Everything You Need to Know About Red Wine

Red wines are bold and bright — making them a great addition to a lunch outing or dinner out at a restaurant. But the type of red wine you buy accentuates different flavors in your meals, so it’s important to pair wine with your meal accordingly. Continue below for an informal education on some crowd-favorite crimsons.

With all the hauteur surrounding selections, endeavoring to join the wine-drinking community can be a bit intimidating, particularly when it comes to reds.

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Red wine can seem bolder, more sophisticated and out-of-reach, but don’t let its many facets scare you away.

We selected a few different varieties to get you started on your journey to becoming a connoisseur. Continue to the next page to see what the world of red wine has in store!

Cabernet Sauvignon

Flavor Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied, powerful and dry, which means it has no residual sugar and isn’t sweet. It’s a bitter wine with flavors of dark fruits like cherries, blackberries and plums.

Origins It originated in France, but is now produced mostly in Italy, California, Washington, Australia and South America.

Pairings Fatty and high protein foods like burgers or prime rib

Fun fact The Cabernet Franc grape plant and the white Sauvignon Blanc grape plant accidentally cross bred to create the grape that is used for this wine.

We recommend Viña Errázuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Valle de Aconcagua, Chile

Price $13 - $28 (costs vary)

Pinot Noir

Flavor Pinot Noir is a light-bodied, dry and fruity wine.

Origins It originated in the Burgundy region of France, but is now grown in the cooler areas of Austria, California, Oregon and New Zealand.

Pairings Meals with soft cheeses and cream sauces

Fun fact Pinot, meaning pine in French, is given this name because of the pinecone shape that the grapes form on the vine.

We recommend Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir, 2006, Australia

Price $24.99 (costs vary)

Syrah (Shiraz)

Flavor Syrah is a full-bodied, dry wine with a dark berry and peppery flavor.

Origins It’s one of France’s claims to fame, but is also grown prominently in Australia, South America and South Africa.

Pairings Smokey meats and hard cheeses

Fun fact Syrah is one of the darkest wines. Even if you hold it up to the light, it is hard to see through it.

We recommend Fable BOBBEJAAN Syrah, 2009, South Africa

Price $20 - $29 (costs vary)

Merlot

Flavor Merlot is a full-bodied wine, often with lighter red fruit or plum flavors.

Origins It originated in France, but is now commonly made in California, Australia and Chile.

Pairings Anything! However, try to avoid spicy foods that can give Merlot a bitter taste.

Fun fact Merlot is often recommended to be the best for those who are just starting to drink red wine due to its light flavor.

We recommend Raymond R Collection California Merlot, 2014

Price $12.99 (costs vary)

Flavor Zinfandel is a full-bodied wine with fruity flavors ranging from plums to raspberries.

Origins It was recently discovered to have originated in Croatia, but is commonly (and famously) grown in California.

Pairings Barbequed foods or cheddar cheeses

Fun Fact Zinfandel typically has one of the highest alcohol contents of red wine, usually between 14 and 17 percent.

We recommend Calder Colombini Vineyard Redwood Valley Carignan, 2012, California

Price $22.99 (costs vary)

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