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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Types of American Red Wine – USA’s Best and Underrated Varieties!

Choosing the perfect American red wine can feel like a daunting task, given the wide array of delicious options available. Did you know wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir all come from one species of grape called Vitis vinifera? This blog post will guide you through some popular and unique types of American red wines to help refine your palate and make informed choices.

Let’s embark on a flavorful journey across the vineyards of America!

The popular types of American red wine are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Syrah/Shiraz.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a top-notch red wine. This grape makes full-bodied, rich wines with dark fruit flavors. It’s one of the major types of American red wine made from Vitis vinifera, a common grape species.

The taste can change based on how it’s made and where the grapes grow. Many people enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon for its bold flavor. Plus, it boasts potential health perks from antioxidants like resveratrol! From parties to dinner dates, Cabernet Sauvignon fits in everywhere.


Merlot is a popular type of American red wine that many wine lovers enjoy. It is made from the Merlot grape, which is known for creating smooth and easy-to-drink wines. Merlot wines are often described as medium-bodied with flavors of ripe fruits like cherry and plum.

They can have hints of chocolate or herbs too. One interesting fact about Merlot is that it is often used in blends with other red grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon to add depth and softness.

So if you’re looking for a red wine that’s smooth and flavorful, give Merlot a try!


Zinfandel is another popular type of American red wine. It is known for its bold and fruity flavors, with notes of blackberry, raspberry, and spice. Zinfandel grapes are grown in California and can produce both red and white wines, although the red version is more common.

This wine pairs well with BBQ dishes and grilled meats due to its robust flavor profile. So if you enjoy a full-bodied wine with a touch of sweetness, give Zinfandel a try!

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a popular type of American red wine loved by many wine enthusiasts. It is made from the Pinot Noir grape, which has thin skins and delicate flavors. This wine is known for its light to medium body, with red fruit flavors like cherry and raspberry.

It also has a smooth and silky texture that makes it incredibly enjoyable to drink. Pinot Noir pairs well with roasted chicken or grilled salmon, but you can also savor it on its own.

So if you’re looking for a delightful red wine experience, give Pinot Noir a try!


Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a popular red wine variety in America. It is made from a grape called Syrah or Shiraz, depending on the region. Syrah/Shiraz wines are known for their bold and robust flavors with hints of blackberry, plum, pepper, and spices.

They have a full-bodied character that pairs well with rich meat dishes like lamb or steak. Syrah/Shiraz wines can vary in style depending on where they are grown, but they often have smooth tannins and good aging potential.

So if you enjoy a powerful red wine with intense flavors, give Syrah/Shiraz a try!

Unique and Lesser-Known American Red Wine Varieties

Some unique and lesser-known American red wine varieties include Malbec, Barbera, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo.


Malbec is a red wine grape that has gained popularity in recent years. It originated in France but is now widely grown in Argentina, where it produces rich and full-bodied wines. Malbec wines have flavors of dark fruits like blackberry and plum, as well as hints of chocolate and spice.

They are known for their deep purple color and smooth tannins. If you enjoy bold red wines with intense flavors, Malbec is definitely worth trying. Whether you’re enjoying a juicy steak or indulging in some cheese and charcuterie, Malbec pairs well with a variety of foods.

Give it a taste and discover why it’s become such a favorite among wine lovers!


Barbera is another type of American red wine that wine lovers should try. It originates from Italy, but it has gained popularity in the United States. Barbera wines are known for their high acidity and bright flavors of cherries and blackberries.

They are often medium-bodied with a smooth finish. Barbera pairs well with a variety of foods, including roasted meats, tomato-based pasta dishes, and hard cheeses. If you’re looking to explore different types of American red wine, don’t forget to give Barbera a try!

Petite Sirah

Petite Sirah is a unique and lesser-known American red wine variety. It has strong flavors of dark fruit, such as blackberry and plum, with hints of pepper and spices. This wine is known for its deep color and full-bodied nature, making it a great choice for those who enjoy bold and robust wines.

Petite Sirah pairs well with hearty dishes like grilled meats or stews. It is also known to age well, allowing the flavors to develop further over time. If you’re looking to try something different in the world of American red wines, give Petite Sirah a try!


