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Grape vines grow in all varieties, which in turn produces delicious yet distinctive tasting red wines. So to keep you on top of your red wine game here are the nine common —and not quite as common—types of red wine to fill your wine rack with:

1. Cabernet Sauvignon

Description: Cabernet Sauvignon first started its heavy growth in the Bordeaux region of France. As far as types of red wine go, Cab is generally a full bodied wine with bold tannins due to the higher concentration of alcohol.

Tasting Notes: Dark current, dark cherry, and other darker fruit flavors can be found in most young Cabernet Sauvignons as well as herbal hints or baking spices. If aged in cedar or oak barrels, this type of wine will hold the essence of that method as well.

Food Pairings: Cabernet Sauvignon is a great meat and cheese wine. Think lamb, steak (is your mouth watering yet?), and firm aged cheese.

A ripe grape vine getting ready to be made into a tasty Cabernet Sauvignon. Source: Flickr.

2. Merlot

Description: It’s the perfect beginners red with a smooth taste, medium level tannins, and deep fruity flavours.

Tasting Notes: Merlot can have different flavour profiles depending on the climate it’s grown in. Hotter more humid climates will produce sweeter tannins and a black cherry mocha flavour. Where cooler climates will provide a full bodied tobacco, licorice, mineral Merlot.

Food Pairings: Whether your taste buds are craving roasted chicken, pork, or beef, Merlot will have your back. Avoid overwhelming spicy flavors, seafood, and green leafy vegetables.

3. Barbera

Description: Not as common in the types of red wine is Barbera, similar in style to Merlot. Barbera is an Italian grape that is widely grown in California as well. It’s got a silky smooth consistency and high acidity.

Tasting Notes: Black cherry is the name of the game with this red, too. Hints of plum are also common in these types of red wine.

Food Pairings: Anything you would pair Merlot with, you can also pair Barbera wines with. Both are superb matches for tomato based dishes!

See the smoothness of this “not so common” Barbera. Source: Wiki Media.

4. Pinot Noir

Description: Pinot Noir boasts softer tannins and higher acidity. First grown in France regions, this type of red wine is known for being lighter in body, and totally yummy.

Tasting Notes: Types of red wine like Pinot Noir have breathtaking floral aromas. Underneath, this wine brings red-fruit flavours like cranberry and cherry to life. Not to be left out are notes of rhubarb, beet, and even sometimes a hint of mushroom.

Food Pairings: Pair a glass of Pinot Noir with your favorite sushi and salmon dishes.

5. Malbec

Description: Malbec is a Bordeaux born wine, but Argentina took hold and really made it their own. It can also be found in Chili as well as cooler regions of California.

Tasting Notes: Depending on where you source your Malbec, you can expect hints of sour cherry, plums, berries, and spice.

Food Pairings: Malbec wines are great to pair with any meat based meals —noticing a trend yet? If you purchase Argentine Malbec, pair with Mexican, or Indian dishes, this wine is perfect for a little heat!

6. Shiraz (or Syrah)

Description: Most commonly grown in Australia and parts of France, Shiraz (also known as Syrah) is one of the more full-bodied types of red wine.

Tasting Notes: Sipping on Shiraz leaves you with tastes of blueberry, tobacco, plum, meat, and black pepper.

Food Pairings: Pair Shiraz with cheeses from the Mediterranean, smoked meats, or even some wild game. Moose, anyone?

7. Petit Sirah

Description: A rare —yet popular— grape, Petit Sirah largely grows in California. Petit Sirah is a wine made to blossom in a decanter. Pour it early and let it sit for two to four long awaited hours.

Tasting Notes: Black pepper, dark chocolate, blueberry, black tea and sugar plum are some of the delicious tastes you will find in a Petit Sirah.

Food Pairings: Love cheese? Start with some camembert or aged Gouda. For meat lovers, serve up some burgers or roasted pork, and try some barbeque! This wine doesn’t forget vegetarians either! It pairs with eggplant, mushrooms, black beans, and so much more. Yum!

8. Sangiovese         

Description: Sangiovese is primarily a Tuscan wine. Its color is lighter, and the high acidity level is no joke. This grape is a proud Chianti ingredient, and medium bodied.

Tasting Notes: Berry and plum flavors, pie cherry, anise, and tobacco can all be found tickling your taste buds with this wine!

Food Pairings: Naturally, this wine pairs well with Italian fair. All hail pizza, pasta, and red wine!

9. Zinfandel

Description: California is the main grower of these types of wine, but Zinfandel vines originated from Croatia. Zinfandel ranges in color from light blush wines to deep rich red wines making them a fit for many wine lovers.

Tasting Notes: Depending on the bottle, you can taste a variety of flavours in Zinfandel from overripe nectarine, to raspberries and blueberries.

Food Pairings: Grab a bottle of Zin if you’re in the market for takeout! Chinese, Thai, and Indian cuisine all pair well with this wine.

Written by Lauren Finnessy. Original Article can be seen here: https://www.ilovewine.com/9-common-types-of-red-wine-you-need-in-your-wine-rack/

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