Red wines are popular the world over, from the rich Zinfandels of California to the sweet Shiraz of the Outback. However, many beginners fear going for the reds because of their complexity.
Although not two red wines are quite the same, they get their color and flavor from the grape skins during the fermentation process. They tend to have higher tannin levels than other wines, giving reds their distinctive taste.
Thanks to their tannin content, red wines are considered healthier than their white or rosé counterparts. They also contain high levels of other antioxidants.
Although red wines often have a rich, full-bodied flavor, there is considerable variation in taste and texture between the different styles. Experts tend to prefer heavy, complex reds, but novices may instead look for a lighter, sweet red wine for beginners.
Many who are new to the world of wine are wondering: what is the best red wine for beginners? To determine which type of red wine is best for you, it's best to branch out and try out the different styles available.
HOW IS RED WINE MADE?
Red wines are generally made from red or black grapes. Unlike white wines, the skin of the grapes is left in place during the fermentation process, giving reds their characteristic color.
When the skins are left in contact with the wine during the fermentation process, it allows the color to penetrate the juice while releasing tannins. As a result, red wines tend to have a lower sugar content than other types, which gives them a dry yet complex taste.
The shade of a wine depends on both the color and grape variety of the grape used as well as the length of time its skin remains a part of the winemaking process. The red wines range from almost rosy color to dark purple.
TYPES OF RED WINE
There is a lot of different varieties of red wine which differ in both body and flavor. Body refers to the viscosity and texture of the wine and is highly dependent on tannins.
Light wines contain little tannin and are smooth and subtle, and medium-bodied wines have a slightly more complex taste. Full-bodied wines have the highest levels of tannin and a rich, robust body.
Red wines also differ in their sugar content. When the grape varieties are left on the vine for longer, the water evaporates and increases the sugar content, creating a sweet wine. While reds tend to be dry, some of the best reds for beginners are smooth and light on the palate.
Although Pinot Noir grapes grow in cool climates across the world, the Burgundy region of France is the most famous producer of fine pinots in the world.
Pinot Noirs generally have a light to medium body, depending on the winemaker, as well as low levels of tannin. Most have a crisp, sour flavor with hints of berries such as cherries, raspberries, and cranberries.
Due to their light and fruity nature, Pinots Noirs pair well with white meats such as fish and roast chicken. The heavier Pinot, like other red wines, tastes better with red meat and game.
SYRAH AND SHIRAZ
Australia is world famous for its Syrah and Shiraz, although France and the United States are also notable producers. Both wines come from the Shiraz grape but are produced differently to create unique flavor profiles.
In general, Syrah tends to be full bodied, with an earthy and complex flavor. Shiraz is a bit lighter, with a crunchy and fruity taste that includes hints of berry. It is an excellent sweet red wine for beginners.
Syrah and Shiraz go well with hearty dishes and smoky flavors. Being lighter and sweeter, shiraz also pairs well with lighter meats and cheeses.
Thanks to its high levels of tannins, Cabernets are rich and full-bodied, but not too complicated for a beginner to red wines.
Most Cabernet Sauvignon has hints of herbs and vanilla. Those aged in oak have a smoky flavor.
Typically, people drink Cabernet Sauvignon with steaks, burgers, or other red meats. It also pairs well with cheese, mushrooms, and other salty foods rich in umami flavor.
Many Zinfandels are produced in California. They are characterized by a rich and bold flavor with hints of spices such as pepper and cinnamon. Some people report a tingling sensation in the mouth.
Zinfandel has a high alcohol content because the fruit can ripen on the vine before being picked. In general, wine experts recommend choosing a Zinfandel with an alcohol content of at least 15 percent.
Zinfandels go well with most red meats. They go exceptionally well with smoky flavors, such as grilling or grilling.
BUY RED WINE
There is a wide variety of wines out there, making it a challenge to choose the best red wine for beginners. When buy red wine, it's a good idea to not only look at body and flavor, but also factors like acidity, sugar and alcohol content for pairing ideas.
More acidic reds such as pinot noir and zinfandels pair well with rich foods such as red meat. With tart foods, such as those with citrus flavors, it is best to look for a wine with low acidity.
