Red wine is quite popular in wine stores, and restaurants offer a wide variety of reds from light and fruity ones to ones that are dark concentrated an almost chewing texture. Many red wines are labeled with the grape variety Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir etc. So here we will talk about this three types of red wine.
You might be familiar with these terms but what do they really mean? What is a Merlot really like? Is it lighter and more full body than a Cabernet Sauvignon and will it go well with that chicken breast you’d like to try? Of course, to enjoy wine, it is not necessary that you be closely familiar with the features of the grapes they are made from but knowing a little about the profiles of the most common grapes and the wines made from them will help you be a better consumer. It will help you describe what you like and choose the wine that you will enjoy. So in this primer, we will go through the most common grapes from which red wines are made. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir these grapes are sometimes called international varietals because by now they grow in many different regions around the world. The wines made from them vary depending on factors such as an amount of sunshine the amount of rain the way the grapes are picked and of course the vision of the winemaker. Here we will focus on the common features of these grapes to help you become a better-educated wine consumer. Later you can start exploring the differences in the wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon in France and California for example. But, for now, let’s focus on what they have in common.
We’ll start with Merlot. Merlot is the misunderstood grape. Some love the fruity, easy drinking juicy wines. It produces and orders it indiscriminately. Others think that it is not even worth considering. But this grape is capable of making some great wines from the well-structured and long-lasting wines. From the right bank of Bordeaux to the fruity of rich and concentrated wines of Washington State. Merlot wines are capable of great stylistic variation which is why it is important to know a little about the grape and be able to ask the right questions of the people who sell you the wine. Getting to know Merlot will also help you enjoy some excellent wines that prices lower than those from wines of comparable quality made from more famous grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon. Never bad-mouthed merlot because chances are you have enjoyed it whether in the wines of Bordeaux where it is always blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc or in other wines. In some County, the Merlot grape generally produces softer less tannic wines than Cabernet Sauvignon wines with more fruit and more roundness around or texture in the mouth because of this. It is often added to more austere less fruity wines to round them out and add the fleshiness that appeals to wine drinkers. The grape also has high sugar levels which makes Merlot-based wines high in alcohol. Because simple Merlot can be almost too simple and fruity Merlot wines are often aged in oak. This adds some structure in tannin and makes them more aged worthy and capable of standing next to richer foods. Look for flavors of plums black cherries or more often dried cherries figs and if the wine is aged in wood Brown spices such as nutmeg and clove chocolate and coffee. Who would not love a well-balanced mix of black cherries and chocolate with a hint of nutmeg? To get a sense for the variation Merlot can produce simple, affordable Merlot from California then a more structured one from Washington or a highly structure one from Sent Emilion in Bordeaux. You will be surprised by the many phases of this grape that has been unjustly maligned for decades. So next time you’re out, and you see Merlot in the wine list consider what it can do and give it a chance to surprise you.
Now let’s talk about Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot so much more famous friend. Many are surprised to learn that Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Merlot. This is always the case in the wines of Bordeaux. If you’re drinking a Bordeaux from the right bank, you’re actually drinking way more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon and sometimes no Cabernet Sauvignon at all. On the left bank of Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon is always blended with Merlot for richness and roundness. So what is Cabernet Sauvignon and what kind of wines does it make. Wines from Cabernet Sauvignon are usually highly structured big and bold. They make a statement be it with the high amount of tannin or with the strong aromas of oak. Some can be so tannic as to be almost undrinkable when they’re young. Others are well balanced and have enough aroma flavor and richness to balance the high tannin. Remember tannin is the substance that causes that mouth-drying feeling you get when you take a sip of tea that has been left to steep too long. Cabernet Sauvignon wines have been quite popular although that popularity has maintained somewhat by the meteoric rise of Pinot Noir. Many wines from Cabernet Sauvignon are full-bodied and demand all of your attention and can overpower any food they’re paired with. But Cabernet Sauvignon is capable of much more refinement and balance in long, aging to get a sense for some of the stylistic variations. Cabernet Sauvignon is capable of try a big Napa cab and then a Bordeaux from the left which is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of dark fruits blackberry and blackcurrant cassis and often especially in California hint of mint and eucalyptus. It is often oak aged, and that imparts smoky, toasty aromas of tobacco cedar cigar box and vanilla. Cabernet Sauvignon can be so powerful and big that it’s best enjoyed on its own or with a big steak. But some of the more balanced and refined Cabernet Sauvignon pair well with richer dishes usually meat.
A red grape that has been wildly popular in the last decade or so is Pinot Noir. Those who love Pinot Noir often attracted to a particular style. The luscious fruit-driven dark Pinot Noirs of Oregon and California or the light-colored more earthy more acidic wines of Burgundy. Either way, once someone becomes attached to Pinot Noir, it is difficult to get them to act rationally. If you have a friend who’s spending every paycheck on cases of Oregon Pinot Noir or is always on the lookout for the next release of red Burgundy you know what I’m talking about. Even though it might seem like Pinot Noir is native to Oregon where many of its more modern versions come from it’s actually native to France where it has been grown on the golden slopes of Burgundy for centuries. As early as the Middle Ages. The monks made excellent Pinot Noir wines that were highly prized among the church dignitaries and kings. Today red burgundy which is always Pinot Noir attracts a similarly well-off audience. The fact that most burgundy producers have minuscule lots and produce very limited quantities has fueled the burgundy craze. Good Burgundy is an excellent wine sophisticated complex seductive multi-layered. It’s truly a shame that we can’t enjoy it more often. But there’s much great Pinot Noir in other parts of the world albeit of a very different style. Today great Pinot Noir comes from Oregon California especially the more northern parts New Zealand and even Germany like Merlot. Pinot Noir is capable of great stylistic variety, so the ordering of Pinot Noir is not easy. Pinot Noir from Burgundy tends to be the layer in the palate less fruity more earthy and with higher acidity. One of the main reasons that they pair so well with food Oregon and California. Pinot Noirs tend to be fruity or darker and more concentrated and higher in alcohol too. And while red Burgundy usually has aromas strawberry raspberry and cherry Pinot Noir from warmer climates including Oregon and California has aromas of strawberry jam plum or bing cherry. But fruity aromas are not all there is to Pinot Noir. The better ones also have earthiness mushroom leather dry leave aromas and flavors. And the combination of these aromas is seductive. The mouthfeel tends to be silky and smooth which adds to the seductive qualities. So whether you’re joining your Pinot Noir loving friend or exploring these great wines and more rational company sit back and get ready to be seduced.
Conclusion About the Three Types Of Red Wine
So in this episode, we discuss three common grapes used to make red wines and the general features of the wines made from them. We talked about what these wines smell and taste like, and we also talked about what they pair well with. We offered some suggestions for you to try so you can get to know these wines better. Thanks for reading us.