Beginners Guide to Red Wines

Taylor Simpson
July 2, 2022 | Red and Rosé Wines, Tasting Room | Taylor Simpson

Beginners Guide to Red Wines

Collaboration wine with cheese pairing

If you're new to the world of red wine, then this guide is for you. We'll cover everything you need to know about choosing and enjoying red wines, from the different types available to the best way to serve them.

What is Red Wine?

Red wine is made from dark-colored grapes, which are fermented with the skins still on. This gives the wine its signature red hue, as well as its tannins--the compounds that give red wine its astringent taste. Tannins are what give red wine its structure and body, and they also help to preserve it.

Types of Red Wine

Different types of red wines can be distinguished by their color, which is determined by the grape variety used, the way the wine is made, and the aging process. The four main types of red wine are:

  • Type I: Light-bodied reds such as Pinot Noir and Beaujolais have a light color and low tannin content. They are typically fruity and best served slightly chilled.
  • Type II: Medium-bodied reds such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon have a medium color and moderate tannin content. They are well-balanced and can be served at room temperature or slightly cooler.
  • Type III: Full-bodied reds such as Syrah and Zinfandel have a dark color and high tannin content. They are full-flavored and best served at room temperature or slightly warmer.
  • Type IV: Dessert reds such as Port and Madeira are fortified with extra alcohol and have a syrupy texture. They are best served after a meal.

The Most Popular Red Wines

The most popular type of red wine is Cabernet Sauvignon, which is full-bodied with firm tannins. It's a great choice for red meat and hearty pasta dishes. Merlot is another popular option, and it's a bit softer and fruitier than Cabernet Sauvignon. Pinot Noir is a lighter-bodied red wine, with delicate flavors of cherry and strawberry. It's a great match for poultry and fish.

Wine Blends

Red blends wine is a type of wine made by blending different types of red wines. These wines can be made from any combination of grape varieties, but most commonly they are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Red blends are often created to create a more complex and interesting flavor than can be achieved with a single varietal wine. While some red blends are made with the intention of being drunk young, others are meant to be aged and enjoyed over time. Regardless of their intended purpose, all red blends share one common goal: to create a delicious and unique drinking experience.

Creating a Red Blend

There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating a red blend. The key is to find a balance of flavors that you enjoy. If you like your wines on the sweeter side, look for a blend that has a higher percentage of Merlot or Cabernet Franc. If you prefer a more robust flavor, go for a blend with a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. And if you want something in between, there are plenty of red blends to choose from that strike a perfect balance.

No matter what your preference, there’s sure to be a red blend out there that’s perfect for you. So, get out there and start exploring all the amazing flavor combinations that exist! You might just find your new favorite wine.

How to Serve Red Wine

When it comes to serving red wine, remember that it should be served at room temperature. This allows the flavors to fully develop. Red wine is also best enjoyed in a wide-rimmed glass, which allows you to appreciate its aroma.

Now that you know the basics about red wine, it's time to start exploring all the different types available. Visit Good Harbor Vineyards in person or online to shop our amazing, award-winning selection of wines!


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