Zinfandel, Shiraz, Merlot, my God. Understanding the complexity and variety of red wines can be daunting, especially when it comes to choosing the right wine for dinner. Here are some wine selection tips for the most popular red wines for beginners.
Cabernet Sauvignon is known as "the king of grapes with red wine" and originates from the Bordeaux region of France. It established itself in the California wine market and became one of the most popular RED BLENDS in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon is typically 5-10 years old to produce wines with a delicate aroma. It is often mixed with other grapes, notably Merlot, to produce a delicate wine with lively fruit tones. Cabernet goes great with lamb, red meat, warm red noodle dishes, strong cheeses, and dark chocolate.
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Pinot Noir grapes are especially tough growing in demanding climates with consistently warm days and cool nights. However, it is grown in areas such as Oregon, California, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and Italy. Due to ever-increasing requirements, Pinot Noir is produced in smaller quantities than many other popular red wines and tends to be slightly more expensive. Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile red wines and goes well with poultry, fish, lamb, pork, ham, hot spices, and cream sauces.
Merlot originates from the French region of Bordeaux and is a soft and rich wine with a moderate body. Its juicy fruity taste and low tannin content make Merlot a popular wine for beginners. Merlot comes in many color variations including plum, cherry, blueberry, blackberry, and black pepper. Merlot is often mixed with other wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc to soften the flavors and give it more structure and definition. Merlot is a flexible red color that goes well with pork, red meat, pasta, and salads.