Thursday, September 22, 2022

What Is The Best Red Wine

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Best Overall: Lavau Rasteau 2017

The Best Red Wines For Beginners (Series): #3 Merlot

Courtesy of Wine.com

Region: France, Rhone, Rasteau | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Raspberry, Blueberry, Plum, Chocolate.

This bottle from Lavau is Frances Rhône Valley in top form: a heady marriage of grenache and syrah, two local favorites. The small town of Rasteau has become a highly sought-out tract of winemaking real estate by Châteauneuf-du-Pape producers aiming to reproduce the popular Rhône blend flavor beloved around the world. Lavau also gets a leg up from legendary wine consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt, whos had a hand advising vineyards from France to California to the Middle East. This 2017 Rasteau is rich, velvety, and aromaticand to sweeten the deal, its an astounding value wine. Theres a lot to love.

Best Organic: Philip Togni Ca’ Togni Sweet Red

Courtesy of Total Wine

Winemaker Philip Togni is a legend in the field, and this organic dessert wine is produced from his own harvest of rare and fully ripened black hamburg grapes. This bottle is inspired by constantia, the famed South African dessert wine, but Togni gives it his own Napa Valley spin for a truly exquisite tasting experience.

Floral aromas flood the nose with prune, fig, and black cherry following suit. Chocolate and spiced tea notes on the palate are supported by a kiss of acidity. The finish lingers like a chatty houseguest, but in a good way.

Best Splurge: Bodkin The Crown Jewels Red Dessert Wine

Courtesy of Wine.com

Sonoma County outfit Bodkin Wines is perhaps best known as the winery that delivered Americas first home-grown sparkling sauvignon blanc, which was pioneered by winemaker Christopher Christensen. In the years between making history and getting recognition for it, Bodkin made this Crown Jewels dessert wine thats so delicious they had to contain it in a half-sized bottle.

A mixture of black grape varieties with zinfandel, this half-bottle packs a full-bottle punch with notes of blackberry, saddle leather, dried fruit, plum and orange peel. Burly tannins lead to a brief berry-bright finish.

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Aslina Umsasane Red Blend 2019

Pioneering winemaker Ntsiki Biyela is the force behind Western Cape gem Aslina, which has become a favorite among global fans of South African wines. The country’s first Black female winemaker, Biyela has received countless awards for her work over the years, with her signature Bordeaux-style blend Umsasane taking home the bulk of Aslina’s recognitions . The 2019 release is full and round in body with a warming bouquet and palate of ripe dark fruits, cocoa, baking spices, aged vanilla, and subtle tobacco.

To buy: $30, astorwines.com

What Is The Proper Temperature To Serve Red Wine

Our pick of the best red wines

Red Wine Should Be Served Cool 60 to 70 degrees

The most common misconception with red wine is that it is ideal to serve it at room temperature, when in fact serving it cool is the best way to enjoy it. To cool red down to its proper temperature, we like to place it in the fridge an hour before serving it.

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Roger Goulart Gran Reserva Brut 2015

Located in the little village of Sant Esteve Sesrovires in the Alt Penedès region of Cava in Spain, this is a long ageing Cava of strong character from its ageing on lees. Yellow in colour with golden reflections, and bright with fine bubbles, in the nose it is creamy, highlighting the fruity notes with a background of toasted nuts. Fresh on the palate, silky and structured, this is can be enjoyed as an aperitif wine or with vegetarian roasts.

Price: £20.40Where to buy: Luvians

Santa Julia Reserva Mountain Blend 2018

The red blend trend has taken hold. Its a new-ish category here in the States, used to describe mostly New World winemakers expressing themselves through untraditional grape combinations. Malbec and Cab Franc is definitely not a traditional blend, but its working here. You get a deep, dark concentration of fruit from the Malbec, lifted by good acidity from the Cab Franc. Youll also get a waft of vanilla and some mocha. This is a great bottle to drink alongside a big pile of meat off the grill and a bunch of friends.

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Dipping Your Toes In The World Of Vino These Bottles Are Where To Start

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Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Learning to love wine doesnt have to be intimidatingin fact, it shouldnt be! Wine is fun, especially when you learn how to choose the right bottles. But which bottles are the right bottles, you ask? Its simple. The right wines for you are the wines that taste good to you. The ones youd be happy to drink again. It doesnt matter what the critics say, or what your best friend says, or what your server in a restaurant says everyones palate is unique and there are no universal rules.

That said, there are some guidelines that can be helpful to follow when youre just getting started. Many beginners tend to prefer wines with straightforward fruit flavors, low tannin , and moderate acidity, as these tend to be the easiest wines to drink. As you explore, youll learn more about what you like and dislike, which will help you select the best wines for your personal preferences. In the beginning, you might want to stick to inexpensive wines in case you buy something thats not quite right for you. As you get to know your palate, youll be more confident in picking out special-occasion splurges.

To kick start your journey through the wine world, here are the best wines for beginners to drink right now.

