Best Overall: Dal Forno Romano Vigna Ser Veneto Passito Rosso
Courtesy of Vivino.com
Region: Veneto, Italy | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Plum, Tobacco, Chocolate
From vineyards rooted in chalky-clay soils outside the town of Tregnago, about an hour and a half west of Venice, Italy, comes this ultra-rare passito from Dal Forno. In fact, in three decades, the wine has only been produced six times. Made in the tiniest of quantities, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one of the most profound sweet wines youll ever encounter.
Corvina grapes are used to make the bulk of this wine, along with 15% rondinella, 20% croatina, and 10% oseleta that are then aged for 36 months in oak. The result is rich and decadent, with sweet red-berry fruit, red licorice, crushed stones, and brown sugar-coated candied violets. All this is framed by juicy and brisk acidity, giving freshness to this wine that defies gravity.
Red White Ros And Everything In Between
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Wine is one of the most enjoyable beverages on the planet. There are many facets to this mystical drink, and even if it feels intimidating, the key to a great bottle is simply one that tastes good to you. Know that there is no pressure to think about it or describe it, and you dont even have to know where it originates. You just have to love it.
So, rather than noodling through wine stores and settling on a bottle because of its pretty label, let this list of the best wines guide your next decision.
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Which Red Wine Has Least Tannins
One of the most popular red wines due to its low tannin content is the Pinot noir. This fruit-forward wine pairs well with a wide range of foods and can be enjoyed anytime. Drinking and enjoying it is made easy by its low tannin level. Rainstorm is a stunning organic pinot noir from Oregons Willamette Valley.
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Granito Cru Alvarinho Vinho Verde
When Im in the mood for something salty, super fresh, and relatively low-alcohol, I tend to crave alvarinho from Vinho Verde, shares Michael Kennedy, founder of Component Wine Company in Napa Valley. One of my favorites for this wine from Portugal is Luis Saebras Granito Cru Alvarinho. Its a truly iconic wine. Even bettertasty, simpler versions of it can be found for around $10.
Find Your Perfect Glass Of Vino With Our Pick Of The Best Red Wines From Across The World
Looking for the best red wines to enjoy this weekend? From bold Malbec to fresh and fruit-driven Pinot Noir, theres a delicious bottle of red wine to suit every occasion, and it neednt cost the earth, either.
Theres no need to wait for autumn to enjoy opening a bottle or two of red. Its the perfect tipple to accompany a charcuterie board, to wash down a BBQ burger or to cosy up with your other half.
However, picking a new wine to try can be an expensive headache if youre not sure what to look for. Should you choose something big and powerful or light and bright? Are you strictly a traditionalist, or are you open to mixing things up with the New World and natural wines?
Weve rounded up our favourite fail-safe reds in every category, which are ideal for enjoying all year round. So make sure you check out our buying guide and recommendations below, before splashing the cash on something sub-par.
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Faustino I Gran Reserva 2006
Faustino I Gran Reserva 2006 is produced in the Bodegas Faustino wineries and is rated as one of Spain’s top wines. It is created with a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mazuelo from farms located in Oyón and Laguardia.
These elegant red wines present a beautiful step across your palate, with excellent balance to make it perfect for drinking alone or paired with food.
It is clean and bright with a medium-deep red color. The nose is intense and leads to an elegant blend of ripe fruits like blackberries, with spicy notes such as cloves and cedar – all accentuated by light cocoa toasted nuance.
Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir 2018
This Pinot Noir demonstrates the beauty of the coastal Sonoma macroclimate. Chewy cherry fruit wafts up into your noggin on a cloud of bracing acidity. This results in a nice, lean character that is so well balanced, it doesnt interfere with the depth of the fruit. Its a master class in restraint, with just the right amount of oak. If I were in Sonoma right now, I would be eating cracklins and roasted chicken in the sun washing it all down with this bottle, slightly chilled.
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Asda Extra Special Cru Du Beaujolais Fleurie 2020
£8 for 75cl, vegetarian
According to Asda, this French red has ‘expressive aromas of dark cherry and floral notes’. That certainly sounds appealing, but did our expert tasting panel agree?
Log in or join Which? to find out how this affordable bottle measured up in our tests.
Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Asda.
Best Overall: 2019 Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir
Courtesy of Wine.com
Region: Oregon | ABV: 13.5%| Tasting Notes: Cherry, Raspberry, Dark Chocolate, Caramel
With bright, flavorful fruit and a soft, inviting texture, this Oregon pinot noir is the ultimate beginners wine. Not too light or too heavy, nor too sweet or too dry, its fruit-forward with some pleasant savory accents that add subtle complexity. A winemaking technique called whole-cluster fermentation, in which grapes are fermented whole rather than crushed makes the red and purple berry fruit juicy, lively, and fun.
