A Beginner’s Guide to Red Wine

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A Beginner’s Guide to Red Wine

You don’t need to know everything about red wine to admit that you enjoy drinking it. A classic red wine is a favourite at every gathering with over hundreds of varieties of red wine available, condensing all that you need to know about the red wine is not going to be easy; nevertheless, we are going to try. There are nine primary styles of wine, and they are a sparkling wine, light-bodied white wine, full-bodied white wine, aromatic white wine, rose wine, light-bodied red wine, medium-bodied red wine, full-bodied red wine and dessert wine. The journey of a red wine started back in 6000BC from Georgia, a part of the now Eurasia, Iran, Armenia, and Greece. Consumption of wine was a part of certain religious practices, traditions, and rituals. This alcoholic beverage which is made with fermented grapes juice consists of alcohol content ranging from 12–15%. 

Types of Red wine 

While there are many varieties of red wine, the most common ones are Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel. Let’s get started by exploring them in detail.

1. Pinot Noir

This is the 10th most plated variety of grapes in the world to satisfy the cravings of wine enthusiasts. This specific type of grapes is found to grow in colder climatic conditions, and hence France is one of the leading cultivators. Pinot noir is famous for its fruity aroma which includes cranberry, raspberry, black cherries and so on. You can pair this type of red wine with pretty much all kinds of food. When you pour it into the glass, you’ll notice a seductive light red colour or a pale ruby colour to it.

2. Merlot

Although this grape might not be extremely popular amongst wine drinkers, it is still one of the most widely grown grapes in the world. Tasty plum and mocha notes lead along with a silky and velvety texture. Merlot is often blended with another popular variety of red wine grapes called Cabernet Sauvignon to soften it up.

3. Cabernet Sauvignon

This particular variety of red wine grapes is also known as the ‘King of Grapes’. This was born in Bordeaux, France and is like often blended with Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon wines are usually dry and have a higher content of alcohol in it. One of the most age-worthy red wine in the world has a fruity aroma and flavour to it which includes blackcurrant, blackberries, cedar, cigar, mint, and eucalyptus.

4. Syrah

For France, its Syrah and for the rest of the world, it’s Shiraz. A spectacularly easy wine to drink and flexible enough to be paired with most things. The flavour and aroma of Syrah consist of sweet blueberry, smoke, coffee, plum, pepper, and clove. Syrah can be found in France, California, and Australia. Syrah contains high tannins and medium acidity, it makes a perfect food pairing with grilled meat.

5. Zinfandel

This particular variety of red wine grapes can be found in California, on the west coast of the United States, in Australia, and in Italy. Since ripe fruits are included in the making of Zinfandel red wine variety, the aroma and flavour you get are of a jam. On a closer analysis, you may even notice a zesty flavour of berry and pepper. Whether you choose to pair it with freshly prepared pasta or pizza, zinfandel is not going to let the meal down.

Health Benefits of Wine

Several studies have proven that moderate consumption of red wine can have a positive impact on your health and reduce several health risks. This is primarily due to the high content of powerful antioxidants found in red wine. Let’s look at some of the vital health benefits of red wine: 

•    Due to the beneficial effects of resveratrol contained in red wine, it helps improve memory.

•    Moderate consumption of red wine helps prevents cataract due to the rich antioxidants contained in it

•    Red wine helps reduce bad cholesterol in your body and increases good cholesterol. This directly prevents heart diseases and reduces the chances of stroke.

•    Red wine consumption slows the development of lung cancer and prevents skin cancer.

•    7. The antioxidants in red wine also act as a perfect stress buster and reliever.

How to Taste Wine?

There are four crucial steps to tasting the red wine. To best enjoy red-wine, you must look, swirl, smell and then finally sip. Look at the wine in your glass to get a sense of its colour. You may notice that often times, wine lovers hold their glass of wine against the white background to help see the hue of the colour. The lighter the shade of red, the lighter it will taste and is less likely that the wine was aged in oak.

Next, take a little swirl of the wine. This helps get more oxygen into the wine. That doesn’t mean it is a great idea to leave it open for long as it will flatten the wine and get a bitter taste.

Following the swirl is smelling the wine. This process helps your brain understand the flavour even before tasting it. Although you might look silly, we suggest you put your nose closer to the wine glass and close your eyes. Think about all the aromas and scents you are picking up along the way. From cherries to peppers, your brain will pick up scents as you smell them. You’ll become a novice to an expert in no time.

Finally, take a sip of your red wine. Before you swallow it down, let it rest in your mouth for a moment. Let your taste buds mingle with the red wine to understand the flavours, connect them with the aromas you picked up earlier and whether it’s dry or sweet.


Enjoy your wine!


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