Choosing the perfect red wine can be quite daunting. With hundreds of different varieties on the market from a range of brands, it’s often difficult to pinpoint the best wine for your tastes. To make matters worse, the fancy lingo of wine and winemaking has the tendency to intimidate and alienate newbies to the wine scene. 

Many of you may be saying, “I am not a red wine person”. Since every red wine is so different, however, this might not be entirely true. More likely than not, you have yet to find the perfect red wine for YOU. The great thing about red wines is that they are SO versatile. These wines range from dry to sweet, light-bodied to full-bodied, and from earthy to smooth. So, what are you waiting for? Visiting Minibar Delivery and check out all of the amazing red wines we have to offer. 

In the remainder of this article we will help you become a red wine connoisseur by discovering the flavors, bodies, and varieties that are perfect for you! 

First, it might be helpful to explain how viticulturists create red wine. 

How is red wine made?  

  1. The first step in creating the perfect bottle of red wine is harvesting the grapes. The chosen grapes will determine the sweetness, flavor, and acidity of a particular wine. 
  2. After harvesting the grapes, wine makers will crush the grapes until a grape juice (“must”), containing seeds and skins, forms. While the skins and seeds will be removed in the white wine creation process, they will be left in red wine to enhance the flavor and body of the fermented drink. 
  3. Step 3 to ferment the pulp. Within 6-12 hours, the must naturally starts fermenting. Still, many winemakers add cultured yeast to the liquid in order to predict the final outcome and ensure consistency. 
  4. Next, the clarification process begins. In this step, tannins, proteins, and dead yeast are removed. 
  5. Lastly, the wine is either bottled or left in oak barrels to age.

Red Wine Glossary

What are tannins? 

Simply put, tannis refer to bitterness. Specifically, tannins create the drying sensation in your mouth after a sip of wine.  In the fermentation process, tannins are released from a grape’s seeds, skins, and stems. The tannin-levels in your wine will depend on how long the wine fermented with the seeds, skins, and stems of the grapes. 

So, if you prefer a wine that does not cause that bitter drying sensation, choose a wine that has low tannin levels such as a Barbera, Malbec, or Gamay

What does it mean if a wine is full-bodied? 

A wine’s body refers to its general weight, “fullness”, and overall feel of a wine in one’s mouth. While light-bodied wines tend to be more fruity and fresh, full-bodied wines are simultaneously bold and full of tannins. 

What are light-bodied red wines? 

Light-bodied red wines are perfect for those looking to dip their toes into the red wine scene. This type of red-wines typically have lower tannins and therefore make excellent compliments to a variety of dishes. 

    1. Gamay : A Gamay is a light-bodied, earthy wine known for its cherry, herb, and banana flavors. 
    2. Pinot Noir : A Pinot Noir is arguably one of the most popular light-bodied red wines. A pinot noir is highly acidic and contains low tannins. It is highly aromatic and could come in a range of flavors, from cranberry to black raspberry, depending on where its cultivated 
    3. Grenache : A Grenache is a floral, citrusy wine with higher acidity. It also often contains berry flavors such as cherry, raisin, and red currant. 

What are some medium-bodied reds? 

Medium-bodied wines are the perfect wines to pair with food because they are quite balanced, boasting medium tannins and moderate acidity. Typically, they have dominant red fruit flavors. 

  1. Merlot: A Merlot wine has easy tannins and a soft finnish. The wine’s primary flavors include black cherry, raspberry, and plum.
  2. Cabernet Franc: A Cabernet Franc is adored for its savory,  bell pepper-like flavors and medium to high acidity. Other dominant flavors include strawberry, red plum, and chili pepper.
  3. Barbera: A Barbera is a wine that simultaneously tastes both rich and light-bodied. Its light tannin and high acidity translates into quite a juicy wine. Its dominate flavors include 

What are some full-bodied reds? 

Full-bodied reds have the highest tannins and feel heavy in one’s mouth. It is best to pair these wines with a richer dish because full-bodied wines are bold enough to hold their own. 

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon: A Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine in the world. It boasts a full body and high tannins. Since it is created all over the world, its flavor profile can vary a bit from black cherry to cedar. Due to its rich flavor, it pairs perfectly with hearty grilled meats. 
  2. Malbec: A malbec is a dark, fruit-forward wine with a slightly spicy finish. It is the ultimate food pairing wine. 
  3. ShirazA shiraz is a bold, fruity and spicy wine. The wine is bold enough to compliment a variety of rich dishes such as a spice-laden grilled chicken dish or bold curry. 

So, when choosing your next wine, be sure to pay attention to tannins and body. You’ll go from a red wine-novice to and expert in no time! Still not convinced red wine is your thing? Check out these delicious rosé wines.