WineWriting.com & French Mediterranean Wine
Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

29 June 2011

Guest article by Elliot Majere

"How to find the best red wine for you..."

"There's no one size fits all approach to red wine and one person's idea of the perfect tipple may be absolutely undrinkable to someone else. Red wine is, to most people, something of an acquired taste in itself and it can be difficult to get to grips with all those rich flavours and bold tannins. While many beginners to the world of wine will have little difficulty finding a white wine that suits their taste, reds present much more of a challenge, but once you have discovered the types of wine that work for you, you will be on track to a lifetime of exciting wine discoveries. Most people who dislike red wine do so because of the perceived 'heaviness' of the drink, which is particularly true of very tannic wines, such as the famous French Clarets.
However, while many red wines are indeed a little overwhelming on the palate, there are plenty of more easy drinking red wines on the market that are often a better introduction to the genre. While French wine is considered by many people to be the 'best' wine, this is simply a matter of taste and many red wine drinkers find that the typical French wine is too heady by half and that the wines of the New World are easier to drink.
The New World is certainly the best place to look for light or medium-bodied reds with a fruity flavour that can make them deliciously drinkable. With comparatively low tannin levels and relatively high sugar content, these wines - sometimes described as 'fruit forward' - often appeal to people who think they don't like red wine. Dismissed by snootier sections of the wine world, at their best they can be very good indeed, are generally easy-drinking and make good party wines. Generally made from Pinot Grapes, some good examples of this type of wine are emerging from California.
For something that is a little bolder, without being overwhelmingly tannic, you might want to consider the earthy wines such as Pinot Noir and Syrah. French wine from the Rhone region also produces noteworthy earthy wines. These wines are generally medium bodied or medium-full bodied and have notes that are denser than the fruitier wines. If you are planning a dinner party, an earthy wine is often a good bet, as these tend to pair very well with a wide range of foods.
If you are in the market for something bolshier still, you will enjoy experimenting with bold, full-bodied wines (the two terms essentially mean the same thing and 'big' is another term used to describe this type of wine). The classic grape for making full bodied wine is Cabernet Sauvignon, but French wine is not the only type that falls into this category. Far from it. An Argentinean Malbec can be a seriously bold wine, while Zinfandel grapes also make some seriously big wines.
When it comes to enjoying wine, half the fun is in experimenting with different styles and taste profiles. Once you find something that truly appeals, ask your wine dealer for recommended similar bottles and you will soon be developing a knack for finding wines that will suit you."

Text by Elliot Majere with sponsored links (EveryWine). WineWriting.com does not vouch for the contents of this article.

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