What Are the Different Kinds of Red Wine?

What Are the Different Kinds of Red Wine?

Red wine varies from white wine because the grape skins are left on – rather than removed – when they are fermented into wine. Tannins in the grape skins soak into the juice while they ferment. This results in a deep red, purple, and maroon colored alcoholic beverages.

This process results in a vast variety of red wine types that vary in color, flavor, and aroma. Red wines can also be dry, semi-dry, or sweet. Here are some of the more popular kinds of red wine, accompanied with descriptions of flavor, scents, their place of origin, and what foods they pair with best.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Incredibly popular in the United States, this common full-bodied red wine is known for its easily grown grapes, adding to its popularity. Cabernet Sauvignon originated in the Bordeaux wine region in France. This red wine is high in tannins, acidity, and alcohol content, with green pepper and dark cherry flavors. When aged in oak barrels, it acquires a hint of vanilla flavor. Pair this wine with lamb, pastas with red sauce, and beef dinners.


This very deep, dark red wine began as a blending grape in France’s Bordeaux wine region, though has become a pure wine considered a national variety in Argentina. Malbec is a full-bodied dry red wine with high tannin levels that can be tasted, as well as a strong blackberry, black cherry, and plum flavors, sometimes with a tobacco aftertaste. Pair a glass of Malbec with heavy meals like steak and lamb, or a dark chocolate dessert.


This red wine variety derived from black-skinned grapes originated in Croatia, though they are popularly grown in Northern California. Zinfandel is a medium-bodied beverage with many fruity jam flavors, such as blackberries and raspberries. The tannin levels vary, meaning it can be heavy and also light and fruity, with a cherry and chocolate aroma. Zinfandel pairs well with burgers, barbecued meat, and casseroles.

Pinot Noir

Despite what you may think from its name, Pinot Noir has less tannins and is a lighter shade of red than some of the other wines listed. The variety originated in France’s Burgundy wine region. It has a medium body and fruity flavor, with cherry, raspberry, and strawberry aromas alongside a silk texture, making for a pleasant drinking experience. Pinot Noir is best paired with salmons, poultry, and dishes with mushrooms.


Originating in the warm Chianti region of Tuscany, this dry red Italian wine has a rustic flavor loaded with tannins that will dry your mouth out, making it perfect for pairing with heavy meals. Chianti both smells and tastes like strawberries and cherries. It goes well with many different Italian foods, such as pasta with red sauce, lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, and pungent toppings such as garlic and lemons.


A red wine with a rich, dark red color made from dark blue grapes, Merlot was first recorded in Venice, Italy. With a fruity, earthy flavor rich with tastes of black currant, it has a high alcohol content and full body. There is a light floral aroma. This red wine pairs with a wide range of different foods, from beef and pork, to turkey, lamb and vegetable meals. 


The robust red wine Syrah originated in the Rhone wine region is France, though it has grown quite popular in Australian vineyards. A dark, spicy and medium-bodied wine, Syrah has a light, fruity flavor that has a slight bite with notes of pepper and smoke. Pair this red win with spicy or grilled meats, lamb, beef, and sausages.

What Are the Different Kinds of White Wine?

What Are the Different Kinds of White Wine?

Everyone knows that there is red and white wine, but what different types of white wine are out there – and how do they vary from each other? White wines differ from red wines in that the grapes have their skin removed before they are fermented, and they are more often served chilled. But there are many more subtle differences between the types of white wine.

From dry to sweet, tinted white, yellow, or light green, there is a wide variety of flavors within the realm of white wine. Here are the most popular and common kinds of white wine that you will encounter, with descriptions of their flavors, origins, and recommended food pairings.


 One of the most popular kinds of white wine sold in restaurants is Chardonnay, and there is a range of tastes even within this type. The taste can vary from full-bodied and oaky if exposed to barrels, to medium with hints of fruit or vanilla spice. Made with green-skinned grapes, Chardonnay originated in France’s Burgundy wine region. This wine is commonly used in cooking and pairs well with fish and chicken dinners.

