There are several things that can be used to differentiate types of red wine. Red Wine can be differentiated based on «varietal» (using only 1 type of grape) or «blend» (using a mixture of 2 or more grapes). Types of Red Wine Can Also Be Differentiated Based on «Body» (Texture) or Sweetness Level, Where «Dry» Means Not Sweet and «Sweet» Means Sweet.
There are still several other criteria for differentiating types of red wine, but this time we will only discuss some of the most commonly used criteria. As a note, the same criteria can also be used to differentiate types of white wine.
Texture is often used as a factor in choosing wine. What is meant by «texture» here is the level of «viscosity» felt by the tongue. Red Wine that feels «Thick» on the tongue is called «Full Bodied» while one that feels «thin» on the tongue is called «Light Bodied».
The characteristics of this type of red wine are its bright color and relatively low alcohol content (usually around 12.5% or less)
Usually contains low tannin (not too astringent) and high acidity so it has a food friendly character. Generally contains cherry, raspberry, mushroom, clove and hibiscus flavors.
Gamay Has Very Similar Flavors And Characteristics To Pinot Noir, But Usually Has A Much Cheaper Price Than Pinot Noir! The price and taste make this red wine suitable for beginners.
Wine lovers and wine experts may be able to differentiate between the existing wine variants. However, beginners may not be able to do it. For those who are not familiar with wine, perhaps all wine tastes similar.
This is because beginners don’t know what flavors and aromas to look for and pay attention to in wine. Two types of grapes that are often confused are Shiraz and Merlot. Both are red wines. Their similar colors make people think that Shiraz and Merlot are full-bodied grapes.
Many also note the almost identical tannin levels between these two wines. However, there are several differences that make Shiraz different from Merlot.
Often, wines are named based on the type of grape used in a bottle or the region where they were harvested. The first difference between Shiraz and Merlot is the grape variety itself.
Merlot grapes originate from Gironde, in western France. However, now this grape can be grown anywhere. Many bottles of Merlot are also a combination of different grape types, such as Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Franc Sauvignon.
The popularity of the Shiraz grape began in the Rhone Valley in France, but now this grape is more popular in Australia. Many other countries also grow Shiraz grapes, such as Argentina, Italy, America, Spain and Portugal.
Shiraz grapes are ideally grown in areas with cool climates. This wine contains flavors of cherry, currant, raspberry and violet, as well as a hint of mint. As a result, wine from this grape tends to be more full-bodied. The flavors will be very prominent on the tongue.
Merlot wine also contains raspberry flavors, along with other berries such as blueberries and strawberries. These fruity flavors produce a fresh and sweet wine. Compared to Shiraz, Merlot is medium-bodied, and not as intense as the Shiraz on the page here.
Merlot and Shiraz contain almost the same alcohol content. The Alcohol By Volume (ABV) value of Shiraz is between 13% and 15%. Merlot contains an ABV of 13% to 14.5%.
Knowing the flavors of wines as well as their ABV will help you match these wines with the right dishes. Shiraz’s slightly spiced taste, as well as its high tannin content, can be paired with red meat such as beef or lamb. If you want to enjoy Shiraz with cheese, choose smoked cheese.
On the other hand, Merlot is better served with lighter proteins such as mushroom or seafood dishes. To enjoy with cheese, look for a similarly mild cheese like Merlot. Don’t let the cheese you choose be more intense than the wine.