As promised, today we will look at four more reds. By the time, you are done reading this, if you are following the series, you’ll be well in your way to becoming a more decent human being. Let’s jump right into it!
This is the red wine you drink if you are a red wine virgin. Although, I have a good feeling that most of you reading this post are probably wine whores already. Merlot, just like Cabernet was born in Bordeaux, France. Cool Story: The Vintners that grew predominately Cabernet grew them on the left side of Gironde River and those that focused more on Merlot, grew them on the right side. So, Next time you are at the spirits store and you want a Merlot you can say you are “looking for their Right Banks”.
Taste: Red fruits, easy tannins and soft finishes are a few characteristics of the Merlot. But one very interesting thing to point out is that its taste changes based on the region. If it’s a Cool Climate Merlot, you may find it to have Roasted tones, along with tobacco, licorice, rich raspberry flavors. Whereas Hot Climate Merlot has soft tannins, cocoa, cherry and a silky finish.
Pair it with: Light meats and lightly-spiced meats. It does not go well with fish or leafy green veggies unless they are cooked a certain way and spicy food may overwhelm the Merlot.
The Garnacha grape was born in the Northern region of Spain and is one of the most widely planted red grapes in the world. Grenache is also responsible for one the most delicious and expensive wines in the world.
The characteristics of Grenache include a medium to full weight in taste, but lighter in color and semi-translucent. Common descriptions of this wine are jammy, dried red and black fruits, pepper, earth, & fleshy.
Taste: Candied, cinnamon, spice flavor.
Pair it with: Spicy Lamb meatballs, Beef, potato and cheese stew & pizza!
Recommendation: Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha 2014
Malbec is that wine that can never do wrong. It is one of the most popular wines on the American market. It has lots of juicy fruit flavors and it’s so easy to drink. The Malbec was born in France and was used as a blending grape. It wasn’t until the French region of Cahors decided t to make it into pure Malbec wine that we were introduced to this marvelous underdog. Malbec’s popularity spread via word of mouth, not wine lists or those snobby sommeliers. This is truly the Working Man’s Merlot. If you are having a party and want to spruce things up with a wine, I recommend serving this one, with or without food.
Taste: Black cherry, plum, blueberry, cocoa, milk chocolate yumness!
Pair it with: Leaner meats like ostrich, blue cheese and its funkiness but also with your solitude! Seriously. . .
We are going to step it up a notch with this one. This wine could very well be your introduction into becoming a true wine taster. It requires you to savor it with not your taste-buds but more specifically with your nose. This wine is best served in a large globe-shaped Burgundy glass to collect the variety of aromas of this wine (more on glasses on another post). If you enjoy Pinot Noir you will probably find Gamay just as interesting. Gamay is light bodied, fruity, with tart flavors of berries and banana, ever heard of Carbonic Maceration? When one talks about Gamay, somewhere along the line, Beaujolais is mentioned. Beaujolais is the French region where the grape was born.
Taste: earthy with a slight bitter finish, black currant, raspberry, violet.
Pair it with: You can pair with almost everything. Roast Chicken with Herbs, Planked Salmon, Swiss & Monterrey Jack cheeses, cranberry sauce, walnuts, pecans. . . the list goes on.
By the end of this post you should have at least become familiarized with eight different types of red wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Gamay, Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir & Zinfandel. The first post can be found >> here << February is coming and I will be switching up gears and do some suggestions for Valentines’ Day (cringe) and introduce some cheeses to you guys, because I mean you can’t have a wine guide without having cheeses in it! I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Out of the eight wines which are your favorites? Let me know in the comment box below!
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