Styles Of Reds Wine

Learn about Red Wine and choose your favorite!



What's New and Hot? 

Vine Talk

on PBS with Stanley Tucci

Breaking the mold of past wine-related television series, VINE TALK strives to dramatically increase the excitement and comfort surrounding the selection and drinking of wine by creating a welcoming environment for viewers.

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Funny Wine Stuff!

Poems, Jokes and more!

A Poem to the Vine

There once was a vine named Moe, who worked hard at trying to grow.

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Movies and More!

Movie: El Camino del Vino "The Ways of Wine"

Be ready!! The movie "El Camino del Vino" - "The Ways of Wine" is coming soon...
Invited to participate in a series of tastings at the "Masters of Food and Wine". The famous sommelier loses his sense of taste.

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Red Wines

You will find a large selection of Red Wines. Made from red grapes. Some will made from a single grape varietal, and some will be a blend of two or more. Here are some of the most popular.

Barbera - (Bar-bear-a)

Italy. There is a wide range of quality and variety of Barbera wines from medium bodied, fruity wines to more powerful, intense examples that need cellaring. Known for deep color it is a robust red wine with intense fruit and enhanced tannic content.

Barbaresco - (Bar-ba-ress-ko)

Italy. Barbaresco wines must be aged for a minimum of 2 years (at least 1 year in oak) prior to release, and aged for at least 4 years to be considered a riserva. Well-made examples of Barbaresco wines are expected to be aged at least 5 to 10 years after vintage before they are consumed, and some continue to drink well even after 20 years. The typical style of a Barbaresco has bouquets of roses or violets with flavor notes of cherry, truffles, fennel and licorice.

Barolo - (Ba-ro-lo)

Considered one of Italy's greatest wines. Barolos must be made from 100% Nebbiolo grape. A rich, deeply concentrated full bodied wines with pronounced tannins and acidity. Notes of roses, chocolate, dried fruit, damsons, eucalyptus, leather, licorice, mint, mulberries, plum, spice, strawberries, tobacco, white truffles and herbs.

Beaujolais - (BOH-joh-lay)

France. Many associate Beaujolais with Nouveau wines from this region that are intended to be drunk as young as possible, when they are at their freshest and fruitiest. Beaujolais is made from Gamay, a soft, fruity grape. Beaujolais tends to be a very light-bodied red wine.

Bordeaux/Meritage - (Bor-DOH) / (MEH-rih-tej)

Bordeaux wine can range from everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world. Bordeaux is a blended wine using 5 or more red or black grape varieties. Styles vary. Rich, bold, with great fruit, and oak.

Brunello - (broo-NEHL-oh)

Italy. Brunello is an offshoot of the Sangiovese grape. It is notable because it is the only grape permitted for Brunello di Montalcino, a rare, expensive, fruity and bold Tuscan red wine.

Cabernet Franc - (CAH-behr-nay FRAHNGK)

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon making it more lightly pigmented with a peppery perfume. Additional aromas can include black currants, tobacco, raspberry, and cassis, sometimes even violets. Often characterized by a green leaves to green bell peppers note. It is often used to blends with more robust grapes.

Cabernet Sauvignon - (cah-behr-NAY so-veen-YON)

Is dark purple or ruby in color, medium to full bodied, and has a beautiful array of intense aromas and flavors, with notes of black currants or plums, sometimes a minty note, and often toasty, smoky, or vanilla from the oak that’s used in making the wine.

Carménère - (Cahr-meh-NEHR)

Carménère wine is a medium body wine, (often confused for Merlot) and has a deep red color. Aromas found in red fruits, spices and berries. The tannins are gentler and softer than those in Cabernet Sauvignon. When produced from grapes at optimal ripeness it imparts a cherry-like, fruity flavor with smoky, spicy and earthy notes and a deep crimson color. It might also have notes of dark chocolate, tobacco, and leather. The wine is best drunk young.

Chianti - (Kee-AHN-tee)

An Italian red wine produced in Tuscany. A blended wine. For a wine to retain the name of Chianti, it must be produced with at least 80% Sangiovese grapes. Characterized by its juicy fruit notes of cherry, plum and raspberry and can range in variety and style.

Côtes du Rhône - (Koht du Rohn)

Côtes du Rhône are the wines of the Rhône region in France. Red, white and rosé wines, made from this region are blended wines. A large variety of styles ranging in full bodied to light.

Dolcetto - (Dowl-CHEH-toh)

Known as an everyday drinking wine in Italy’s Piedmont region. Dolcetto wines are known for black cherry and licorice flavors with some prunes and a characteristically bitter finish reminiscent of almonds. While the name implies sweetness, the wines are normally dry, and best drunk young.