Sangiovese is a type of red wine grape that is grown in various regions around the world, including Italy and the United States. It is most commonly associated with Italian wines, particularly those from Tuscany, like Chianti.

Sangiovese wines are known for their medium body and high acidity, which make them versatile when it comes to food pairing. They often have flavors of cherry, strawberry, and dried herbs.

In the United States, you can find Sangiovese produced in California as well as other states known for wine production. It’s a great choice if you enjoy red wines with vibrant fruit flavors and crisp acidity.


Tempranillo is another type of American red wine that wine lovers enjoy. It is a red grape variety that originated in Spain and is now grown in several regions of the United States.

Tempranillo wines often have flavors of cherry, plum, and leather, with medium to high acidity and moderate tannins. This makes it a versatile wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with various foods like grilled meats, tapas, and aged cheeses.

Some popular American regions for Tempranillo production include Texas, California, Oregon, and Washington State. So if you’re looking to try something different but still delicious, give Tempranillo a taste!

Regional American Red Wine Varieties

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Oregon Pinot Noir, Washington State Merlot, New York Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc, and California Red Blends are some of the regional American red wine varieties to explore.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a popular type of American red wine. It is made from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, which is known for producing full-bodied wines with rich flavors of black currant, cherry, and cedar.

Napa Valley, located in California, is famous for its ideal climate and soil conditions that make it perfect for growing this grape variety. The region’s unique combination of warm days and cool nights results in grapes with intense flavors and balanced acidity.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines are often aged in oak barrels to enhance their complexity and add subtle hints of vanilla and spice. These wines pair well with grilled meats and hearty dishes, making them a favorite choice for wine lovers who enjoy bold reds.

Oregon Pinot Noir

Oregon Pinot Noir is a type of American red wine that has gained popularity in recent years. It is made from the Pinot Noir grape, which is known for its delicate and complex flavors.

Oregon’s cool climate and volcanic soil provide ideal growing conditions for this grape variety, resulting in wines with bright acidity, vibrant fruit flavors, and silky tannins. The region is particularly famous for producing elegant and well-balanced Pinot Noir wines that showcase notes of red berries, cherry, earthiness, and sometimes a hint of spice.

These wines are highly regarded by wine enthusiasts for their quality and ability to age gracefully. If you’re a fan of red wine, trying an Oregon Pinot Noir should definitely be on your list!

Washington State Merlot

Washington State is known for producing excellent Merlot wines. The region’s cool climate and unique terroir contribute to the rich flavors and smooth texture of their Merlot. Washington State Merlots are often described as having notes of dark berries, plums, and chocolate.

They can be full-bodied with velvety tannins, making them a great choice for those who enjoy red wines with depth and complexity. Whether you’re pairing it with grilled steak or enjoying it on its own, Washington State Merlot is sure to impress with its distinctive characteristics and high quality.

New York Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc

New York Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc is a unique and lesser-known American red wine variety. It comes from the Finger Lakes region in New York, known for its cool climate. Cabernet Franc grapes thrive here, producing wines with vibrant flavors and aromas.

This wine has hints of dark berries, herbs, and earthiness. It is medium-bodied with smooth tannins, making it easy to drink. The Finger Lakes region has gained recognition for its Cabernet Franc, showcasing the potential of this grape in New York State.

Whether you’re exploring new red wine varieties or seeking something different from the usual options, give New York Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc a try!

California Red Blends

California Red Blends are a popular type of American red wine. These blends are made by combining different grape varieties to create unique flavors and characteristics. Some common grapes used in California Red Blends include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirah.

Each blend has its own balance of fruitiness, tannins, and acidity. California Red Blends are known for their bold and rich flavors that pair well with a variety of foods like grilled meats or hearty pasta dishes.

They offer wine lovers a chance to explore the diverse and vibrant world of American red wine in one bottle.

Pairing American Red Wine with Food

Pairing American red wine with food enhances the dining experience by complementing flavors and enhancing the overall enjoyment.