When youre new to wine, its best to start with something thats very well-balanced, like this easygoing pinot, so you can get a clear sense of what you like. Everything is moderate here, from the body to the acidity to the tannic structure. So if youre craving something bolder, you might want to try a more tannic cab or zin if youd rather go lighter, you can turn to whites and rosés. But for many people, this delicious, approachable wine will be just right.
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Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre Vernonese Igt 2016
If you are looking for a nice wine collection from Italy, then this one will just do the trick. With a lively ripe flavor and slightly tart edge, it has a nice quiet texture to it. In addition, it also has moderate acidity. You will get a smell of crushed cherries. So, you can savor this fine blend of wine at any time you like. For example, it will go best with your regular meals.
Choose A Recent Vintage
While it probably wont taste nearly as good, a medium-quality grocery store wine may be better for your heart than the aged bottles found in most wine cellars. Why? The newer the wine, the higher its antioxidant content. Save the good stuff for special occasions and pick a recently bottled wine to reap more cardiovascular benefits.
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Sella & Mosca Terre Rare Carignano Del Sulcis Riserva 2014
This wine is made on an island just north of Sicily called Sardegna. In Sardegna, they call Carignan Carignano. And here, it is softer than most other examples around the globe. It has soft, supple fruit for lovers of wines like Merlot, with a slight tannic frame for the lovers of bigger wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. Its very versatile and will pair well with artisanal cheeses, seafood pasta dishes like lobster ravioli or, hell, the entire lobster drenched in butter.
Chamisal Vineyards 2019 San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
This is a brand-new vintage from Californias Chamisal Vineyards, located in the Edna Valley near San Luis Obispo. Its 100% pinot noir grown during a season that had a particularly rainy winter. The wine was aged half in French oak and half in stainless steel, and has a deep ruby red color with notes of cinnamon and summer berries on the palate with a light, fresh finish.
To buy: $22, chamisalvineyards.com
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Best Splurge: Quinta Do Vesuvio Vintage Port Capela 2017
Courtesy of Wine.com
Region: Douro, Portugal | ABV: 20% | Tasting Notes: Black tea, Quince, Licorice, Mahogany
Port, the sweet fortified wine thats long been the standard-bearer of the Portuguese wine industry, comes in many stylesincluding some meant to be consumed young and others intended for prolonged aging. Hailing from a winery that dates back to the mid-1500s, the 2017 Capela from Quinta de Vesuvio is a vintage port that fits squarely into the latter category: many industry experts recommend holding off on cracking open this bottle until 2030, and others predict that it will continue to improve for an additional two or three decades after that.
Clearly, this isnt a maybe-well-drink-it-this-Tuesday bottle, but those with a generations worth of patience will be rewarded with gorgeous aromas of black tea, lavender, blueberry, and quince. The palate is jam-packed with attractive notes of berry, licorice, and mahogany that will only become more elegant with additional years of aging. Make a memo to yourself to pair this well-structured stunner with rich meats and cheeses when you open it in ten years or more.
Best Spanish Red: Vega Sicilia Unico 2009
If you are looking for some best red wine in Spain, then you will love this one. Grown in the region of Ribera del Duero, Spain, this red wine has a flavor of spiced plums. The beautiful flavors of the ripe grape fill in your mouth. In addition, the fresh plum flavor and coupled with blueberry gives it a muy elegante vibe. So, if you enjoy wine on a special occasion, then this one is just the right for you.
Also read: Switch To The Heart Healthy Drink- Red Wine
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Lingua Franca Avni Pinot Noir 2016
AVNI Pinot Noir is a sleek and elegant dry wine that captures the essence of Oregon’s gorgeous Eola-Amity Hills region. The volcanic soils create an environment where they can grow some of the best grapes in America.
This complex red wine has raspberry and cranberry notes with plums and citrus, giving it depth.
AVNI Pinot Noir is grown in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, which implements one of America’s most protective land-use policies. Two-thirds are farmed sustainably, and over half organically!
This best dry red wine is flavorful, intense, and complex with floral notes, red cherry, and mineral flavors reminiscent of black plum fruit tones that linger on your mouth.
Best Australian Red: Penfolds 2017 Bin 389 South Australia Cabernet Shiraz
Region: South Australia, Australia | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Black cherries, Cassis, New leather, Fruit cake
Penfolds, unquestionably the greatest winemaking estate in Australia, is best known for its iconic wine, Penfolds Grange. Chief winemaker Peter Gago made it his mission to produce well-structured wines with deep flavors and, as he puts it, a propensity to age.
While Grange is primarily shiraz, with a splash of cabernet sauvignon sourced from specific sites in South Australia, Penfolds’ Bin 389 combines 54% cabernet sauvignon with 46% shiraz and is often referred to as Baby Grange. Plus, this wine comes at a more approachable price tag than the Grange.
