Ultimate Guide To Red Wines
What are the best foods to pair with red wines?
Chocolate and pizza. A bold red will pair perfectly with the cheesy goodness of pizza. And lovely milk chocolate or dark chocolate can help bring out the subtle flavors within a wine.
If you're getting ready to build a red wine collection or want a fantastic night of drinking, this article is for you. How should you chill and pour your wine? What about the 5 s's of wine tasting? This guide will tell you all of the tips and tricks you need to know to enjoy red wine like a pro.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about red wine.
How Do They Make Red Wine?
How do they make red wine in the first place? The process they use today is very similar to the one that began thousands of years ago in Greece and Persia.
First, dark-colored grapes have to be harvested and crushed. The grapes are also fermented and then stirred together. Finally, they separate all of the skins by using a press.
The result is a delicious red wine! Over the years, improvements in containers, sellers, and quality of healthy wine production have improved. However, even with all the upgrades, it's still a relatively simple process.
Red wine is made using skins. Red wine is much like white wine, but there's one big difference. They usually ferment the grape skins and combine everything in a large vat.
White wines are pressed before fermentation, and they separate all of the juice from the skins. How do they know they're picking the right grapes?
Red wine grapes are usually perfect for harvesting during the late summer months. They can also be prime in early fall.
Harvesters know to look for darker grapes and to leave the green ones on the vine. After arriving at the winery, winemakers can easily sort through and remove any sour or unwanted grapes.
When the grapes are sorted out, the winemakers combine the skins, seeds, and juice to create a must. The must cools for a couple of days during a cold soak. By letting it cool, the flavor can begin to come to the surface.
A skin cap will form on the top of the must. Winemakers must carefully blend the skin into the juice daily during fermentation. This helps keep things nice and moist.
Finally, most red wines are made in mature oak barrels. The barrels help impart delicious aromas, textures, and flavors into the wine.
Learn the 5 S’s of Red Wine Tasting
Do you know the five s's of red wine tasting? The five s's are see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor. Understanding how these all work together will help you enjoy every glass of wine.
First, you'll start with see. See how the wine looks.
Does the wine have a nice brilliant clear color? Or is it cloudy and muddled?
Put the wine against the white background to get a better judgment. Colors will let you know the grape variety and whether or not the wine was aged and wood. The intensity of the color will give you an idea of what the wine will taste like.
Next, swirl! You swirl the wine to give it some air. Swirl the wine a couple of times. Sweet wines will leave a thick streak down the inside of the glass after swirling.
Sniff and/or smell is one of the most important s's of wine tasting. The smell-taste connection is strong with reds. Smell lets you know the quality of the wine, as well as the potential ingredients.
What does the smell remind you of? Do you detect hints of fruits and vegetables? Or is it a more woodsy blend?
Now, you'll need to take a sip to determine what the wine tastes like. Sip is another one of the important s's of wine tasting because it'll let you understand the characteristics of the wine.
Sip the wine and let it stay in your mouth for 5 seconds. Note your first impression and then note your second impression. Pay careful attention to the wine's saltiness, acidity, and sweetness.
Finally, the last s of red wine tasting is savor. Does it taste linger in your mouth after taking a sip? The longer the wine stays with you, the better it is.
Healthiest Ways to Drink Red Wine
There's a right way and a wrong way to drink red wine. For starters, it's a good idea to know the wine's calories before taking a sip. Oftentimes, red wine will carry anywhere from 90 to 200 calories per glass.
You also should avoid drinking before you eat. Red wines are best enjoyed with a meal and or after a meal.
When choosing a red wine, if health benefits are at the top of your list, you'll want to find a dry red wine. And avoid drinking it too late at night. The earlier you can drink the wine in the evening, the more time you'll give your body to process it.
Don't be afraid to spend more than you're used to. Buying cheap wines is a recipe for disaster.
How much red wine is too much? Limit yourself to one to two glasses at a time.
It's also a good idea to earn your glass of wine before you start drinking. Go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood, and let your body naturally decompress.
What Does Red Wine Taste Like?
What does red wine taste like? Typically red wine has a nice sweet flavor. It is usually dark, and certain blends are more bitter and dry than others.
Your tastebuds are incredible sensory tools, and reds give them a chance to shine. If the wine has a delightful balance of bitter and sweet elements, you'll know you're working with a good blend.
However, some red wine varieties are purposefully salty or spicy. That being said, salty wines are rare.
Another way to describe red wine would be to compare it to white wines. White wines are going to be universally sweeter than red wines.
However, there's an entire spectrum of sweetness to consider. What may seem sweet to you might not seem sweet to somebody else. The best way to find the perfect bottle is through taste testing.