Louis Jadot Beaujolais 2019

The Best Red Wines For Beginners (Series): #1 Pinot Noir

Beaujolais Nouveau gets a lot of play on our market. But the region of Beaujolais is not just young bubblegum fruit. This bottle is a good example of how the Gamay grape can go beyond punchy. It is a mouthful of juicy cherries and sandalwood, with crazy acidity and a slight earthy vibe. Its the bottle you buy by the case for Thanksgiving.

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Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

If you were to ask, What is it about Russian River Pinot Noir that sets it apart from the rest of the Pinot on the planet? I would shove this wine in your face, then take it away and drink it myself. Just kidding, Id share think. Cherries, cinnamon, and earthy mushrooms rush up and into your senses, leaving you all swoon-y before you sip. On the palate, the wine is dense, crushed velvet, with supple, chewy fruit that soaks into your palate. It would jive with some legit cheeses, but you might find me just sipping it at cellar temp with just a glass and a sunset.

Familia Zuccardi Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2018

How about those walls of Argentine Malbec in wine shops? Pretty crazy, huh? It can be a bit much as you just say screw it and grab the coolest label. Well, if you see this wine on the shelf, grab three or four and dont look back. Its one of the best-quality Malbecs in this price range in our market. Its dark and intense, with moderate acidity lifting just enough on the palate to match a big ol messy burger.

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The Health Benefits Of Red Wine

Terminology aside, why exactly is red wine good for you? What does it do inside the body, and how are its effects good for you in the short and long-term? Research has a lot to reveal when it comes to answering the health benefits of red wine:

  • Improves cardiovascular health: Perched at the top of red wines health list are its association with the heart and overall cardiovascular benefits. Those struggling with high blood pressure and high bad cholesterol in particular benefit from the polyphenols, resveratrol and quercetin compounds in most red wines. These compounds combine to create a team of plaque-buildup fighting agents, reduce bad cholesterol from compounding and encourages good cholesterol reserve. The wine flavonoid quercetin, in particular, can lower blood pressure by helping to relax arteries and prevent cell stress.

Best Value French: Chne Bleu Ablard 2011

The Best Red Wines For Winter  My Wine Tribe

Region: Rhône Valley | ABV: 14.5% | Tasting Notes: Black cherry, Red licorice, Earth, Warm cinnamon

From an ancient property at the cornerstone of four appellations in Frances Southern Rhône, near the town of Gigondas and situated in Mont Ventoux, comes this absolute marvel of a wine. Owners Nicole and Xavier Rolet are incapable of making a bad wine, and incredibly, they’ve taken the extraordinary step of aging their wine for a generous amount of time prior to release. The vintage they currently have on the market is the 2012, but its terribly hard to find. Luckily, the 2011 is up for grabs: A decade-aged Rhône red consisting mostly of grenache, it is a testament to the efforts of these renegade vintners.

Wild red berry fruit, blackberry jam, French vanilla bean and garrigue layered with cigar box spices. Silky soft, elongated tannins support a panoply of flavors, from warm cinnamon and brown sugar spices to curry powder-dusted red berry fruit, with generous dollops of black cherry and red licorice. It finishes with grippy acidity and vivid earthy notes.

Region: Douro, Portugal | ABV: 13.8% | Tasting Notes: Cranberry, Raspberry, Blood Orange, Cedar

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E Guigal Ctes Du Rhne Rouge 2015

A prized vintage for Guigal’s Côtes-du-Rhône, this full-bodied and deeply textured red wine is bursting with class.

The Guigal name has become synonymous with Rhone excellence as they are still best known for their exclusive single-vineyard estate wines.

They have also created some excellent value wines that show your status at a much friendlier price point! This outstanding red wine from Guigal would be by far its biggest seller to date – proving just how beloved it really is in both France and abroad.

A deep, dark red wine that sparkles in the light. It is full and round on the mouth with a long finish, making it perfect for any occasion.

Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato 2017

There’s always a time and place for big, bold Italian wines Barolo has long been considered one of the country’s top players, and historic producer Pio Cesare, which is family-owned to this day, is known for making some of Piedmont’s very best. The 2017 Ornato is especially interesting in that it was the winery’s first single-vineyard bottling, along with 1985 the inaugural vintage, and has gained a reputation as being Pio Cesare’s most powerful wine, thanks to its intensity and structure. Like the rest of its kind, this Barolo is made from 100 percent nebbiolo, but there’s a richness and concentration to Ornato that gives it a special allure. You’ll want to cellar this one for at least four or five years if you purchase in 2021.

To buy: $150, wine.com

To buy: $257, enotecaproperzio.com

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How To Recycle Wine Bottles

Glass bottles can usually go in your household recycling bin. If your council doesnt accept them, you can take them to a local bottle bank.

The recycling process can vary depending on where you live, so make sure to check with your local area if bottles require rinsing first and whether metal screw caps should be replaced or recycled separately.

Natural corks cant go in your recycling bin. You can recycle natural corks through Recorked UK either by posting them or dropping them off at your nearest collection point.

