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Whilst you probably don’t need help recognising a red wine from a white, there's a whole world of wisdom behind why and how these wine types differ. The culprit in both cases? Skins and tannins. Crafted from red grapes (technically, black ones) red wine is the George Clooney of the drinks world. Or maybe Ferrari: classic and cool, like the category's heavy hitters: think Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir – striking and distinctly unique varietals that each hold their own and leave a lasting impression.
*disclaimer: obviously all wine tastes good, we'll let you pick your poison.
Drinking wine should be fun, not intimidating. Use this guide to charm your mates, flirt with the bartender, or never doubt yourself in a bottle shop again.
Red wine is made from red grapes, and is produced by fermenting the juice of these dark-coloured beauties along with their skins, seeds, and stems.
The contact with grape skins during fermentation is what gives red wine its colour and tannins, which can vary from light ruby to dark crimson and even deep purple, depending on the variety and winemaking techniques.
Popular red grape varieties include Syrah (Shiraz), Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, Grenache, and Tempranillo (and heaps more) each with their distinct flavours and characteristics.
Red wine is incredibly flavoursome, favouring bold red and black fruits like cherries, blackberries, and plums. It's not uncommon to also taste hints of dark chocolate alongside aromas of vanilla, tobacco, white pepper, and earthy spices.
Red wine contains tannins, which come from the grape skins and provide structure, complexity, and a slight bitterness (often resulting in the sudden puckering of the lips one might make upon first sip). Remember this word and what it means, because wine people like talk about tannins a lot.
It's no lie that red wine likes to take its time, with many varietals benefitting from aging. Aging allows the flavours and aromas to evolve and become more refined, with the influence of oak barrels adding nuances of vanilla, toast, and spices to the wine, enhancing complexity.
Red wine is typically served at room temperature or a touch cooler, depending on the varietal and personal preference. Lighter red wines like Pinot Noir or Gamay can actually be served slightly chilled, while full-bodied reds benefit from being at room temperature.
Honestly, whatever gets you going. Wine is a *serious libation* designed for pure drinking pleasure. We like to serve ours with smoked meats, BBQ veg, spicy pizza, pasta, dippy bread and fancy cheese.
We make the wines we love to drink and share. From the Yarra Valley to elsewhere on the mainland, these red wine varietals are our home-grown heroes, our bread and butter. We don't play favourites in our house, but if we did, they would be up there with the best of the best. Resplendent, approachable, and damn delicious.