Sweet red wines, like most sweet styles, tend to go well with desserts. Sweet wines, however, also pair well with salty foods. Sugar can help tone down spices in hot dishes and complements salty foods well.
Alcohol content is what gives a wine its texture, with alcohol-rich wines having a heavier mouth feel than others. These reds tend to pair well with equally complex dishes, otherwise they dominate the flavor of the meal.
HOW TO DRINK RED WINE FOR BEGINNERS
There is a common misconception that good red wine should be drunk at room temperature to bring out the most flavor. While it is true that cooling reds diminish flavor, a red wine that is served too hot will have a strong alcohol taste.
The best red wine for beginners should be served at around 60 ° F (16 ° C), which is slightly below room temperature. Wine enthusiasts can find specialty wine refrigerators designed to store reds at the optimum temperature.
Oxygenation also helps bring out the complex flavors of red wine. Pouring from a decanter instead of the bottle helps let the wine breathe. This allows more of it to come into contact with the air.
It is best to serve red wines in a specially designed glass. Red wine glasses are shorter and sturdier than white wine glasses for better ventilation.
We would recommend either Wineworks Premium or Wineworks Superior as your first 30 Bottle Kit Wine. Both of these ranges are designed to produce a good quality wine that is ready to drink within 2-4 weeks but will benefit if left up to 6-8 weeks. Furthermore, they also have a great selection of wines to choose from.
If you’ve never made wine before or you simply don’t have any of the equipment or ingredients any longer then you could purchase one of our bundles. These bundles allie all the required equipment along with your prefered wine pack so that you can have everything delivered to your door and just get started. The Wineworks Superior Starter Bundles are a great choice if you want to keep the equipment budget down but still choose the quality of wine you’d like to go for. Whereas, the Wineworks Luxury Starter Bundles offer a better quality equipment pack and still let you choose from a great choice of wine packs.
The two most important aspects of making wine are Cleanliness and Temperature. Firstly remember everything that comes into contact with the wine should be cleaned and sterilised ( see below ). Secondly maintain a constant temperature between 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ). It is much better to be on the cool side and constant than hot one minute and cold the next. Airing cupboards are definitely no, no’s. ( See below )
Clean and sterilise all equipment. Here’s a selection of Sterilisers you can use and if you not quite sure which steriliser to go for then you can take a look at our Beginners Wine Making Part 1 - Cleaning, Sterlising
Wineworks Superior wines : These usually take 10-15 days to ferment, and a further week to clear. Again the wine can be drunk immediately but we recommend ageing it 4 weeks but you can leave it up to 12 months. The time you will leave it will depend very much on your stocks. So get plenty built up. The reds benefit more than the whites with ageing. Certain kits ( see the list below ) are suited more to the experienced wine maker and take around 4 weeks to ferment and then left for a further 2 weeks. These products does really benefit from ageing. All the kits we list in this section require little ageing.
As it’s new to you it will probably take in all 2 hours for your first batch. However, once you are used to it 1 hour is about the maximum amount of time needed. We would also point out bar the bottling side; it takes just as long to make 6 bottles as it does to make 30 bottles, so we strongly recommend you make the larger quantity. After all 6 bottles doesn’t go very far as we said before !
From our experience it is much better to maintain a constant temperature than a fluctuating one. We suggest 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ), although if it is cooler than this, it is not a problem, it just takes slightly longer to ferment. If you can’t maintain this then we supply three different forms of heating equipment : Brew Belt / Heat BeltThis is a simple insulated electric cable that wraps round your conteneur and provides a gentle heat. It is very souple and extremely easy to use. Heat Tray ( 4 demi/5 Gallon Fermenter ) This is like a flat tray that provides a gentle continuous heat that goes under the fermenter. Immersion HeaterThis drops into the container, through the bung and can be thermostatically controlled to maintain the exact temperature. Similar to a fish tank heater. All these can be added to our starter kit packages. See our scène showing the variétés of heating equipment available for your fermentation.
It is important to clean
If you’ve made it this far, hopefully understanding a bit of what we’ve said, then you’ll want to know how much it will cost to get started ! As you may have noticed, we’ve put together a couple of equipment kits which include everything you need, and take the confusion out of buying. You can make your first 30 bottles of Wine for approximately £65. 00. That’s all in ( Equipment