The Most Popular Red Wine Types

Throwing a dinner party? Can’t decide whether to serve Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon? Don’t worry, you will be an amazing party hostess once you become familiar with the most popular red wine types and the foods each wine pairs well with.


Being one of the most popular red wine varietals, Merlot has a soft, fruity and mild character. It originates from Burgundy, a region of France, but great examples also come from Australia, California and Oregon. Merlot wines can have great structure and are often medium to full body flavour wines, with rich red plums, cocoa, espresso, cassis tobacco and cedar aromas. Merlot is a perfect wine for entertaining and can pair with a variety of foods including beef, pork, burgers, turkey and veggie dishes. Cheeses that Merlot pairs well with include cow’s mild cheeses that have a tangy and nutty flavour.


Cabernet Sauvignon

Due to its majestic structure, complexity, richness and capacity for aging, Cabernet Sauvignon is considered the classic red wine variety. Originally from Bordeaux, a region of France, high quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines are now produced basically in every great wine region across the world. Featuring black cherry, cedar and cassis flavours, Cabernet Sauvignon is a full bodied red wine that has a firm texture and great tannins. The wine’s softness makes it a perfect combination with beef tenderloin, broiled or grilles steak ans sausage dishes. Full-flavoured cheeses and stews also go great with this wine.

Pinot Noir

This is a perfect table wine thanks to its broad appeal. It is a medium body wine with warm baked cherries, mushrooms and rich loamy earth flavours and a silk texture, which make it versatile enough to be paired with a range of food such as salmon, tuna, poultry and any dish that has mushrooms as an ingredient. To fully experience the flavour and aroma, serve this classy wine in a large glass with a wide bowl shape.


Syrah/Shiraz is a red wine with an unique flavour. It is grown in both France (Syrah) and Australia (Shiraz) and features fruit and spice flavours with a hint of dark berries, smoke and pepper. The flavour of a Syrah/Shiraz wine usually depends on its price. A Syrah/Shiraz wine that costs under $10 tends to have light and jammy flavour while pricier versions will have more body, tannins and concentration.

Beef, lamb, burgers, stews, sausages, and anything cooked on a grill pairs great with Syrah/Shiraz wines.

In addition to making a great combination with food, red wines are also known to be good for your health. Red wine types are best served in thicker glass with a wide bowl to allow the wine to breathe.