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Light Red Wines

 

Gamay
A light and fruity wine with the distinct flavor of berries. Expect to taste strawberries, cherries and raspberries. This is an excellent choice for the beginner, generally nicely priced, a good bistro wine, happy to be consumed with casual foods including pizza, Croque monsieur, French onion soup etc. The best ones come from France. These are known as Beaujolais. 

Pinot Noir
In France these are known as Burgundy wines and are grown exclusively in that region of France, just next to the Champagne region. Every ones else knows them as Pinot Noir, which is the name of the grape varietals. The pinot Noir grape is the most difficult and most finicky grape to grow. To many growers, this delicate fruit can bring heartache and despair. Often, crops do not survive because they are not hearty like for example the merlot grape. Itís what makes the Pinot Noir wines so special. Once you begin to truly develop your taste for red wine, you will always search for an excellent Pinot. So many are bad, watery, flat and simply dull. But youíll know when youíve had a good one. The French Burgundies, (good ones anyway) are costly. Donít expect to pick up a good bottle for 10 dollars or so. Youíre probably looking at 30 dollars and up. However, California has a good climate for Pinot grapes and turn out some product which are velvety, smooth, fruity and just plain sensational. These can be bought for about half of the French Burgundies.
Expect a good Pinot Noir to be cherry like in flavor with a touch of rich vanilla. The wines will be velvety on the tongue and mouth, a characteristic unique in a good Pinot.
Food pairings suitable with a Pinot are numerous. Try with richer tasting fish, grilled salmon or tuna are a good choice, also turkey and delicate rack of lamb.    

Temparanillo
This is a wonderful grape varietal exclusive to Spain. A fabulous accompaniment to tapas, figs, manchego cheese and lighter meat fare like chorizo sausage and paella. The flavors are warm, smooth and mellow. Some of the good ones have a plumy taste while with others youíll taste black cherries. Most will have a delicate under current of vanilla and mint. Where are they from? Look for the word Rioja on the label. These are strictly Spanish. 

Sangiovese
These bright and playful Italian wines are the perfect accompaniment to all Italian fare. Ideal with pizza, pasta, tomato based foods and lighter meat fare. They are otherwise known as Chianti. (Remember the wines bottles wrapped in a kind of basket, everybody used these as candle holders after). Sangiovese offers a spicy flavor. Think of cinnamon and herbs. Perhaps thatís why they marry so well with casual Italian fare. Also the fruitiness of black cherry is prevalent. These wines are strictly Italian and are so moderately priced they can be enjoyed by every budget
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Light Red Wine
 

Medium Bodied Red Wine
 

Full Bodied Red Wine