Want to learn more about the different types of red wine?
Many of us love a good glass of wine, whether it’s after a long day at work or with a good meal. This often leaves a lot of us fascinated with the world of wines and can lead to a few questions about the winemaking process and how this differs with the different types of wines.
There are two major types of wine that even a non-drinker will know, red and white wine. In general, between the two, red wine is more popular amongst the general public. Drinking wine is the easy part, but understanding the different kinds of red wine can be a little tricky. Understanding the different types of red wine will take you far in the world of wine and help you pair wines to different foods, tastes and events, elevating your drinking experiences.
If you want to learn more about the different types of red wine, we’re here to give you some (judgement-free) advice to better your understanding of the different varieties and their subtleties. As one of NSW’s premier vineyards, Verwood Estate has a vast array of qualifications to talk you through the different red wines and their production process.
The variety of red wine is almost endless. To start with, there are hundreds of different red grape varieties that all have their own characteristics. The growing conditions then influence these characteristics. With wineries all across the world in different climates and with different soil conditions, the growing conditions impact the quality and profile of the grape.
Finally, every Winery has its own vinification process that they use to create subtle or dramatic differences to the flavour profile of a wine. After all this, we are left with a copious amount of different types of red wine, but for the sake of this article, we will be focusing on the five most popular red wine varieties.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most common amongst the different types of red wine and the most planted grape variety in the world. It’s generally a safe bet when choosing a wine for a big group or serious wine drinkers, but there are a few differences in this type of red wine due to its popularity.
Generally, Cabernet Sauvignons have a complex flavour profile. They’re bold, high in tannins and fairly acidic which make it dry. They are very fruity with major notes of cherry and currants. However, French and Italian varieties have more of a herbal and olive note while North American varieties are jammier or fruitier, making them different red wines altogether.
Due to the high tannin levels and bold flavour profile cabernet sauvignon pairs well with rich food or food high in fat. Lamb is one of the most popular pairings, but any rich meat dish or hard cheese will pair well.
Merlot is probably the second most popular red wine variety but sits on the opposite end of the spectrum to Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a good introduction wine for those wanting to introduce wine to their palate.
Merlot is easier to drink and like due to the softer profile, that comes from the lower tannin levels and fruitier taste. Although a versatile wine it rarely achieves greatness and has been pigeonholed as the bottom of the wine barrel. Due to its fairly placid profile, Merlot can be paired with a variety of foods from pasta to vegetarian dishes but most commonly paired with poultry dishes.
Shiraz in Australia and Syrah in France come from the same type of grape but pick up differences through climate and regional vinification processes. Shiraz is a rich, bold and full-bodied wine packed with tannins. Fruity flavours of blue and blackberry along with spices and a pepperiness make it unique amongst the different types of red wine.
Shiraz is quite versatile in food pairing and can be drunk alongside a variety of dishes, making it great for BBQs and parties. Due to its bold fruitiness, it can be paired with spicy food and won’t be overpowered, meaning it can be paired with anything from Indian food to a charcuterie board.
4. Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a wine connoisseurs merlot. It has lighter in body, silky smooth and less tannic than shiraz or cabernet that makes it a very drinkable. But unlike Merlot, it is very complex while holding onto its lightness, that gives it a brightness on the palate. Highly acidic and with soft tannins it’s common red fruit characteristics can be found alongside an earthier palate of mushrooms and truffle with a hint of spice and herb.
Pinot Noir is the most food-friendly wine and can be paired with a plethora of dishes and cuisines. But it is best paired with duck, no matter the style of wine. Due to the light tannins, it can even be paired with fish which is generally a big no-no for red wine.
Sangiovese is an Italian variety somewhere in between a Pinot Noir and Shiraz. It is fairly light in colour and relatively high in acid. It is a medium-bodied wine and has distinct flavours of jammy fruits like cherries mixed with spices and herbs like anise and tobacco.
Sangiovese’ acidity, and tannin levels give it a different mouth feel to most reds, and this makes it a wine that is better enjoyed with food than on its own. Obviously, Sangiovese goes great with Italian salads with tomatoes, vinaigrettes or balsamic dressings but also brings out the sweetness in gamey meats like duck.
Verwood Estate’s Red Wine Varieties
Now that we’ve gone through the most popular different types of red wine varieties, you should have a better idea of their characteristics and how to tell apart the different kinds of red wine. If you’d like to learn more about red wine variations and the production of our red wine, check out our range of articles that cover all elements of running a Southern Highlands winery and cellar door. There you’ll also find an informative article on white wine to further expand your wine knowledge.
If you’re looking for to order some red wine for your next event, look no further than our divine range. At Verwood Estate, we are pleased to present our lovely 2019 vintage wines, including our Special Reserve 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon. Order online or visit us today at our cellar door in the beautiful Southern Highlands region.