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Red Grapes

When you think of wine the first thing you think about is red wine. The red color of these wines are derived from the vast assortment of grapes ranging from reddish, deep purple, and even a beautiful blue. From this vast assortment of grapes, these are the most common names you will hear when talking about red wines.



This versatile red grape generally produces lighter style wines with cherry and raspberry fruit flavors and aromas, intermingled with rustic spice. It is capable of producing medium to full bodied wines, but the majority are made in the fresh and fruity, easy drinking styles. Barbera thrives on the rolling hillsides surrounding the villages of Asti and Alba within the Piedmont, North Italy. It can be consumed with fuller flavored red meat dishes.


Cabernet Franc

Known as the younger brother of Cabernet Sauvignon, this grape has a distinct violet and raspberry bouquet. It’s at its best, filled with red fruit flavors with nuances of herbs and is relatively approachable at a young age. More adaptable to cooler climates, Cabernet Franc also thrives in the Loire Valley, where it produces fruit-filled wines with soft tannins. It is also used for blending in Bordeaux region in Franc, where it is one of the wine varietals that are allowed to be grown in the region. It grows amazingly in the Saint-Emilion and Pomerol where it is blended with Merlot wines. Serve this lovely red with a little chill or at room temperature.


Cabernet Sauvignon

Known as the King of the Red Wines, it offers wonderfull flavors consisting of blackcurrants, blackberry, chocolate, tar and leather.Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in the soils of Left Bank of Bordeaux and particulary well in the California Napa Valley. It is planted widely around the world and featured prominently as a blend in wines from California, Italy, Australia and others.



A red wine grape grown in Italy's Tuscany, Umbria, Latium, Marche and Emilia-Romagna regions. It produces slightly bitter wine that becomes part of the traditional blend for Chianti wine, together with Sangiovese and Colorino. Its role in the Chianti blend is to add fruitiness and soften the tannins.


Although this red grape originated in the northern Spain's Cariñena district, it became the most widely grown red grape in France, especially throughout the Languedec-Roussillon region. It is also extensively grown in other countries ringing the Mediterranean including Italy, Spain, Algeria and Israel. It was also once the most widely planted red grape in California mostly in the San Joaquin Valley. With its high yields Carignan produces more red wine than any other grape variety.



Belonging to the Cabernet family of grapes, the Carménère grape originates from the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France. Along with Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit verdot, Carménère is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux, France. Carménère wine has a deep red color and aromas found in red fruits, spices and berries. The tannins are gentler and softer than those in Cabernet Sauvignon and it is a medium body wine. It is used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot. When bottled as pure Carménère It imparts cherry-like, fruity flavor with smoky, spicy and earthy notes and a deep crimson color. Its taste might also be reminiscent of dark chocolate, tobacco, and leather. The wine is best drunk young.



As a very adaptable grape, Cinsualt is included in many blends to add color and complex flavors. When used alone, the grape can make a full-bodied almost portlike red wine, but it is most famous for the delicate, dry and fruity rosé it yields. These rosés are renowned as the perfect summer drink with zesty fruit flavors.



Corvina is a very dark colored, thick skinned red grape grown in Italy’s Veneto region. It is capable of producing the full-bodied reds of Aramone as well as the light, easy-drinking and fruity reds of Valpolicella. Flavors and aromas vary but are primarily cherry and raspberry for the lighter-style reds to dark raisiny fruit with hints of almond and earth in the fuller bodied Amarone.



The Dolcetto grape produces lighter style, easy-drinking reds which are filled with sweet red fruit flavors and aromas, including ripe cherry and currants. Native to the land where it flourishes, the Piedmont, Dolcetto has never proven successful anywhere else in the world. It is the second most planted red grape of the Piedmont and is mostly planted on the rolling hillsides surrounding the villages of Alba and Asti.


Gamay à Jus Blanc

The Gamay grape produces easy drinking wines with fresh and explosive fruit. With little to no tannins and a purple color, it is the grape used in making the adored Beaujolais wines of the Burgundy region. The best examples of Beaujolias have more depth and some meaty, earthy complexity while most of the Beaujolias Villages and particularly the Beaujolais Nouveau tend to be much more simple and fruity. The aromas are mostly grapey with notes if cherry and plum.



Grenache is one of the many wine varietals grown in the southern Rhone Valley of France. It is also planted in California and Australia. In Spain, it is known as Garnacha. This alluring red-grape variety is known for its abundance of red fruit flavor inlcuding currants, cherry and raspberry. It is usually blended with other varieties such as Syrah, Carignan and Cinsaut. The wines produced from this grape are full-bodied and high in alcohol.



A red wine grape grown mainly in The Trentino Alto Adige region, which lies in the North Eastern region of Italy. Lagrein is vinified into deep, dark tannic red wines. The reds can have wonderful chocolate nuances and rich fruit flavors. For years, the Lagrein wines were used to beef up the color and structure of other reds in the area, and it is still used for blending.



Once popular as a blending grape, Malbec is a supporting role in many appellations in South West France and especially in Bordeaux, where it is the primary grape and reffered to as the black wine due to its deep dark color. Malbec's star shines the brightest in Argentina. The ripe and plush Malbec wines of Argentina have a dark fruit flavors of blackberry, blueberry and black raspberry. When blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah it adds complexity.


