Your Go To Grape Guide: A Primer on Red Wines

Are you one of those people who find themselves strolling through the liquor store completely overwhelmed by what wine to select? We’ve been there and that’s why we are here to help make your wine shopping experience a little bit easier. The world of wine is a big place to be thrown into. It’s like the art world – unless you know what you’re talking about, it’s pretty hard to know what to say. Well, worry no more. Below you’ll discover an easy breakdown of six major red grape types (aka varietals) that will help you sound like you know what you’re talking about.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Tastes and aromas: Cassis, dark fruits, mocha, spice

Why You Should Buy It: Cabernet Sauvignon is the #1 grape varietal in the world. Often aged in oak, this grape is a crowd-pleaser that is well structured and full bodied. Having Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc as parents, Cabernet Sauvignon often displays characteristics of both these varietals, which allows it to truly showcase the best of each. It’s showtime.

Cabernet Franc
Tastes and aromas: Floral, plum, dark fruits, spice & herbaceous  

Why You Should Buy It: This grape is slightly perfumed and a bit lighter in colour than Cabernet Sauvignon. Typically it is not as fleshy as Merlot can be and is known for having less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a very approachable and delicious red; definitely worth your consideration next time you’re in the liquor store.  

Tastes and aromas: Dark fruits such as cherry, blackberry and plum; pepper, earthy notes

Why You Should Buy It: Malbec is a medium bodied wine that is well balanced with nice acidity and tannins. Dark in colour, Malbec has great fruit characteristics that are well balanced by spice and earthy notes. Though its roots trace back to France, Argentina was the country that put Malbec on the map. It’s less complicated than some of the other red grapes but considering that it’s often less expensive than Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, it’s likely to punch above its weight. 

Tastes and aromas: Red cherry, chocolate, vanilla, prune

Why You Should Buy It: Its reputation for being one of the most agreeable wines on the market makes it one of the best go-to wines when you’re headed to a dinner party and you’re not sure what’s on the menu. Medium bodied with juicy, fruit flavours, complemented by a velvety mouth feel, make this a crowd pleaser for sure. So go on and please the crowd – they want you to.

Pinot Noir
Tastes and aromas: Cherry, blackberry, hints of oak, vanilla

Why You Should Buy It: Notoriously the most demanding and difficult grape to grow, a good Pinot Noir is one of the best bottles you’re ever going to buy. It’s the rima donna of the wine world. But you know who’s capable of being a prima donna? The best. If wine can be sexy, this is that wine.

Tastes and Aromas: Blackberry, boysenberry, plum, pepper, blueberry

Why You Should Buy It: When the word luscious can be used, you know you should be interested. Syrah is peppery and full of rich fruit flavours and often quite spicy and complex in its best form. Pay attention to what you’re buying so you can match it to the right occasion or food pairing. Timing is everything.

Stay tuned for more from the Apothic Wines Discovery Hub, where you will always discover something notable.

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life) 

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