Use the five s's of red wine testing we listed above and explore different blends. Building your red wine collection is all about finding what works for your palette, not what works for everybody else.
What Are the Most Popular Types of Red Wines?
When a wine has a following, chances are it's doing something right! One of our most popular red wines is the Argentinian red. There are many different manufacturers, so you won't have any limitations when finding the perfect bottle.
Take, for instance, the Catena High Mountain Vines Mendoza Malbec 2019. This red wine is the perfect blend of Malbec grapes giving the drink a delightful berry aroma.
When you sip this red, you'll denote wine notes of blueberry, black cherry, and raspberry. Malbecs tend to have a silky, balanced freshness, and sometimes they even have spicy vanilla notes.
Australian red wines are also very popular right now. One of the most popular Australian wines is the Cupcake line. Take, for instance, the Cupcake Limestone Coast Shiraz 2018. This drink is so popular that manufacturers almost always sell it out!
The Cupcake Shiraz uses a fruity wine sourced from the best vineyards. You'll detect aromas of plum, black pepper, blackberry, and red fruit. When you add the mocha and spice, this wine makes your taste buds come to life. We suggest pairing Cupcake wines with a delicious chicken dinner while watching the sunset.
Finally, another one of the most popular types of red wines is Spanish red. If you want to try something exciting, try a Bodega de San Antonio blend.
This red wine uses a fresh semi-sweet grape and is infused with orange, lime, and lemon. Best served over the rocks, you can garnish your Bodega de San Antonio with an orange wheel.
When to Open and How to Pour Red Wine
Once you select a bottle of red wine, it's time to open it up and pour the glass. You'll want to open your wine 2 hours before drinking it.
Often wines will have a screw cap or a cork. Typically, a wine with a cork is of higher quality than a wine with a twist-off cap.
You have to twist it off if it's a cap. If it's a corked wine bottle, you'll need to use a corkscrew tool to open it up.
Serve the wine once it's at room temperature or when it's slightly colder. Most red wines need to be served at 60° F.
You'll be stunting most of its flavors if you serve red wine chilled. If you serve the red wine too warm, the alcohol might overwhelm the taste of the wine. You have to find the perfect middle ground.
Finally, when you're done with the bottle, save it! There are a lot of fun art projects for repurposed wine bottles.
Expert Tips for Chilling Red Wine
You want to chill your red wine, but you don't want to ruin the flavor; what's the secret? The idea here is to get the wine cold but not ice cold.
If you're putting the wine in the refrigerator, don't leave it there for more than 3 hours. Check the bottle every hour to see how cold it's getting. You can probably take the bottle out of the refrigerator once after an hour or two.
If you're pressed for time, you can chill at home by popping the bottle of wine into the freezer. Ensure you don't leave the wine in the freezer for 15 minutes. You can make things even chillier by wrapping a soaking wet paper towel around the wine bottle before sticking it in the freezer.
If you're going to a restaurant, we suggest requesting an ice bucket for chilled reds. Even if the waiter gives you a little attitude, hold your ground.
If the wine starts to warm, you'll have an easy way to refill it in the ice bucket! There's no perfect art for cooling down the red wine, but you'll find what works for you through experimentation.
Why Glassware Matters
Does it matter what glass you pour your wine into? It absolutely does.
For starters, wine glasses make the experience more visually enjoyable. An elegant Bordeaux can help your reds taste and look better.
Wine glasses are also designed to help you enjoy the aroma and flavor of the grapes. The diameter of the non-stem part of the glass is the bowl. The bowl will have a wider opening.
The wider the bowl opening, the more intense the aroma and flavor of the wine will be. One of the most popular wine glass choices is, of course, the full-bodied Bordeaux.
The Bordeaux is a full-bodied wine glass. There are also medium-bodied Bordeaux glasses if you don't want a full-bodied one. Medium-body glasses help soften some of the wine flavors.
Finally, burgundy glass is a great choice if you use a delicate red. The burgundy glass is a nice short lip that helps the wine run over the tip of your mouth. You'll be able to fully experience every sweet note, and these glasses also work well with champagne.
Experience Red Wine at Its Finest
Now that you know the best tips for enjoying red wine, it's time to serve yourself a glass! Remember to take the wine out of the fridge at least 2 hours before drinking it. Use your favorite wine glass, and enjoy every sip.
We're sure you'll enjoy exploring new red wines and adding them to your collection. Just make sure you're buying quality!
Liquorama has all of the blends you could want, including the best Spanish and Australian reds. So take a look around! We're sure you'll find what you need.