Gamay - (Gah-MAY)

A blended wine, ranging from light to medium bodied suitable for early drinking. A fruity wine suggesting flavors of bananas, berries, and peaches.

Grenache - (Gruh-NAHSH)

A blended wine offering intensely fruity cherry, plum and tobacco qualities. Originated and widely cultivated in Spain (as Garnacha) where it is blended with Tempranillo. In France, blended with Cinsaut and Carignan. In Chateauneuf-du-Pape used as the primary grape, although blended with as many as twelve other varietals.

Malbec - (MAHL-bec)

Malbec is now the grape of Argentina where it thrives in their hot, dry summers. Once important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, it is one of the types of red wine grapes loosing popularity there. Its acidity can vary and it is frequently blended with other Bordeaux varieties.

Merlot - (mare-LOH)

Generally full-bodied and have notes of plums, cherry, blackberry, and sometimes tea or chocolate. Because the Merlot grape has less tannin than the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, Merlot wines tend to be a bit softer in texture than Cabernet Sauvignon.

Montepulciano - (Mohn-teh-pool-chee-AH-noh)

Often confused with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (made from Sangiovese). A rustic grape widespread in central and southern Italy. Popular in the Abruzzi region where it is made into Montepulciano d’Abruzzo creating deeply colored, rich red wines with blackberry fruit flavors and spicy, peppery qualities.

Nebbiolo - (NEH-bee-oh-low)

Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy. Is responsible for many of Italy’s finest red wines. Light and quite dry with high acidity, does well with considerable aging. As they age, the wines take on a characteristic brick-orange hue at the rim of the glass and mature to reveal aromas and flavors such as violets, tar, wild herbs, cherries, raspberries, truffles, tobacco, and prunes.

Negroamaro - (Neh-grow-ah-mar-oh)

Wines are very deep in color, and tend to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness. Some of the best red wines of Puglia.

Petite Sirah - (Peh-TEET see-RAH)

Popular in California. It offers flavors of blue or black fruits and black pepper with cassis, chocolate and mint aromas. Boasting an earthy, leathery quality it is a good match with barbecued meats.

Pinot Noir - (PEE-noh-nwahr)

Relatively low amount of tannin. Very fruity with notes of strawberry, cherry, tea-leaf, or earth, plus a silky texture. The wines are usually fairly full-bodied and high in alcohol.

Pinotage (PEE-noh-taj)

A red hybrid of Pinot Noir and Cinsault grown in South Africa with a red berry and earthy, aromatic quality. It typically produces deep red varietal wines with smoky, bramble and earthy flavors, sometimes with notes of bananas and tropical fruit, sometimes criticized for a chemical note. Pinotage is often blended, and also made into fortified wine and even red sparkling wine.

Rioja - (ree OH hah)

Rioja wines are a blend of grape varieties. A variety of styles and classifications, from "Rioja," the youngest to "Rioja Gran Reserva" wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle. Rich, bold Reds.

Rosé - (Ro-zay)

A rosé wine is light in color. The pink color can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grapes and wine making techniques. Historically rosé was a delicate, dry wine. After the Second World War, there was a fashion for medium-sweet rosés thus the American "blush" wines of the 1970's.

Sangiovese - (Sahn-joh-VAY-say)

Young Sangiovese has fresh fruity flavors of strawberry and a little spiciness, but it readily takes on oaky, even tarry, flavors when aged in barrels.

Syrah/Shiraz - (see-RAH)/Shiraz (SHEAR-oz)

Known as Shiraz in Australia and South Africa and as Syrah in California and France, Shiraz/Syrah exhibits wonderful flavors of spice and fruit. Dark in color exuding intense flavors of blackberry, cassis, violets and smoke with black pepper and graphite notes. The shiraz variety can make some of the darkest reds with intense flavors and excellent longevity.

Tempranillo - (Tem-prah-NEE-yoh)

Spain. Tempranillo is a full bodied red with earthy flavors of strawberry, spice and fresh tobacco, and is often blended with Grenache.

Valpolicella - (Vahl-po-lee-chel-la)

Italy. From this region wines are produced in a wide variety of styles ranging from basic nouveau table wines, full bodied red wines, sweet dessert wines and even sparkling spumante. The most basic Valpolicella are light bodied and often served slightly chilled.

Zinfandel - (ZIN-fahn-dell)

Big, rich, full of tannin. Spiced flavors of blackberries, plums and loganberries. Often a zesty flavor with berry and pepper. Lighter ones have less tannin and are not as bold. Blush ones are sweeter and are called "White Zinfandel".