The Best Red Wine Grapes in the World
The first of the three main Bourdeaux and Loire Valley grape vines Cabernet Sauvignon is considered by many to be the finest of all the wine grapes and is one of the world’s most popular grape vines. A relatively new variety it is a cross between Sauvignon blanc and Cabernet franc developed in the Bordeaux region of France in the 17th century. Despite ripening late in the season and it’s low yield the small, thickly skinned berries of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine are much prized. The aroma of Cabernet Sauvignon is one of black currant and it is sometimes blended with Cabernet franc and Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with filet mignon, lamb chops and prime rib.
One of the most widely planted red wine grape vines Grenache serves as the base for many of the world’s best red wines. Originally from Spain and the south of France Grenache tends to ripen late in the season and needs a hot, dry climate. Spicy and berry flavored Grenache is low in acid, tannin and color and makes for a soft wine. Grenache pairs well with ham, salami and dessert fruits.
Also commonly known as Syrah, Shiraz is offspring of the Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche grape varieties. A dark skinned red grape variety Shiraz is used mostly to make strong red wines. Full bodied with a strong flavor Shiraz has an aroma of violets and berries. Shiraz pairs well with poultry, red meats and cheese.
Merlot is the second of the three main wine grapes grown in the Bordeaux and Loire Valley regions of France and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the same area. An early ripening grape Merlot has an aroma of berries and plum. Merlot pairs well with poultry, pork, pasta and mild cheeses.
Of Croatian origin Zinfandel is grown in the Puglia area of Italy and in California. Zinfandel grapes have a high sugar content and are often used to make semisweet blush red wines with a relatively high alcohol content. Zinfandel pairs well with poultry, ham, pizza and salads.
From the Burgundy region of France Pinot Noir is grown all over the world despite being said to be a difficult grape vine to grow and make wine out of. It’s reputation as a temperamental vine to grow is more than offset by it’s ability to produce some of the world’s finest and most celebrated red wines. Pinot Noir pairs well with poultry, red meats, salads and seafoods.
The third of the three main grape vines of the Bourdeaux and Loire Valley regions of France. Cabernet Franc is appreciated by vintners for it’s ability to grow in cooler climates and ripen early. It produces a fruity wine with a fragrance of raspberry and violet and even bell pepper. Cabernet Franc is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to enhance their bouquet. Cabernet Franc pairs well with poultry, lasagna and pizza.
The name Sangiovese derives from “the blood of Jove” the Roman Jupiter and it is grown most notably in the Tuscany region if Italy. Sangiovese has a fruity aroma of strawberry and spice and is the main component of the famous Chianti blend. Sangiovese pairs well with pizza,grilled chicken and lasagna.
Brian Caldwell is a gardening enthusiast and invites you to visit his blog Grow Home Garden Plants where you can learn more about grape vines and red wine grapes