Who doesn’t love sitting back with a glass of vino as the sun sets? Whether it’s been a tough day at the office, or a long one with the kids, kicking back with a good glass of red wine can set your world back to rights.
The problem is, there are literally hundreds of options when it comes to choosing your tipple. We checked in with the team at hip online wine retailer Vinomofo to find out about some of the common, and not so common, red wine varietals. Set up by two wine-loving Aussie guys, Vinomofo is on a mission to deliver quality wine at great prices (two things that don’t always go hand-in-hand in Singapore). They believe that “wine is fun and the world is full of flavour”, so check any pretention at the door, and check out this handy guide to six of their favourite reds.
#1 Cabernet sauvignon
Called ‘the king of reds’ for good reason, cabernet sauvignon is the most widely planted variety in the world. A thick-skinned grape, it’s quite tannic when young so ageing is firmly in its genes. It is also referred to as a ‘doughnut wine’, not because of its solid morning tea matching capabilities, but due to the fact it tends to have a ‘hole’ in the middle of the palate. To counter this, cabernet often hangs with merlot to fill the void. Shiraz sometimes comes to the party too – the cabernet shiraz blend is uniquely Australian. The good ones are like a liquid Cherry Ripe chocolate bar!
This is a varietal with sky-high drinkability. Grenache is also one of the most widely planted grape varieties in the world and is known in some places as ‘poor man’s pinot’. Its alluring florals, medium body, fine spices and a dusting of earthiness are what make grenache so attractive. In warmer climates, it can be chilled slightly for optimum enjoyment.
This starts with earthy, leather, forest floor characteristics, and then bam, soft, powdery tannins hit your mouth and explode like a firework. It’s a wine that ages well – Italian winemakers make nebbiolo for their children to drink in the future. This varietal has been in Australia for around 30 years, and while its tense tannins have traditionally needed to settle with age, many Australian winemakers are now making softer styles that can be drunk sooner, rather than later.
#4 Pinot noir
Dainty, delicate and pretty on its feet, wine aficionados fall head-over-heels for pinot noir. The red wine hero of Burgundy, it can be elegant or brooding. The greatest challenge here is ripening and it has sent many a winemaker into a tizz as result. Expect red berries and cherries, plus forest floor and undergrowth.
A perfect partner to pizza and pasta dishes, a great sangiovese (‘sangio’ to its mates), has a food-worthy, delectable acid crunch. Expect flavours of bitter chocolate and rich tomato, plum, mulberry and black cherry, as well as distinctive tobacco and spice.
This varietal’s signature spicy finish has made it a classic choice. However, there’s been a consumer-driven shift from full-volume belters to more medium-bodied styles in recent years. From dense dark fruit and chocolate through to blueberries framed by pretty violet aromas, there’s heaps of goodness to explore.
Learning about wines is thirsty work. Visit vinomofo.com.sg to quench your curiosity, discover a community of like-minded wine-lovers, and pick up some great wine deals in the process.
See more in our Wine & Dine section!
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