Finding the perfect bottle of red wine is all about your preferences and tastes. Sometimes you’ll want a bottle that will pair nicely with the flavors of food and snacks on the table, while other times, you’ll want to unwind alone with just an aromatic glass. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a red wine for everyone. Learn how to choose red wine for drinking at home, spending time with friends, or pairing with food.
7 Tips for How to Select a Good Red Wine
Red wines have a long history, and people worldwide enjoy the delectable varieties that enhance meals and add sophistication to events. There are many types of red wine on the market. From well-rounded Cabernet Franc to smooth Pinot Noir to soft and fruity Merlot and more, many delicious blends make a lasting impression on the table. Whether you’re beginning your wine journey and need to find that perfect bottle or want to find the best pairing for an upcoming dinner event, we can help you narrow down your options.
1. Begin With the Taste
Generally speaking, there are three major taste points in red wine. You can find sweet wines with a natural grape taste, crisp wines with a sour bite, and bitter wines with naturally recurring tannins to make the perfect dry glass. Every wine has a balance of these tasting points, but choosing red wine bottles involves discovering the balance you most enjoy. Often, lighter-body wines will have fewer tannins and more of that crisp, sour taste.
2. Understand Light-Bodied and Full-Bodied
The wine body is one of the most crucial components of any bottle you choose. This element refers to the mouthfeel and richness of the drink. Alcohol level, grape variety, and grape sweetness at the time of harvest will affect the wine body and how it tastes and feels. The harvest time significantly impacts the body because more natural sugar remains inside as grapes ripen.
This is why wines from regions like those in Australia tend to be full-bodied and sweeter than those from colder areas, like Germany, even when they come from the same grape variety. If you know whether you prefer full-bodied or light-bodied wine, understanding what can affect the bottle will help you quickly find the most suitable glass for your occasion.
3. Recognize the Grapes
Grape varieties determine the name of the wine. Merlot grapes craft Merlot wines, Chardonnay grapes compose Chardonnay wine, and so on. The grape variety is one of the most important aspects of a bottle. Regardless of where the grapes grow, you can learn a lot about your wine by understanding the grapes. This can help you determine which new bottles to try and which are more likely to pair with specific foods.
4. Consider the Food Options
Whether you’re planning to enhance a dinner party with a delicious bottle or want to enjoy a homemade charcuterie board by yourself, your menu can help you decide the best wine for the occasion. Some wines blend with a wide array of foods, but others are best alongside certain bites. Red wines, in general, pair well with red meats and pasta. Consider the food’s weight for more specific ideas.
For instance, a light fare of salads, fruits, and nuts will pair well with a light-bodied wine. Thick stews and creamy pasta dishes will pair well with full-bodied varieties. If you’re serving a regional dish, try to find a bottle from the same region.
5. Think About the Event
If you’re considering the menu, you’re likely already deciding whether the event calls for a particular bottle. While the menu is important in your decision, there are several other considerations, including who else will be drinking the wine or if you’re giving it to someone as a gift. Here’s how you can determine the best bottle for any event:
- Ask about preferences: Ask the host or person you are gifting the wine to what variety they prefer. If you want to surprise them with a new favorite, ask whether they prefer red, white, full-bodied, light-bodied, sweet, or dry wine for a great starting point.
- Choose a crowd-pleaser: This is especially beneficial for a large event. You can refrain from trying to pair the wine if there is a variety of food and simply grab something everyone can enjoy. Pinot Noir is an excellent choice with its medium body and versatility.
- Reach for a popular favorite: Popular varieties are great if you’re buying a bottle for someone you don’t know well. Small clues can be an excellent help here. For example, if this person has a sweet tooth, choose a sweet red wine that would pair with a delicious dessert.
6. Read the Label
Reading the label is important, especially when beginning your wine journey. When you buy a bottle or try a new glass, read the label and note what you enjoyed or disliked. This will help you find common threads between bottles and guide you to that perfect blend. For instance, you might realize you tend to reach for fruity, light-bodied wines or choose a dry red wine with aromatic features. You may notice the label indicates the wine is a blend of many grape varieties rather than a single, defining one. You can also discover the wine region and additional information on the back of the bottle, helping you narrow your choices.
7. Host or Attend a Wine Tasting
Choosing a good red wine can be fun. Whether you’re on a solo journey or want to invite your friends and family to try something new, a wine tasting is an excellent way to go. Local wineries offer tastings for you to experience the best bottles in your area. If you’re looking for a bottle to pair with a specific meal, ask the experts about their thoughts. Your tasting host can provide all the insight you need into each of their bottles and ensure you find the right one to impress all your guests.
However, you can also explore any region by hosting a tasting at your home. Invite your guests to bring a bottle and craft a charcuterie board or snack table to enhance the delectable taste of the wine. Keep your guest list to 12 people or less, so everyone can enjoy a small pour from every bottle. After sipping a dozen new bottles, you’re sure to gain an idea about what you like.
Choose a Good Red Wine From Marketview Liquor
Marketview Liquor offers a vast selection of wine for people all over the United States. Choosing the best red wine has never been easier because we’ll ship your favorite bottles right to your door. With great deals, like wine for less than $10 and free shipping on select bottles, you can easily try many wines to find your favorite. Browse our red wine selection for your next bottle.