the liquid to extract color, flavors, and tannins from them. Red wines typically offer flavors of dark fruits like cherries, blackberries, and plums, often accompanied by notes of tobacco, leather, and spices, influenced by grape variety and aging techniques.

Which wine regions make the best Red Wine?

Red wine is produced globally, but certain regions have earned accolades for their signature reds. Bordeaux in France is renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends. Burgundy, another French region, is celebrated for its world-class Pinot Noir. Italy's Tuscany region produces iconic wines like Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, primarily from the Sangiovese grape. Napa Valley in California is famed for its robust Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Spain's Rioja offers superb Tempranillo-based wines, and Australia's Barossa Valley is known for its bold Shiraz.

What are the most popular Red Wines?

The world of red wine has several stars. Cabernet Sauvignon, known for its deep color and complexity, is globally recognized. Pinot Noir, with its delicate flavors and versatility, has a vast following. Merlot, Shiraz (or Syrah, depending on the region), and Zinfandel also hold significant positions in the market. Popular brands range from Bordeaux's Château Margaux, Burgundy's Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, to Napa's Opus One and Australia's Penfolds.

What are the best value Red Wines?

For those seeking excellent value, regions like Chile's Central Valley and Spain's La Mancha offer top-quality red wines at very accessible prices. Malbec from Argentina, particularly from the Mendoza region, consistently over-delivers in terms of quality to price ratio. South Africa's Western Cape and parts of southern Italy, like Puglia, are also treasure troves for value-driven, quality red wines.

What are the foods best paired with Red Wines?

Red wines, with their robust flavors and tannic structure, pair wonderfully with red meats. Think of a juicy steak with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or lamb chops with a Shiraz. Pinot Noir, being more delicate, pairs brilliantly with dishes like roasted chicken, duck, or salmon. Spaghetti Bolognese and other tomato-based pasta dishes go hand in hand with Italian reds like Chianti. For spicy barbecued dishes, a fruity Zinfandel or Grenache can be a match made in heaven. The key is to match the wine's intensity and flavors with those of the dish for a harmonious pairing.