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Red Wine

Bold or mellow? Young or aged? French? Australian? Californian? Finding the answers is what it’s all about.

About Red Wine

Red wine can only be made from black-skinned aka “red” grapes. The juice of all grapes is clear, so red wine gets its color after fermenting that juice in contact with its pigmented grape skins for several days. The thicker the skins, the darker the color, so a thin-skinned grape like Pinot Noir will typically create a paler wine than a thick-skinned grape like Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

In addition to pigment, grape skins impart tannin - another unique characteristic of red wines. Tannins are a natural compound that creates an astringent, drying sensation in red wines (think about drinking a strong pot of tea). More importantly, tannins give red wines their ability to age, and their ability to cut through the richness of red meat.  Lighter dishes, like fish, can also be paired with red wines, provided they have relatively low levels of tannin. As with pigment, the thickness of the skins themselves usually determines the level of tannin.

Four New Ways to Make Mulled Wine

Some people think that mulling a great bottle of wine is an affront, but this delicious drink has almost as much history as the wine itself and screams “winter.” You don’t have to stick to cheap swill dressed up with stale, premixed mulling spices.

 

 A quality mulled wine can fit any fête, and it doesn’t have to be red. Try mulled white, rosé or even Port. Here are some tips and recipes for the best-mulled wine in every hue.