Malvasia Nera

Malvasia Nera is widely planted in Italy and around the world. It can produce wines in a wide variety of styles ranging from very dry to very sweet. In any form, the wines have aromas of pears and spice with fresh fruity flavours.



Considered as fresh, ripe and fruity, Merlot dominates the Right bank communes of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol where the wines are refined and elegant. It is capable of producing wines which are full bodied and tannic. Merlot is currently the worlds most popular red wine and is one of the prominent grapes in Bordeaux. It can be paired with appetizers, Light cheeses, Duck, Steak and Lamb.



Mourvèdre produces deep reds that are usually medium body with red fruit components. Primarily used as a blending grape, it adds complexity, color and fragrance to the final blending. Because of its low yields and uneven ripening, it is rarely seen as a varietal wine. The grape prefers a long, warm growing season. It generally produces full-bodied wine with tannins and tend to have earthy, meaty and almost animal aromas and flavors.



The prominent wines of northern Italy, Barolo and Barbaresco are produced from this renowned red wine grape. At its best, Nebbiolo is capable of producing the biggest, most full-bodied wines in the world. The flavor and aroma profiles include dark fruit, primarly blackberry with loads of complex flavors including smoke, tar, licorice and rustic notes. Nebbiolo also contains wonderful acidity, therefore, a tremendous food wine, pairing wonderfully with hearty red meats and heavy sauces.


Negro Amaro

This varietal is grown in the South East of Italy in the Puglia region. The name translates to "black bitter", which refers to the dark skin and bitter taste of the grape. It produces a dry, full-bodied wine with a deep garnet red colour. Intensely aromatic with flavours of red-fruit, wines, produced from this grape tend to be pleasantly acidic and full in the mouth.


Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot is capable of producing red wines with intense color, fragrance and spice. However, it is produced only for blending purposes, especially in the southern regions of the Left Bank of Bordeaux. It is blended with Cabernet-wines to add complexity, color and tannin. Petit Verdot itself produces full-bodied, extremely deep-colored wines with peppery, traditionally been used to add flavor, color and tannins.


Petite Sirah

Rumored to the be a distant cousin to Syrah, this grape produces a deep colored, robust and peppery wine that packs plenty of tannins and has a good aging ability. Though not as popular as other red wines, the Petit Sirah does much better in California than in France and has the following among those who like big, full-bodied wines. It is often blended with other varietals to give them more zest.


Pinot Noir

Wines made from this grape are known for their elegance and refinement. Pinot Noir exhibits flavors of ripe red fruit, cherry, chocolate, toast and spices. Most famous in Burgundy, where it is the only grape permitted to produce the famous red wines of the Cote D'or. This grape is best planted in cooler climates. Other fine, well structured examples of Pinot Noir can be found in Oregon's Willamette Valley and California's Carneros and Russian River Valley.


Pinotage is a red wine grape that became South Africa's signature variety. It is a breed between Pinot noir and Cinsaut. The grape produces deep red varietal wines with smoky, bramble and earthy flavors, sometimes with notes of bananas and tropical fruit. Pinotage is often blended, and also made into fortified wine and even red sparkling wine. The grape is naturally high in tannins



Primitivo is a red grape variety grown principally in Apulia. It has been called many things, but is also may have remained relatively obscure had its similarities to Californian Zinfandel not been noticed. The wines produced are rich, deeply coloured with flavours such as cherries and different berries.



Throughout Tuscany, this red grape produces wines that are crisp and lively with savory, cherry fruit flavors and soft to ripe tannins.Sangiovese is the principal grape variety of Chianti and the most widely planted red wine grape in all of Italy. Because of the appealing level of acidity, Sangiovese-based wines are magnificent with food. This red wine pairs wonderfully with traditional Italian cuisine including tomato sauces, olives, cheese and full-flavored pasta dishes. Today, Sangiovese is also planted and thrives in California and Washington State.



Syrah is a relatively easy grape to grow. Mostly grown in the nortern Rhône Valley in France, it produces easy drinking wines and more intense wines. The traditional flavors of Syrah include dense red and dark berry, violet, tar, pepper and spice.The texture and mouthfeel can have lots of finesse but tends to be more velvety as opposed to the silky Pinot Noirs. Syrah is widely planted around the world, though it seems to flourish more in Australia, where it is known as Shiraz. California, particularly the central coast, grow a lot of Syrah also.



The primary grape of Rioja in Spain, Tempranillo is also planted heavily in many other appellations in Spain. There are smaller amounts planted in parts of California.Tempranillo is capable of greatness in the best Rioja. It can make a full-bodied wine, but tends to be a bit lighter than Syrah or Cabernet, producing beautiful fruity reds which have a subtle, caressing texture and lovely aromatic complexity very reminescent of Pinot Noir.



Uniquely American, this exhuberant red wine is capable of producing top quality red wines that can rival Cabernet Sauvignon. It offers an array of flavors including black and red fruit, spice, pepper, tar, licorice and wood. Zinfandel is produced in three distinct styles. The first is the fresh and fruity, easy drinking style that offers charm and balance with light tannins, followed by the medium-bodied, fuller flavored Zinfandels with noticeable spiciness and ripe tannins. The third style is the big, concentrated and powerful style with intense fruit and unbelievable richness. Zinfandel is exclusively grown in California and is the most widely planted red grape variety.