Types of Red Wine There many different types of red wine besides the popular Merlot and Cabernet. This slideshow of types of red wine explores the varied types of red wine on the market.
Shiraz If this varietal is South African or Australian, it's generally called Shiraz. Anywhere else, it's referred to as Syrah. Shiraz displays strong blackberry and peppery flavor characteristics and are generally very earthy. The wine pictured here is Palandri Margaret River Shiraz from Western Australia
Pinot Noir One of the most difficult grapes to grow, but one of the easiest and most food friendly wines out there is Pinot Noir. This wine is full bodied, but not to a point of sensory overload. Its flavor characteristics are that of dark, ripe cherries with herbaceous hints of rosemary.
Tempranillo For Spanish and Portuguese wines, the Tempranillo grape is king. The Tempranillo grape is what the majority of wines labeled Rioja are made from. Wines made from this grape have leather and tobacco flavor characteristics with hints of plum and cassis.
There was a time in which Montepulciano was a relatively obscure Italian wine. Now, it is more common and should be easy to spot at your local wine merchant. Remember to look for Montepulciano d'Abruzzo if you are looking for wine made of the actual Montepulciano grape. The Vino Nobile d' Montepulciano wine is actually a blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo Nero grapes.
Arguably one of the most famous red wines to come out of Italy. The Chianti DOCG is divided into seven main sub-regions:
Chianti wines are often described as earthy and oaky with the dark, ripe fruit flavors of blackberry and black cherry.
Zinfandel This grape is widely planted in California, coming in third just behind Cabernet and Chardonnay. Zin's pair well with everything from a barbecue to a gourmet meal. The flavor characteristics of a good Zin are complex and jammy
Bordeaux Probably one of the most famous wines to ever come out of France, you will rarely, if ever, go wrong with a good bottle of Bordeaux. Wine from one of the 57 appellations in this region are big, full bodied, tannic wines.
Cabernet Franc Though this grape varietal is used mainly for blending with other grapes, it is sold as a stand alone varietal. If you're looking for something in between the big, bold flavors of a Cabernet Sauvignon and the sometimes thin body of a Merlot, Cabernet Franc is the perfect choice for you.
Barolo This slideshow of types of red wine finishes with Barolo, known as the "wine of kings" and the "king of wines". If you're looking for a big, full-bodied Italian red, go for the Barolo. It is deep ruby red in color with medium tannins. A good Barolo has a velvety mouth feel and soft finish.
White Wine This slideshow of white wine types will give you ideas to break out of your Chardonnay rut. Nothing against Chard's, of course. They're delicious, but sometimes people just want a little bit of variety in their wines.
Pinot Grigio Pinot Grigio is the most popular white wine in Italy. All those Italians simply cannot be wrong. This wine is light, fruity and friendly with citrusy overtones. A glass of Pinot Grigio lends itself well to seafood and many white pasta sauces.
Gewurztraminer Don't be afraid of the long name, it's pronounced "Ga-vertz-tra-meener". See? Simple right? This German wine is generally on the sweeter side as compared to other white wines mainly due to its higher residual sugar content. The flavor characteristics of Gewurztraminer are a balanced blend to tart and crisp Granny Smith apples and sweet Anjou pears.
'''Viognier''' Pronounced "vee-un-yay", this wine is a dry white that is a perfect substitute for the Chardonnay drinker that is trying to veer away from the big oaky flavors of most Chards. The flavor characteristics are that of mango, apricot and tangerines while having a lush floral and herbaceous bouquet. Many Viogner's also have strong floral aromas.
''Riesling'' Riesling has gotten a bad rap over the years due to mass production of thin, flat and lifeless wines bearing the Riesling name. You should not let this reputation scare you from trying a great German Riesling. Rieslings are generally well balanced wines a bit of crisp apple tartness and flinty flavor characteristics.
Pouilly-Fuisse If you're looking for a great wine out of Burgundy, France without the high price tag, go with a Pouilly-Fuisse. It's not nearly as pretentious as it sounds…promise. First, it's pronounced "poo-ee foo-say", second, it is made from Chardonnay grapes and third, this wine is bright, slightly creamy and displays a bit of minerality.
Bordeaux Bordeaux isn't just for the reds. White Bordeaux is equally as coveted and most of the time, equally as expensive. The wine house featured here, Chateau Margaux offers some of the most expensive Bordeaux's in the world. These wines are lush, refined and full of soft fruit flavors.
Chablis Like Riesling, the reputation of Chablis also suffered at the hands of mass production. This maligned white has been making a slow and steady comeback over the years and should not be ignored. Chablis flavors are bright with forward fruit flavors with slight hints of vanilla.
Fume Blanc This wine is actually made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Fume Blanc is different because it is made in a different style than Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is made style of Bordeaux's while Fume Blanc is made in the Loire Valley style. The birth of Fume Blanc wines are credited to Robert Mondavi.
Albarino This Spanish white has crisp and refreshing honeydew and pear flavors. Albarino's are generally a bit astringent, which is why they pair so nicely with dishes that have a spicy kick to them. The best part? Albarino's are great wines at inexpensive prices.
Montrachet This slideshow of white wine types ends with Montrachet, one of the most highly coveted wines in the world. Montrachet (pictured left) is actually a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy, France, though there are many other vineyards in the area that share the Montrachet moniker.