Posted by Sponsored Post Posted on 4 February 2020

Red Wine: Choosing the Right Bottle for Beginners

How to choose the right bottle of red wine? You probably asked yourself this a couple of times. There may be instances that a sales associate or a restaurant assistant will help you choose a bottle or glass according to your preference. But what happens when you have to decide for yourself without the help of others?

Labels on bottles about where the wine is made or about its contents can only make you more confused as to what bottle of red wine to get. Good thing, there is some necessary information you can learn by reading this article. 

Read below to know more about choosing the right bottle of red wine for you.

Tannins and boldness

“Tannins” is a popular term in the red wine world. Red wines are measured with tannins to know the alcohol level and boldness of them. Tannins are based on the grapes used to make a bottle of red wine. 

It is also the measurement of how intense or sharp the pucker is to the drinker’s mouth. This results from the fermentation process where the grape skin is left in the tank with the juice. 

  • Light-bodied. This wine has low tannins and alcohol  levels. They are light to the taste and almost does not leave a pucker to the mouth. This wine is best if you are still starting to familiarize yourself with red wines. 
  • Medium-bodied. This wine is right in the middle – not too light and not too bold. This wine is best if you do not like light red wine varieties but also do not want a sharp pucker in your mouth after drinking. 
  • Full-bodied. This wine has high tannins and has more alcohol content. This wine has a heavy taste that will leave a sharp pucker in the mouth after drinking. It is best if you try drinking this wine after tasting the light-bodied or medium-bodied ones to not shock your senses.

Known kinds of red wine

Here are some varieties of red wines to familiarize with:

  • Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is known to be a crowd-pleaser. This wine is perfect for red wine newbies because it does not leave the mouth dry after drinking. 

Pinot Noir tends to have black cherry and berry notes. It is known to be planted all over the world, but the best ones are made in Burgundy, France. The bottles to try are Stoneleigh, Gallo of Sonoma, and Cloudline.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine is the most popular red wine in the world – an accidental blend of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It is intense and full-bodied, which leaves the mouth dry after drinking. It is perfectly paired with beef tenderloin, ribs, steak, dense cheeses, and sausage. 

Cabs from Tuscany and Bordeaux are always blended with other wines. Those from Napa Valley are dense that have hints of currants and black cherries. Those from Washington taste like a combination of Napa and Bordeaux, which have traces of olive and leaf flavors. 

It has a wide range of prices. You will be guaranteed that you will find the right bottle, depending on your budget. Cheap but good ones are Columbia Crest Grand Estates, Hogue Cellars, and Forest Glen. If you have the budget to splurge, you can choose from a list of Screaming Eagle fine wines.

  • Merlot

This wine is full-bodied and dry in the mouth. The taste mainly depends on the region and climate where the grapes are planted. It is primarily manufactured in Australia but is now famous all over the world. 

Those from warmer climates are fruity in taste, while those from colder climates are more tannic. Cheap Merlots are Cannonball Merlot and Frei Brothers. The expensive ones are Petrus Pomerol and Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT.

  • Shiraz

This wine is full-bodied and dry in the mouth. The taste mainly depends on the region and climate where the grapes are planted. It is mainly produced in Australia but is now popular all over the world. 

This wine pairs well with roasted meats, stews, casseroles, and cheese. The known expensive bottles are Torbreck The Laird, Jim Barry The Armagh Shiraz, and Penfolds Grange Wine & Aevum. Cheap alternatives are Shoofly Shiraz and Yellow Tail. 

Food pairings

The general rule is that when you drink red wine, you should pair it with red meat. However, you can pair it with rich seafood, like salmon, tuna, and mussels. Just base the food pairing with the mood and occasion. On afternoons, serve it with seafood, but on dinners, you can serve it with ribs, steak, and roasted meat. 

How to serve red wine

It would be best to serve the red wine chilled, or 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Chill it using a wine chiller, refrigerator, or a bucket of ice. It is best served during dinner time when meats, dense cheese, mushrooms, and fish are also served. 


Understanding red wine can be complicated at first. But after reading this article, you now know and understand red wine, its characteristics, varieties, and food pairings. You are now equipped with the necessary information to pick out the right bottle of red wine for you.

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