When it comes to red wine, it’s all about the grape and its color. That means red, purple or black varieties produce red wine. It’s the skin from these red, purple or black grapes that lends the wine its red hue. The tannins present in the grape’s skin, leaves and stems also contribute to the color. Sipping cabernet sauvignon will demonstrate the tannic texture, or that drying sensation in your mouth. Tannins add a deeper complexity to red wines.

There are several types of amazing red wines offered in great restaurants. For example, Cabernet sauvignon is known globally as king of the red grapes. Cabernet sauvignon is found to be a finicky grape that grows weedy and ripens late in certain regions. It is often blended and usually undergoes oak treatment. Cabernet sauvignon is full-bodied and pairs best with lamb and almost any meat.

Pinot Noir is another red best associated with the Burgundy region of France. It is a very difficult grape to grow, as it presents several challenges in cultivation. Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon calls Pinot, “sex in a glass”. Pinot noir is light-bodied and pairs best with seafood, from salmon to scallops and lobster.

Malbec grows beautifully in the regions of Argentina producing an inky, rich colored red wine from its dark purple grapes. It features an abundance of juicy fruit flavors in a full-bodied red wine. Malbec goes nicely with meats like pork and veal.

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”–Ernest Hemingway