7 Different Types of Red Wine Varieties

What are the different types of red wine? 

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Merlot
  3. Zinfandel
  4. Malbec
  5. Shiraz
  6. Pinot Noir
  7. Nebbiolo

Many love to indulge in a glass of red wine. But how much do you know about this go-to tipple? 

What about the different kinds of red wine? With hundreds of grape varietals out there that are grown all over the world, it’s no surprise that there is just as much variety when it comes to the types of red wine you can enjoy. 

This article walks you through a few of the most popular types—and how they’re best enjoyed. Keep reading to learn more!  

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular and widely recognized wine grapes in the world. It originated in Bordeaux, France but can now be found in many regions around the world.

Full-bodied, high tannins and acidity, and long aging potential —coupled with rich fruit flavors—are great indicators of Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll taste notes of black currant, black cherry, and blackberry, as well as hints of tobacco, cedar, and spice.

Because of its rich flavor and high concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon—like this bottle of Le Grand Noir Cabernet Sauvignon—should be paired with dishes with intense flavors such as strong cheeses on a charcuterie board, or red meats. It also goes well with dark chocolate if you’re looking for something sweet. 



Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is believed to have originated in Bordeaux, France. The name “Merlot” is thought to be derived from the Old French word “merle,” which means “young black bird” and the grape is a key component to the region’s famous red wine blends, such as those from the Pomerol and Saint Emilion Appellations. 

This grape is known for producing medium to full-bodied wines with moderate tannins, and a soft, velvety texture—with slightly fruittier flavors. You’ll usually taste notes of red fruit, such as cherry and raspberry, as well as hints of chocolate, tobacco, and herbs. 

Merlot such as the 2016 Gamla Merlot is best enjoyed with grilled or roasted meats, such as steak, lamb, or pork. We also recommend soft cheeses that can be a good match to the velvety texture of the Merlot . 


Zinfandel is known for producing bold, full-bodied, wines with high alcohol content, medium to low tannins, and ripe, fruity flavors. While it originated in Italy, this grape variety is predominantly grown in many regions of the United States—including California, Washington, and Oregon. 

Zinfandel grapes are versatile and can be used to make a wide range of wine styles, including red table wines, rosé wines, and dessert wines. They are also used to make sparkling wines, and in some cases, they are blended with other grape varieties to create unique wine styles. Its reach and slightly sweet flavors also go great with meaty dishes with a kick of spice. 



Another full-bodied red wine, Malbec, is known for its powerful and rich flavors, and it's deep, inky color. Malbec wines are often described as having flavors of blackfruit, as well as notes of spices, herbs, oak and tobacco that linger after drinking. It also has high levels of tannins and high alcohol content, and is one for the red wines that have good aging potential. 

Just like most red wines, it originated in France, but today, it’s mostly found in Argentina, where they are produced with a more pronounced inkiness and dark fruit impressions—this Kaiken Ultra Malbec is a great example of this!

For something savory, the bold flavors of Malbec can stand up to rich, savory sauces, such as those made with red wine or tomato, and for something sweet, the rich, dark flavors of Malbec can be a great match for chocolate 

Shiraz / Syrah

Syrah (also known as Shiraz in the New World countries) is a red wine grape variety that is believed to have originated in the Rhône region of France. The grape has a long history in the region, and has been grown there for centuries. It is a full-bodied wine with medium acidity levels and high tannins. Instead of a red hue, this wine has a deep, inky color due to the skin of the grapes 

Syrah here is known for its herbaceous notes. If aged, you can taste both leathery and spicy notes. On the other hand, Australia is known as the biggest producer of Shiraz for hotter regions. Here, Shiraz such as the Oxford Landing Shiraz has a lighter flavor like blackberry, licorice, and vanilla. This makes it best enjoyed with barbecued food 

Pinot Noir

Originating from the Burgundy region of France, Pinot Noir is known for producing medium to full-bodied wines with moderate tannins and a delicate, elegant flavor profile. This wine is packed with juicy flavors of red fruit—such as cherry, raspberry, and strawberry—and has an earthy finish.

Today, it’s also produced in the USA, New Zealand, and Australia. In these climates, it tends to be more full-bodied. Meaning means it still has its sweet, fruity flavors, but less of an earthy finish.

This wine goes well with game birds like roast duck, but it can also be paired with fish, especially its lighter varieties. Try this pairing at your next dinner with this Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Pinot Noir!


Nebbiolo is grown primarily in the Piedmont region of Italy and is a specialty grape that is not widely planted as some other red wine grape varieties. 

Despite its relatively limited production, Nebbiolo wine has a strong reputation among wine enthusiasts and is considered to be one of the finest red wines in the world. 

These wines are known for their full-bodied, tannic structure, and long aging potential. As the wines age, they may develop additional flavors of leather, tobacco, and truffles on top of their strong notes of coffee and cherry, and other complex flavors and aromas over time. 

Nebbiolo wines are often enjoyed with food and they can be paired with a wide range of dishes, including grilled or roasted meats, hearty stews, and aged cheeses. 

Key Takeaway

This article highlighted the different types of red wines. Each type has its own set of unique flavors and tastes. There are more types and variants that were not included in this list, waiting for you to enjoy. 

You can get the best red wines in the Philippines from Ralph’s Wine and Spirits. These can be delivered straight to your doorstep if you order from our online store. You can also check out the list of our stores here.