Sauvignon Blanc

Almost as popular as Chardonnay, the straw yellow Sauvignon Blanc is a fruity white wine varietal that originates in France’s Bordeaux wine region. The taste is crisp with a citrus flavor and acidity, with grassy scents of lemon, gooseberry, and grapefruit. When exposed to oak barrels, Sauvignon Blanc is infused with vanilla flavors. This wine pairs well with seafood, such as coconut shrimp, chicken, cheese, and sushi. Great for after a full day of dog training for your favorite dog trainer in Boston.


This spicy and floral German wine originated in Alsace and comes from sugary pinkish red grapes. Gewurztraminer is a dry but sometimes sweet aromatic wine and has a crisp, bold flavor that smells of rose, peach, and quite strongly of lychee fruit. This medium-bodied alcohol pairs well with spicy meals, Asian food, and pork.


With a lower alcohol content than other wines, Moscato – also called Muscat – is a slightly bubbly, aromatic sweet wine that derives from the various Muscat grape family. Strong scents of honeysuckle, almonds, citrus, ginger, and orange blossom accompany a medium, acidic flavor. Moscato comes in sparkling, still, and desert varieties and pairs well with berries, fruits, and desserts.


Originating in the Rhine region of Germany, Riesling is a popular light white wine that is made in cool climates and ages well. This beverage has apple, citrus, and earthy aromas and is highly acidic. It ranges from very dry to very sweet flavors. Riesling pairs well with a most seafood, especially tuna and salmon, as well as chicken, pork, and spicy food.

Pinot Gris/Grigio

This common white wine is quite popular in the United States, originating from the Burgundy wine region in France. More full-bodied than some other popular white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris possesses faint mineral and pear aromas and comes from a gray-blue grape. This versatile wine pairs well with seafood, turkey, Thai food, and spicy dishes.

Gifts for Wine Lovers

Great Gifts for Someone Who Loves Wine

If you know someone who loves wine, odds are you have already purchased their favorite bottle of wine as a gift before. If you’re looking for something a little more creative this time, there are endless amounts of wine-related gifts that wine enthusiast friends or family will love.

These interesting gift suggestions offer a range of options for the wine lover in your life. Whether they are an aficionado or a casual fan, these gift ideas are both practical and thoughtful, pairing wonderfully with future gifts of vintage wine.

The World Atlas of Wine

 This expansive reference work by Hugh Johnson was first published in 1971, and is still among the most popular authorities in wine literature today. Filled with detailed wine-specific maps from every country in the world, this is an essential own for a wine lover. Take out a bottle and flip to a page to discover where the wine originated. The World Atlas of Wine is sold on Amazon and many other book retailers.

Wavehooks Bathtub Wine Glass Holder

Help reduce that after-work stress with this resourceful and durable plastic wine glass holder, available at Nordstrom. This gift allows for a relaxing experience in a warm bubble bath, where you can sit with a glass of delicious wine and turn the pages of a good book. Let your friend enjoy their wine anywhere – even in the bath.

Uncorked! Board Game

Set the stage for a future party with this wine-tasting board game. No formal expertise is required, anyone who enjoys wine can pick cards and attempt to describe different kinds of wine. The participants than can earn points by guessing the author of each description. The game turns the wine-tasting experience into a fun, silly event and can be found on Amazon.

Fine Wine Tote

If your friend often carries wine on-the-go, this designer wine tote at GiftTree will impress. This tote comes with two wine bottles from either Napa Valley, the Pacific Northwest, or Sonoma Valley, and a cork screw, pour spout, wine stopper, and drip ring. The exterior is brown leather with a suede interior that sports straps for the bottles, intended for long-term use.

 Menu Fahrenheit Wine Thermometer

Some wines taste best at certain temperatures, and this wine thermometer makes the process simple. This product can easily be fit around a wine bottle as a belt, and before long an accurate temperature read will appear on the display. This is a useful gift for those who like to drink wine at cellar temperatures. Improve the wine tasting experience with this handy gadget, available on Amazon.

 Williams-Sonoma Wine Chiller

This fashionable copper-plated stainless steel wine chiller is practical tabletop décor for the wine enthusiast. Crafted by artisans and sized for a standard bottle, this gift allows a loved one to keep future wine presents at the perfect temperature while you relax around the table. This stylish wine chiller that will eventually age into an attractive bronze can be purchased on the Williams-Sonoma website.