Red Wine Types

Discover The Four Most Popular Types

What red wine types are the most popular? Find out more about Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other popular types of reds.

There are thousands of different red varieties, but there are four that are the most popular. They are the most grown and most purchased from around the world.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Let's start with the king of the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the most popular type in the world.

red wine types cabernet sauvignonThis one made its mark in popularity in the 18th century when it became one of the favorites in the Bordeaux region in France. This was created when Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc crossed paths in a vineyard in France.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a medium to full-bodied type. Young Cabernet wines can be highly tannic, so you'll want to age your Cabernet wines to soften the tannins and get the most enjoyment out of them. Decanting it when it is young will also open it up and tame down the tannins for you before you drink it.

You can still find great Cabs from the Bordeaux region in France. In addition, you can find great ones from Alexander Valley Wineries and Wineries in Napa Valley in the northern California.

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Merlot

Merlot is just slightly second red wine type in popularity behind Cabernet Sauvignon. Throughout the last few years, these two reds have stolen the spotlight for red wine discussions.

red wine types merlotMerlot is one of the most planted types since it is really easy to grow. It's less fickle than many other reds, which makes it a great choice for winemakers.

This one was not always this popular. Its popularity surged in the 1990s in California. At the time, producers had a really hard time planting enough Merlot grapes to keep up with demand.

This created some quality issues for it in California. As the winemakers were trying to spread out their crops to meet demand, the quality suffered for a number of years. However, now that the plantings have caught up with demand, you will find amazing Merlot wines in many of the northern California wineries.

Merlot is a medium to full-bodied wine. You'll find fruity hints such as cherries, blackberries and plums. You'll also taste hints of vanilla, oak, coconut and some lighter spices.

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Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is another one of the popular red wine types. This wine is more challenging to grow than Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. It is impacted more by its climate and some other factors.

red wine types pinot noirWineries take a little risk when they grow this one, since they are not able to bottle it every year. On average, it is not high enough quality to turn into wine about two or three years in every decade.

Pinot Noir wines are light to medium bodied wines. It has a little more of a fruity flavor with hints of cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors. You'll also find hints of cinnamon, rosemary and some earthy flavors such as green tea and oregano.

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Syrah

Syrah is another one of the popular red wine types. It is grown in a number of regions throughout the world. Shiraz is another name for wines that are grown from the Syrah grape. It gained its popularity in the Rhone region in France.

red wine types syrahThis is one of the red wine types that grows well in warmer climates. You will find great Syrah in Northern California. It is also still popular in France. Recently, both Switzerland and Italy have had increase interest in this one, so you'll find some great Syrah wines from those regions. You can find great Shiraz from Australia and South Africa.

Syrah is medium to full-bodied that is fairly dark and dense. You will taste hints of pepper, spice and some fruit flavors. I recommend that you age them before drinking. This will allow you to get the most enjoyment out of these wines.

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If you like reading stories about wine, you will love The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine. This true story follows a bottle of a 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux -- supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson.

It recently sold at an auction for over $150,000. The book follows the bottle of wine and the interesting people involved with it. The goal is to try to determine what is real and what is fake in the high dollar game of buying and selling old wines. It's a must read for wine lovers!

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