Region: Mendoza, Argentina | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Cherry compote, Salty dark chocolate, Cedar spice
Achaval-Ferrer’s Quimera blend is a wine of remarkable precision: Co-founder Santiago Achaval, one of the most respected winemakers in Argentina, and winemaker Roberto Cipresso comb the vineyards, tasting grapes and hand-selecting vines specifically for this blend. In 2014, they conceived a dynamic and complex blend of 50% malbec, 24% cabernet franc, 18% merlot and 8% cabernet sauvignon.
Region: Ribera del Duero, Spain | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Spiced plums, Forest underbrush, Cigar box
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Choosing A Sustainable Wine
Unfortunately, its not easy finding out the eco credentials for every wine in the supermarket, but weve rounded up a few tips to help you buy more sustainability:
- Organic wines can be better for the environment because they use less pesticides, but this isnt a stamp of approval, nor is it the only factor to consider. For example, the amount of water and the packaging used when creating wine will also have an effect.
- Look out for a sustainably certified logo these wines must meet certain standards for their energy and water consumption, and in some cases soil health and packaging too. Unfortunately, these logos arent hugely common in supermarket aisles, but its worth keeping an eye out as its becoming more mainstream.
Be aware though, that smaller producers may not have applied for a sustainability certification due to restrictions in time and resources, but this doesnt mean that their wine isnt a sustainable option. Youll need to do your own research into these smaller producers.
To find out more on understanding wine labels, check out our guide on how to read a wine label.
Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre Veronese Igt 2016
This is a quintessential northern Italian red wine, with lively, ripe fruit and a slightly tart edge. Soft yet angular tannins give this wine a quiet structure, while moderate acidity pronounces the smells of just-crushed cherries and savory aged balsamic. Its the kind of wine that really ties the meal together any meal, really, though hearty pasta would be buonissimo.
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How Long To Chill Red Wine For
Good summer reds should be served at 10°C-16°C said Richards.
Thats significantly cooler than many a summers day, so dont be afraid to pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving if the weathers warm.
Evans also recommends putting a wine in the fridge for half-an-hour, which will particularly tone down the sensation of soupy warmth in a relatively high alcohol red.
Dont go too far, said Matt Walls, lead reviewer for the Rhône, in the July 2017 issue of magazine.
Cool down too much and aromas and flavours become muted, tannins take on an astringent quality and the wine can feel unpleasantly tight, he said.
Chteau Lafite Rothschild ‘carruades De Lafite’ 2012
Château Lafite Rothschild wine estate is a vineyard that produces some of the most in-demand red wines.
The 2012 vintage includes four grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, with an elegant Bordeaux style dry taste that leaves you wanting more.
The 2012 Carruades de Lafite has a dark purple hue and has aromas of cedarwood and blackcurrants. The wine is medium-bodied, making it perfect for pairing with grilled meats or fish dishes.
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How Much Should You Spend On A Bottle Of Red Wine
Its not just the grapes, graft and skill that go into the perfect bottle of red though they are, of course, paramount. As Drew explains, the price also reflects the cost of the oak barrels, bottle, cork, label, shipping and taxes. As a result, it pays to spend a little more on a bottle to ensure premium quality. For wines that youre looking to drink right now, £15 to £25 will get you well-made wine from a world-class region such as Rioja or the Barossa Valley.
For wines that you plan to age or invest in, then you should expect to spend a little more. Around £45 is sufficient for lesser-known Bordeaux gems or village Burgundy wines, says Drew.
M& s Found Xinomavro Mandilaria 2020
£9.50 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian
Is this ‘light-bodied’ M& S Greek red the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon in the garden? Our panel of tasters tell all.
You can log in now or join Which? to see how this wine did in our summer line-up.
Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available in-store only at M& S or at Ocado.
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Dogwood & Thistle Testa Vineyard Carignan 2018
Native to Spain, heavily planted in South France, brought to California before the Gold Rush, and almost erased post-Prohibition, Carigan is a survivor. When brave winemakers take on this late-ripening, high-yielding variety and successfully harness its characteristics, youll want to see it around more. I know I do after sipping this bottle. It has a deep, concentrated fruit core with a structured, tannic grip. This wine fills the palate, but is balanced with excellent acidity. If you are a Syrah fan, this is a must try. Steak, please!
Best Chilean: Escudo Rojo Gran Reserva 2018
Courtesy of Wine.com
- Region: Chile, Central Valley, Maipo Valley
- ABV: 14%
- Tasting Notes: Black currant, blackberry, oak, chocolate
Chiles Maipo Valley is the countrys most popular and internationally recognized wine-producing region and due to the natural terroir there, cabernet sauvignon remains its most widely-grown variety. Enter the 2018 Escudo Rojo from the famed Bordeaux Baron Phillippe de Rothschild family banner, and you get to see how the French do Chile, delivering incredible phenolics, mature tannins, and complexity on par with other top cabernet regions like Bordeaux and Napa but at fraction of the price.
This wine has a very nice dry,spicy palate and good woodsy tannins. It goes perfectly with a ribeye steak.
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