9 Types of Red Wine

A Guide to the Most Popular Varieties

Red wine has been a mainstay at dinner tables all around the world for generations.

It might be challenging to know where to begin when there are so many different kinds of red wine available.

In this article, we’ll examine some of the most well-liked red wine varieties, as well as their flavor profiles, food combinations, and other attributes.

Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the most well-known and often produced varieties of red wine is Cabernet Sauvignon.

It is renowned for its robust flavor and substantial tannin concentration. Because it is frequently matured in oak barrels, Cabernet Sauvignon has a distinctive vanilla and spice flavor profile.

Red foods, especially lamb and steak, go well with this wine.


Merlot is a red wine that is renowned for its fruity flavor profile and smooth, velvety texture.

It is frequently thought to be a more approachable wine for people who are new to red wine because it is less tannin-intensive than Cabernet Sauvignon.

Pasta, pizza, and grilled meats are just a few of the dishes that Merlot goes well with.

Pinot Noir

Red wine called Pinot Noir is renowned for having a delicate, light-bodied flavor character.

It has a fruity and earthy flavor character and often has fewer tannins than other varieties of red wine. The lighter meats such as salmon, duck, and others go well with pinot noir.


Shiraz, another name for Syrah, is a robust red wine that is renowned for its peppery and spicy flavor profile.

It frequently undergoes oak barrel aging, which gives it a rich and smokey flavor. Strong, flavorful foods like barbeque, roasted meats, and spicy meals go well with syrah/shiraz.


A robust, fruity red wine with a high alcohol concentration, zinfandel is known for its flavor.

It tastes jammy and has blackberry and raspberry undertones. Spicy dishes, BBQ, and substantial stews go nicely with zinfandel.


Malbec is a robust red wine with high tannins that is renowned for its dark, rich hue.

It has a fruity flavor profile that includes blackberry and plum undertones. Steak and other types of red meat are frequently combined with malbec.


Red wine with a medium body and high acidity and tannin content is called Sangiovese.

It features a strawberry and cherry flavor characteristic that is fruity. Pizza and spaghetti with red sauce are two common Italian foods to pair with Sangiovese.


Barbera is a fruity, medium-bodied red wine that is renowned for its high acidity.

It features hints of plum, blackberry, and black cherry. Barbera goes well with a range of foods, including roasted meats and pasta sauces with tomato as the primary ingredient.


A medium-bodied red wine with a rich and spicy flavor character, tempranillo is frequently matured in oak barrels.

It features cherry, leather, and tobacco undertones. Stews, grilled meats, and other heavy foods are frequently served with tempranillo.

Frequently Asked Questions

What distinguishes Merlot from Cabernet Sauvignon?

Black currant, blackberry, and cedar tastes are prominent characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as its robust, tannic structure. Merlot, on the other hand, has tastes of cherry, plum, and chocolate and is smoother and more accessible. Merlot is often not matured in oak barrels for as long as Cabernet Sauvignon, giving it a more noticeable tannic structure.

What distinguishes a table wine from a dessert wine?

Table wines often have lower alcohol and sugar content and are dry or semi-dry. On the other side, dessert wines are frequently richer, sweeter, and contain higher amounts of sugar and alcohol. Smaller pours of dessert wines are frequently offered as an aperitif or with dessert.

What kind of red wine pairs well with steak?

Due to its robust, tannic structure, which accentuates the meat’s rich flavors, cabernet sauvignon is sometimes regarded as the ideal partner for steak. The wines Malbec, Syrah, and Zinfandel are also excellent choices.

What variety of red wine goes best with pasta?

The sauce affects which red wine goes best with pasta. A medium-bodied red wine like Chianti or Sangiovese, such as for tomato-based dishes like marinara or arrabbiata, is an excellent option. A robust red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah goes well with meat-based recipes like Bolognese or ragù.


Over the world, red wine is a widely consumed and adored beverage. Red wines come in a wide variety, each with an own flavor profile and qualities to offer. There is a red wine to suit every palate and occasion, whether you prefer a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or a lighter Pinot Noir.

We trust that this article has helped you gain a better grasp of some of the most well-liked red wine varieties and how to enjoy them. Although various red wines are frequently paired with particular foods, it’s important to remember that your personal taste preferences are the most crucial consideration when selecting a wine. Try out various red wines to see which ones you like best.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Lauren McKenna

Lauren is a soon to be Temple University graduate. Her love of travel has introduced her to food and drinks from all over the world. She provides MyBartender with a global view of all things alcohol.

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