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15 Recipes That Pair Well With Red Wine Slideshow

15 Recipes That Pair Well With Red Wine Slideshow

Keep reading to find out what recipes made it into this week’s SWAT

15 Recipes That Pair Well With Red Wine

If you have some red wine in your house that you’ve been dying to drink, tonight is the night. Pick one of these amazing recipes and pour yourself a glass. You won’t be sorry — these dishes taste amazing with red wine.

Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Shallot Compound-Adorned Filet Mignon

Grilled Icelandic Lamb Chops With Honey Herb Chimichurri

Braciole

Braciole is an Italian meat dish that consists of thin flank steak rolled up with cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. The meat is quickly browned before being cooked low and slow in a pool of tomato sauce. The result is slices of tender beef with swirls of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs — it’s easy and elegant. — The Kittchen

For the Braciole recipe, click here.

Baked Balsamic Bruschetta

Veal Chop topped With Pesto Butter

Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce With Sweet Potato Spaghetti

Chicken Pot Pie With Pâté Brisée

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket

This brisket is transformed into tender morsels of barbecue goodness. Rub the beef with a combination of chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, cayenne, and garlic, then slow-cook it in a sweet-savory sauce that includes smoky chipotle chiles. After 10 hours of gentle cooking, the meat can be sliced or shredded, tossed with the sauce, and stuffed into a sandwich. Serve with baked beans, coleslaw and my zesty potato salad. — Moore Or Less Cooking

For the Slow-Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket recipe, click here.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.


Let’s start with what makes red wine…well red. It’s the skin of the red grape. If you take the skin out early, the grapes will make white wine. If you take them out mid-process, they make rosé. The longer you leave the skin in, the deeper red it becomes. If you are starting your wine drinking journey with reds vs. whites, you probably want to start sweeter and work your way up to the drier full-bodied versions. Red wine generally should be consumed at room temperature. Some sweet versions are better chilled, however, so you need to know what you are working with. Red wines are most often consumed with a hearty entrée, though some pair excellently with chocolate. As a general rule of thumb, think red wines with red meats and red sauces. There are many red wine blends out there, but as a beginners guide, we are just focusing on the most accessible single varietals.

Red wines are not known for being sweet, so there is a shortlist of sweet reds that aren’t a blend. Sweet reds have become more popular in recent years for health benefits. More are now available on the market and are usually made from a combination of grapes, with some version of the Muscat grape giving them the sweetness.

Lambrusco

Lambrusco was THE sweet red wine on the market for years. It’s fizzy and often best served chilled. The sweetest version is labeled dolce (sweet in Italian). Lambrusco wines range in color from pale ruby to dark purple with aromas of blueberry, cherry sauce, violet, and red currant. Most Lambrusco wines have light alcohol content.

Ports are fortified wines, which means that another alcohol, typically Brandy, has been added. Generally, they come out of Portugal. Expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berry, and anise with mineral notes. Wines taste sweet but have ample tannin to balance this sweetness. The alcohol content is substantially higher in Ports. They are excellent with chocolate and cheese. They can be sipped as an aperitif with an assortment of cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink when paired with a chocolate dessert.

Light-Bodied Red Wines

Lightweight and refreshing, these are your “gateway reds” — perfect for white wine drinkers looking to cross the bridge over to Team Rouge. Light-bodied reds can be drunk alone, but also pair really well with food thanks to their lower tannins.

Pinot Noir

This light, dry red has high acidity and big aromatics. The grape is grown everywhere and expresses itself a bit differently depending on where it originated. A typical flavor profile, however, is red-fruit-forward with earthy and herby notes. Think PN with salmon, duck, casseroles, and beef stew. It is an easy red to drink, so sipping on it anytime is considered appropriate.

Beaujolais

Beaujolais reds are made with the Gamay grape and share a name with the region of France they come from. These young wines (recently bottled) are staples at Thanksgiving feasts, since their red berry flavors and high acidity pair flawlessly with turkey, gravy, squash, cranberry sauce, etc. Feel free to enjoy Beaujolais all year long with any roasted white meat dish or cheese board.