Rosé is a true winemaker’s wine because it’s made by ‘dying’ a wine for only a short time with the skins of red wine grapes. Rosé wines were first popularised in the late 1700’s when French wines imported in England were called ‘Claret’ to describe their pale red colour. Today, you can find rosé wines of all styles (sweet or dry) made from many different grapes from Cabernet Sauvignon to Zinfandel (known commonly as White Zinfandel)
Instead of the sweet version, try a more dry style Rosé to taste its subtle elegant flavoirs. Some of the most classic versions of dry rosé come from Southern France in Provence and the Pays d’Oc region. The varieties used to make these wines include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvèdre, all of which are red wine varieties!
Light-Bodied Red Wine
Light-bodied red wines are typically pale in colour (you can see through them in a glass) and have very light tannin. FYI, tannin tastes astringent in wine and dries your mouth out in the same way that putting a wet tea bag on your tongue would. For this reason, light red wines are some of the most coveted wines in the world.
The classic light red wine that most people know is Pinot Noir but, besides that, Gamay Noir is another great wine to try in this category. Gamay is most known by the name of a region where it grows called Beaujolais.
Medium-Bodied Red Wine
Medium red wines are ‘food wines’. They offer up tons of flavour with a balance of zesty acidity which makes them match with a wide variety of foods (from zesty salads to rich and cheesy lasagna).
There are many varieties that span the mid-weight red wine category so, to name a few familiar ones, check out Grenache, Sangiovese, Merlot, Zinfandel, Montepulciano, Cabernet Franc and Barbera.
Full-Bodied Red Wine
Full-bodied red wines are the deepest darkest and most tannic of all the red wines. Tannin might sound weird and bitter but the tannin in wine binds to proteins in our saliva and it has a palate-cleansing effect. This is why a bold red wine pairs so wonderfully with a juicy, fatty steak.
Bold reds include Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and even Pinotage, all perfect examples of how bold a wine can be.
Dessert wines today now range from dry to sweet and are some of the boldest, most intensely flavoured (and aromatic) wines in the world.
There are many different types to explore. However, if you can start with a Port or a Sauternais-styled wine (a late harvest white wine), you’ll have a great preview of what dessert wines can offer.