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The Best Types of Red Wines

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Red wines can be a complicated world for the wine enthusiast who is just starting into their journey into the amazing and complex world of the suffering grape. Red wines are known for the complex and heady overtones following rich flavors.

Red wines are often billed as “not for the beginner” so how does one learn to enjoy the world of red wines? First things first, research some brands online and try them out. You don’t have to start off dropping a lot of money either, you can try numerous wines that are considered good starters for around $10.00 a bottle. Look for brands that have national recognition, something that has a good reputation across the U.S. means that a large body of people enjoy the wine. That’s a good sign.

Another good place to start is with a simple red, what they call a varietal red that is made from one grape. For example, Merlots or Cabernet Sauvignons. Blended reds can be a bit complicated so you should avoid them in the beginning. Also, by sticking with a varietal grape you can learn just what flavors tickle your palette.

Reds are the wine that need to breathe so let it sit once you uncork it. When oxygen hits the wine it will mature it that much quicker. Flavors will be enhanced by allowing a red wine to breathe.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon – the “Cab” is the most popular of the red wine varietals and is grown around the world with notable examples coming from Chile.
  • Merlot – Merlot is often known for its dark color and features a full flavor but is yet a medium body, it pairs very well with red meats.
  • Pinot Noir – Pinot Noirs are a thin grape that favors the cooler climates and coastal regions. It also pairs easily with many food items.
  • Syrah (Shiraz) – another red wine that is a fantastic start for someone just getting into red wines. The Syrah has tons of antioxidants, the most of any wine and is often described as peppery in taste. It’s a good pairing with richer, heavy proteins such as duck, salmon or tuna.
  • Malbec – with an origin in France rather than Argentina as traditionally thought the Malbec is fruity and spicy, it pairs well with beef and lamb

With all this variety to explore red wines are a bountiful example of just how great the world of wine can be. There are so many grape types that make up the category of red wines. In order to begin your journey it is best to start with the standards listed above. The color palette of reds are beyond description form purple to maroon, deep to light red.


Image from http://winefolly.com/

In your wine journey start out small and work your way through the common examples listed above, there are many wines found within the varietals that earn a “best of” rating each year. Wines will change from year to year so it is best to consult the lists and reviews each year. As your palette develops so will your tastes for the exotic red grape.

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