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red wine for beginnersWine, like anything that is often perceived as a fine or craft product, can often seem unapproachable due to the atmosphere of snobbery that can sometimes surround the subject. We at Metro Wines believe that wine is for all (as long as you are over 21, of course) and that you do not need to be a culinary expert to enjoy an incredible glass of wine.

That is why we are dropping this quick guide to help you get past the mystery of wine, specifically red wines! (You can also check out our Red Wine Cheat Sheet)

A “Brief” Introduction to Red Wines

Generally speaking, most of the time we are talking about wine, there are five main categories of wines covering a range of different varietals and processes. These categories include:

  • Dessert Wine
  • Sparkling Wine
  • Rosé Wine
  • White Wine
  • Red Wine 

Red Wines are still (not sparkling) wines typically made with red grapes and are fermented with the skins and the seeds. However, not all red wines are made with red grapes; an example of this is Orange wine, which is produced like red wine with white grapes. 

Body Types of Reds

Red wines are oft-mistakenly attributed to being dry and full-bodied, but that is not always the case. In some cases, red wines can be slightly sweet and have a lighter body, such as the Italian Lambrusco, or the French Beaujolais, both of which are bright, refreshing red wines. Other examples of lighter-bodied red wines include St. Laurent and Pinot Noir.

Medium body wines tend to hit right in the middle of the spectrum. Think approachable, but with a little more heft than that of a light-bodied red. Merlot is one of the more popular medium-bodied red wines and goes well with just about anything. 

Red Zinfandel is a jammy sweet red wine with more tannins and high acidity. It is a bolder red wine but still not overly heavy. 

This brings us to full-bodied red wines. Full-bodied wines have the highest level of tannins and typically more alcohol content. Wines like these are rich and go along well with more full-bodied meals where they can stand alone without overpowering the food. 

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular full-bodied red wine and maybe one of the most popular red wines, period. Its big, bold flavors pair well with steak dinners and other heavy meals. Malbec is another popular red with a fruit-forward front end and a spicy finish. 

Hopefully, this quick guide cleared up a few of the misunderstandings about red wine. Often wine can seem mysterious, but it doesn't have to. 

Want to learn more about red wine? We have got you covered. 

Metro Wines features a large wine range with a focus on matching the right wine to the right food or occasion. Our wine experts are available to answer your questions, give pairing ideas, and work with your caterer or event planner at any time.

We also provide wine classes, weekly tastings, and social gatherings throughout the month. Our website contains information about our upcoming events, weekly tastings, and special events.