Synthetic corks, which are made of plastic, cant be recycled. They should be disposed of in your general waste bin.

Sierra Cantabria Seleccin 2018

The Best Red Wines for Beginners (Series): #4 Cabernet Franc

The Rioja region has defined a certain style of Tempranillo: soft, somewhat supple, and structured. Fortunately, that awesome profile lineup can cover all price points. If you like the feel of Pinot Noir but need a good cheap bottle for a weeknight, this is a great grab and go. Its plush, with a nice, calm fruit core and great acidity. Cheese plates and tapas are in order.

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Is Merlot Or Shiraz Better For Cooking

Shiraz is better for cooking with red meat, whilst Merlot can be used with any food. This is because Shiraz has a higher tannin count than Merlot and is darker in color, which is generally more ideal for cooking red meat.

Merlot is softer and more ideal for sauces, other meats such as pork, and cooking with fish.

Best Chillable Red: Domaine Chapel Charbonnires Fleurie

Courtesy of Vivino

Region: Fleurie, Beaujolais, France | ABV: 13% | Tasting Notes: Dried cherries, Potting soil, Pepper

After a chance meeting at the legendary Domaine Lapierre in Beaujolais, Michele Smith and David Chapel fell in love, relocated from New York and established their eponymous estate back in 2015.

Today, the duo is making some of the regions most exciting and easy-drinking wines, including this stunning cuvée from Fleurie. High-toned flavors of raspberries, dried cherries, potting soil, pepper and fresh-cut herbs lead to a thirst-quenching finish.

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Where To Find Healthy Red Wines

You dont need a massive budget or a private sommelier to hunt down the best red wines for you. When it comes to shopping for the healthiest red wines, all it takes is a little research and a lot of curiosity and taste-testing to find what works best for you.

  • Dont be afraid to be adventurous: Step outside of recognized names and brands. Theres a reason for the dozens of red-grape varieties available on the market and the vineyards that tend to them, plus hundreds of years of history to back it all up. You dont have to trade habit for health when it comes to red wines.
  • Choose smaller wine brands and companies: Smaller vineyards often dont have mass production facilities or practices, and some specialize in making sure their wines have all those complex and beneficial polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidants.
  • Ask an expert: Youll have no trouble finding a wine expert at your local spirits store, someone who takes pride and interest in knowing the ins-and-outs of their products. Likewise, use opportunities at restaurants, wineries or even area tourist shops to inquire about the red wines on the menu or display. Its likely theyre there for a reason.

The Pinot Project Pinot Noir 2019

How to choose the best red wine (with video)

This is the American go-to Cali Pinot Noir for all the things. Pizza or burger night, a hefty brunch, a casual lunch, a chill dinner, movie night, date night, watch party, relaxing after work, you name it. Its chewy and soft, with crowd-pleasing acidity. The alcohol is just right, meaning you can pop bottles all night. Hell, buy a case.

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Waitrose No 1 Foundation Cederberg Syrah 2019

£11 for a 75cl bottle, vegetarian

Waitrose describes this wine has having rich red fruit flavours of mulberry and ripe, juicy cherries that are balanced with elegant oak and a touch of freshly ground black pepper. But did this varied collection of flavours impress our experts?

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Want to buy without reading our results? This wine is available at Waitrose.

Prices correct as of November 2021.

Best California: 2017 Paraduxx Proprietary Red

Courtesy of Binny’s

Region: California, Napa Valley | ABV: 14.9% | Tasting Notes: Red plum, Cherry, Sandalwood, Black tea.

Whats a proper Napa Valley red blend that doesnt feature a large percentage of its famous cabernet sauvignon? This doozy from Paraduxx, under the banner of the Duckhorn Vineyards portfolio, is about as Napa as a red blend can get. Its almost half cabernet, but also includes petit verdot, zinfandel, and even a little bit of tempranillo. Overall fruity with creamy tannins.

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Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Chateau Montelena was not only an entry into the Judgement of Paris, its 1973 Chardonnay came in first place for white wine. That finesse the judges fell for in 1976 can also be found in the winerys Cabernet Sauvignon to this day. The elegance lives in the vibrant acidity winding through this wine, casually pronouncing a whiff of plum and blackberry mingling with cracked black pepper. It all comes together on the palate, with an added cassis vibe and well-woven tannins calling from the edge of your palate. This is a special wine.

From Loveable Classic Varietals To Funky Natural Bottles

The Best Red Wines For Beginners (Series): #6 Malbec

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

There are thousands and thousands of red wines in the world. Even though Ive dedicated years to learning about them, I havent made a dent in trying them all. Its difficult to pare them down or rank them. Some bottles are worth thousands of dollars. Im sure theyre excellent, but it seems unlikely that Ill ever get a sip of one, so forgive me for not including them here. This list is focused on wines youll want to drink more than once, ranging from classic lovable reds to slightly funkier natural bottles.

Here are the best red wines.

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