Red, red wine

Sipping a sauvignon takes on a whole new meaning when we’re talking about cabernet sauvignon.

Arguably the most widely planted red grape variety, cabernet sauvignon is many people’s first venture into the world of red wine. Why red?

Research suggests that drinking an occasional glass of red wine is good for you.

It provides antioxidants, may promote longevity, and can help protect against heart disease and harmful inflammation, in addition to having higher levels of antioxidants than white wine. Let’s not forget it tastes good, or in some instances amazing.

The list of reds is lengthy, and there’s nothing like a drop of montepulciano from Italy, a French merlot, pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon from Bordeaux, Bergerac, Cahors and Languedoc-Roussillon, or syrah, cabernet franc and gamay, most of which are also grown in New Zealand.

If you’re not used to reds, here are a few suggestions to guide your taste buds:


A full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavours such as black cherry, blackberry, and blackcurrant. It also has savoury notes of spice and black pepper. Aroma notes include vanilla, clove and green pepper.


Dark, full-bodied wines with dark fruit flavours ranging from sweet blueberry to savoury black olive. Widely grown in Australia where it is called shiraz, it has a spicy peppery aftertaste.


A dry, lighter red wine, typically pinot noir has complex flavours that include cherry, raspberry, mushroom and forest floor, plus vanilla and baking spice when aged in French oak.


Merlot is a medium varietal best known for its red-fruit flavours, such as cherry, plum and raspberry, easy-drinking tannins and super-soft finish.


Montepulciano is known for its deep colour, powerful tannins, and strong aromas and flavours. Imagine hints of oregano, pepper, tobacco, and black
fruits in a more rustic style wine.

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