Steak and Cabernet Sauvignon

One classic pairing for steak is Cabernet Sauvignon. This bold and full-bodied red wine complements the rich flavors of a juicy steak. The tannins in the wine help cut through the fattiness of the meat, while its strong fruit flavors provide a delicious contrast.

When enjoying a steak, reach for a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to enhance your dining experience.

Lamb and Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz is a popular red wine that pairs well with lamb dishes. The bold and rich flavors of Syrah/Shiraz complement the flavorful and juicy meat of lamb. This wine often has notes of black pepper, dark fruits, and spices that enhance the taste of lamb.

It’s a fantastic choice for grilled or roasted lamb chops, stews, or even lamb burgers. The combination of the tender meat and the complex flavors of Syrah/Shiraz creates a delicious dining experience for any wine lover.

Roasted Chicken and Pinot Noir

One great wine to pair with roasted chicken is Pinot Noir. This red wine has a light to medium body and a smooth, fruity flavor that complements the savory flavors of the chicken. The subtle acidity of Pinot Noir helps to cut through the richness of the meat, making every bite taste delicious.

It’s a versatile choice that can be enjoyed with both white and dark meat, as well as various seasonings or sauces used in the roasting process. So next time you have roasted chicken for dinner, consider serving it with a glass of Pinot Noir for a delightful dining experience!

Pasta and Sangiovese

Pasta and Sangiovese go together like a perfect pair. Sangiovese is an Italian red wine variety that pairs excellently with pasta dishes. Its bright acidity and medium body complement the flavors of tomato-based sauces, herbs, and cheese in pasta recipes.

The fruity notes and earthy undertones of Sangiovese enhance the richness of pasta dishes, creating a harmonious taste experience for wine lovers. So next time you’re enjoying a plate of your favorite pasta, consider pairing it with a glass of Sangiovese to elevate your dining experience to new heights.

Remember – when it comes to choosing the right wine for your pasta dish, Sangiovese is an excellent choice that will add depth and flavor to your meal. Additionally, keep in mind that there are different styles of Sangiovese available, ranging from lighter-bodied wines to more structured ones like Chianti Classico.

Pairing the right style with your pasta can further enhance the flavors and create a memorable gastronomic experience.

BBQ and Zinfandel

When it comes to pairing American red wine with BBQ, Zinfandel is a great choice. Zinfandel has bold flavors of dark fruit and spice that complement the smoky, rich flavors of BBQ dishes.

The wine’s natural acidity cuts through the richness of the meat, while its fruit-forward profile enhances the flavors of BBQ sauce. Whether you’re enjoying ribs, pulled pork, or grilled chicken slathered in BBQ sauce, a glass of Zinfandel will enhance your dining experience.


In conclusion, there are many types of American red wine to explore and enjoy. From the popular Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to unique varieties like Malbec and Sangiovese, there is something for everyone’s palate.

Whether you’re pairing it with a steak or enjoying it on its own, American red wine offers a diverse range of flavors and aromas that will delight any wine lover. So raise your glass and toast to the wonderful world of American red wine!


1. What are some types of American red wine?

Some popular types of American red wine include SyrahShiraz, Nebbiolo, Grenache, Petit Verdot, and Barolo which are all varietals from different red wine grapes.

2. How do I choose an American red wine?

When buying American red wine, consider the characteristics of every type such as tasting notes and regions where they come from. Also check who the best producers are to ensure you get quality wines.

3. Are there different varieties of American red wine grapes?

Yes, there are many varieties of American red wine grapes used in making various types such as popular ones like SyrahShiraz and Nebbiolo among others.

4. Do all types of American Red Wines age well?

It depends on the grape variety but most aged wines have a more intense flavor profile than ones that have not been aged. However aging also requires proper storage conditions.

5. Where can I find detailed information about different kinds of Red Wines?

Our Blog ‘s Wine Guide will offer information about various Wine Varietals detailing their unique properties including taste notes and ideal serving temperatures.

Gustavo Favarin
Gustavo Favarinhttps://wineshout.com
Founder of the Winery "Rotas do Peabiru". Lover of wines that aren't mainstream and don't have great general recognition. Mainly wild fermentation wines, as they were originally made in the old days.

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