Red wine is that which is made from dark grapes (also called black grapes.) These grapes are usually red, purple, or blue, and are what gives the wine its color. The level of color is a result of how long the grape skins are in contact with the grape’s juice during the fermentation step of wine making. (The juice itself is actually white or clear.) The longer the skins are left with the juice, the more intense the color of the wine will be. The colors are commonly described as ruby red, brick red, crimson, violet, plum, cherry red, or brown (if the wine is older, and perhaps past its prime.)
Body & Alcohol Content
Red wine can be light, medium, or full bodied. An easy way to understand what kind of body your wine has is to think about how it feels in your mouth. Does it have the consistency of skim milk in your mouth? It’s a light body. Does it feel like whole milk? It’s a medium body. Is it more like cream? Then, it’s a full bodied wine. The higher the tannin and alcohol content of the wine, the heavier the body will be. A tannin is a natural preservative found in the skins, seeds, and stems of grapes, and are what give a wine its bitterness or “bite”. Red wines are typically much more tannic than white wines. Light red wines usually have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of under 12.5%, medium is in the 12.5% to 13.5% range, and full is 13.5% and above.
Popular Red Wines, Taste, & Aroma
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular of the varietals (variety of grape); however, others that are popular include Merlot, Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah, Shiraz, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese. The flavors and aromas of a wine vary depending on grapes used, as well as the wine making process utilized (i.e. the use of oak barrels, the climate of where the grapes were grown, etc.) Red wine flavors are commonly described as strawberry, raspberry, cherry, blackberry, cranberry, raisins, and vanilla. Some aroma descriptions include vanilla, black currant, black fruit, black cherry, berries, black pepper, green bell pepper, floral, tobacco, and oak.
High Producing Regions
Red wine is produced all over the world, but high producing areas include the Bordeaux, Bourgognes, Beaujolais, Rhone, and Loire regions of France. In the United States, California is a large producer.
Click Below To Learn About Popular Reds