Rich, complex, and infused with delicious aroma, dry red wines are a gourmet's delight with a rich blend of flavors that are both complex and sophisticated at the same time. Dry wines are ideally ones which have little or no residual sugar in them, post the fermentation process. More complex than the white wines, the grapes needed for this red wine require a longer growing season. The difference between white and red wines is also based on the wine making process. To make red wines, the juice is left in contact with the grape skins to extract the tannins and the color. The colors whether dark red, ruby red, or almost black are related to the grape varietals which also determine the wine color and the tannins. Although there are more than fifty variants of red wine types, here is a look at some of the most popular types of dry red wine.
Dry Red Wine List
These wines vary based on the number of tannins present in the wine which contribute to the structure and the texture of the red wine. So the wine flavors can range from light fruity wines to rich, full-bodied wines and everything in between. The wines are named after the grapes from which they are extracted.
Merlot: Often referred to as the "baby" of the dry wine types, Merlot has a softness which works great for the novice wine drinkers. Less tannic than the other dry wine types, Merlot is grown in Italy, Washington, Australia, Romania, and Chile. The typical flavors of Merlot include plums, blackcherry, and other herbal flavors. Although any food pairing works with this light bodied wine, beef, venison, aged cheddars, and carmelized onions works the best with this wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon: One of the best dry red wine varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with merlot and undergoes the oak treatment. This full-bodied wine has rich currant, oaky, or strong bell pepper flavors which makes it a firm and gripping wine. It is often well-paired with red meat such as beef and swordfish snappers and heavy stews.
Zinfandel: The red zinfandel is a hearty red wine variant. Depending on the heaviness of the wine, it can be accompanied by foods such as pork and beef sausages and different pastas. Zinfandel grapes are found only in California and the wine usually has a berry and pepper flavor.
Pinot Noir: Difficult to grow, Pinot Noir is a fresh and delicate wine with fruit flavors. This medium dry red wine varietal works best with lamb and duck sausages, creamy sauces, and spicy foods. They are grown best in Burgundy, France; California, Oregon, and the Champagne region in France.
Syrah: Also known as Shiraz in Australia, Syrah wines have strong tannins and a complex combination of flavors of smoke, berries, and plum. These hearty wines are best accompanied by red meats such as steak, beef, wild game, stews, etc. The Syrah grapes are excellent in California, Australia, and in Rhone Valley. Known for its intense flavors, Syrah is one of the deepest and finest dry red wines ever produced.
Barbera: This smooth Italian red wine has a silky texture and great acidity. It can be paired off with almost any dish. They are blended into jug wines and are at times sold as an inexpensive varietal wine.
In addition to these varieties of dry red wine, there are a number of popular wines in every district. Cabernet Franc, Mourvedre, and Gamay are some French dry red wine varieties. Italy too has some of its specialties, which include Italian wines such as Nebbiolo and the amazing Brunello di Montalcino. This wine is commonly used to add flavor and body to sauces, and for deglazing and marinating while cooking.