Red Wines

A basic theme is maintained throughout this website. The wine experience is based on many factors, and personal preferences make the experience unique.  The list below includes several common red wines, and some general information about the each. The regions shown are not all inclusive, but include the main places where the wine is produced. Aromas and flavors vary greatly, and depends on the production (ie. whether stored in steel or oak) and many other factors. The characteristics shown are general for that variety but can also vary depending on several factors. Views on aging of wines differ as well, and also depends on the quality of the wine.

Barbera [Bar-bear-ah]

  • Regions – Mostly in Italy. Some in United States, Australia, Argentina.
  • Aromas/Flavors – Barbera grapes produce rich, red wines with strong fruit flavors and aromas, like black cherry, strawberry, and blackberry, among other non-fruit.
  • Characteristics – Low tannins and high acidity.
  • Aging – 2 to 4 years


Cabernet Franc [Cab-er-nay Frahnk]

  • Regions – Mostly in France, Spain, Italy, Hungary. More recently in Australia, Argentina, Chile, United States, New Zealand.
  • Aromas/Flavors – Black Currant, Bell Pepper, Raspberry
  • Characteristics – Medium-high acidity. Is produced as a single –varietal wine, but is also used in red blends, including the Bordeaux Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petiti Verdot).
  • Aging – Within 5 years. Some higher quality wines can be aged 10-15 years.


Cabernet Sauvignon [Cab-er-nay So-vee-yohng]

  • Regions – France, California, Washington State, Chile, Australia
  • Aromas/Flavors – Black Currant, Bell Pepper, Green Olive, Black Cherry
  • Characteristics – High tannins, full-bodied, and medium-level acidity.
  • Aging – 5 to 10 years


Grenache / Garnacha [Gruh-nahsh]

  • Regions – Spain, France, California, Australia
  • Aromas/Flavors – Blackberry, allspice, black currant, raspberry, cinnamon, vanilla
  • Characteristics – Light to heavy-bodied, low tannins, high alcohol.
  • Aging – 4 to 7 years


Malbec [Mahl-bek]

  • Regions – France, Argentina, Australia, Chile, California
  • Aromas/Flavors – Blackberry, Plum, Cherry, Black Pepper
  • Characteristics – Medium to full-bodied, soft or high tannins, high acidity.
  • Aging – 4 to 7 years


Merlot [Mair-lo]

  • Regions – France, California, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Germany, Austria, Spain, New Zealand, Italy, South Africa
  • Aromas/Flavors – Black Cherry, Strawberry, Plum, Watermelon, Chocolate, Straw
  • Characteristics – Medium-bodied, medium tannins, low acidity.
  • Aging – 2 to 5 years


Nebbiolo [Nay-bee-oh-lo]

  • Regions – Italy. Very small amount in the United States.
  • Aromas/Flavors – Roses, Cherry, Plum, Tobacco, Raspberry, Tar, Mint, Licorice, Cocoa, Nutmeg
  • Characteristics –Full-bodied, high tannins, high acidity, high alcohol.
  • Aging – 4 to 15 years


Petite Sirah [Puh-teet See-rah] grape is actually called Durif

  • Regions – California. Some in Australia and Israel.
  • Aromas/Flavors – Blueberry, black pepper, chocolate, plum, dark berries
  • Characteristics – Light to medium-bodied, high tannins, high acidity.
  • Aging – 5 to 10 years


Pinot Noir [Pee-noh Nwahr]

  • Regions – France, California, Oregon, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Greece, Italy, Brazil
  • Aromas/Flavors – Roses, Cherry, Strawberry, Rhubarb, Cigar, Toast, Vanilla, Mushroom, Leather
  • Characteristics – Low tannins, high acidity, low to heavy-bodied depending on quality.
  • Aging – 2 to 8 years


Pinotage  [Pee-noh-tahj]

  • Regions – South Africa
  • Aromas/Flavors – Cherry, Plum, Smoke, Earthy
  • Characteristics – Low to medium-bodied, high tannins
  • Aging – 5 to 8 years. Bolder styles can age twice as long.


Sangiovese  [San-joh-vay-zay]

  • Regions – Italy, California, Washington State
  • Aromas/Flavors – Blueberry, Plum, Strawberry, Vanilla, Violet, Cinnamon, Clove, Thyme
  • Characteristics – Medium-bodied, high tannins, high acidity
  • Aging – 2 to 8 years


Syrah / Shiraz [See-ra / Shi-rahz]

  • Regions – France, Australia, California, Washington State, South Africa
  • Aromas/Flavors – Violets, Black Pepper, Blackberry, Black Currant, Tar, Chocolate, Clove, Licorice, Thyme, Vanilla, Cigar, Earthy
  • Characteristics – Full-bodied, high tannins, high acidity
  • Aging – 4 to 12 years


Tempranillo [Tem-prah-nee-yoh]

  • Regions – Spain
  • Aromas/Flavors – Blackberry, Currant, Plum, Strawberry, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Tobacco, Tar,
  • Characteristics – Full-bodied, medium to high tannins, low acidity
  • Aging – 8 to 15 years


Zinfandel [Zin-fahn-del]

  • Regions – California, Australia, Italy
  • Aromas/Flavors – Raspberry, Blackberry, Cranberry, Licorice, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Vanilla, Smoke, Mushroom, Cigar
  • Characteristics – Full-bodied, high tannins, high alcohol
  • Aging – 2 to 10 years