A Comprehensive Guide to Red Wines

comprehensive guide to red wines

20 Jan A Comprehensive Guide to Red Wines

Wine has been around for hundreds of years in some shape or form. When glass bottles were invented, people got a new way to store wines and these drinks gained more popularity. People started to use different grapes, experiment with techniques, develop complex flavours, and discovered the right way to age wine. Years of evolution and experimentation have led to where we are now with red wine, and it’s a confusing world. Here’s a comprehensive guide to red wines that can help understand these better.

Common Types of Red Wines

Red wines can be broadly classified into light-bodied, medium-bodied, and full-bodied reds. They’re classified based on their alcohol content, depth of flavour, and weight in the mouth. Here’s a brief description of each of these wines:

Light-Bodied Wine

This category includes Gamay, Schiava, Pinot Noir, etc. They have a relatively low alcohol content and are lighter on the palate. They also appear lighter in colour and are fruitier. These wines are great for beginners or people who want to stick to milder and more pleasant flavours.

Medium-Bodied Wine

Medium-bodied wines are more common than light and full-bodied wines. The best examples of these are Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Merlot, and Zinfandel, though some might classify Zinfandel as a full-bodied wine too. These wines are darker in colour and have complex flavours. They’re great for wine consumers who want to branch out and taste bolder drinks.

Full-Bodied Wine

Full-bodied wines are complex and require a sophisticated palate. Not everyone likes them but once you linger over the taste and flavours, they can become your favourites. The most popular in this category are Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Bordeaux Blends, Mourvèdre, etc.

Common Varietals

There are thousands of grape varietals and all of them produce different types of wine. Some varieties of red are quite common and easily available. If you’re new to the world of red wines, they can be an excellent starting point for you:

  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Grenache
  • Nebbiolo
  • Malbec
  • Pinot Noir
  • Zinfandel
  • Syrah
  • Mourvèdre
  • Sangiovese

There are hundreds of different kinds of reds available in the market; so if you’ve sampled all of these, you should explore other, rarer reds from different regions in the world.

How to Read the Labels

Wine labels contain ample information if you know where to look. There’s a slight difference in the labelling of red wines from old-world estates in France, Italy, etc, and new world estates in Napa Valley, Australia, etc. The information is easier to read in new world wine labels. Nevertheless, all labels will give you the following information:

  • Varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
  • Region like Napa Valley, Burgundy, Clare Valley, etc.
  • Producer will be the name of the company that manufactures or distributes the wine.
  • The percentage of alcohol.

Some producers will also include the name of the vineyard, estate, reserve, history, tasting notes, and certifications of quality like AOC and DOC.

Storage, Preservation, and Drinking

Wines should be stored in a cool, slightly humid, and dark environment. If the drink is exposed to heat, sunlight, or oxygen, it will quickly become spoiled. You’ll also need to make sure the wine is in contact with the cork. This will ensure the cork stays moist and forms a tight seal over the mouth of the wine bottle. If you open a bottle and don’t intend to consume all of it, you can seal it again and store it in the fridge. This wine is best consumed in a couple of days.

For more information on red wine, you can call Signature Cellars on 02 9340 7515 or use this contact form to get in touch with us. We’ll be pleased to assist you.

Thanks for reading,
Neil Smallman
Signature Cellars
1300 570 636

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