The red wine grapes you should know (and where to buy red wine online)

>>The red wine grapes you should know (and where to buy red wine online)

The red wine grapes you should know (and where to buy red wine online)

Getting into wine is a bit like going down the rabbit hole. There are so many different blends, tastes and new words to remember – it can be overwhelming at times!

If you want to hold your own in a wine-related conversation without looking like a total novice, you’ll need to learn the lingo.

And what better place to start with than the grapes themselves?

Today, we explain the many red wine grapes out there, as well as where you can buy red wine online!

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Red wine grapes: what you need to know

There are many types of grapes out there, each with their own unique qualities and taste – as a result, there’s also a lot of variety in the wine that they produce.

How many exactly? Roughly 10,000!

However, only about 1300 of these varieties are used to make wine.

And of these, there are a couple of big hitters that you’ll find dominating most wine catalogues.

Syrah (aka Shiraz)

  • Other names: Shiraz, Shirac, Marsanne Noir, Entournerein
  • Dryness: dry
  • Body: full-bodied
  • Tannins: medium-high
  • Acidity: medium

Known here as Shiraz, this grape is Australia’s most popular, accounting for almost 40,000 hectares and 30% of ALL Australian wine production.

So what better place to start than with this iconic grape?

Wine made from Syrah tends to be dark in colour and relatively full-on in terms of body and tannins, making it perfect for “heavier” meals.

The thing with Syrah is that it grows in both moderate and hot climates.

This can influence the taste of the product – while European varieties tend to be more acidic and earthy, Australian (and Chilean and Californian, for example) varieties are fruitier in flavour.

In particular, blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry are commonly name-checked.

Click here to buy Shiraz online.

Pinot Noir

  • Other names: Savagin Noir, Bourguignon, Blauburgunder, Klevner
  • Dryness: dry
  • Body: medium
  • Tannins: low-medium
  • Acidity: medium-high

In terms of red wine, Pinot is about as light as you can get!

It’s this quality that makes Pinot one of the most versatile reds around – it’s rich enough to use with most red wine pairings, as well as lighter dishes like salmon.

Pinot Noir grapes are fickle – there’s a lot of variation in terms of flavour. In most varieties however, you can expect fruitier flavours, with secondary flavours including spice, caramel and tobacco.

Click here to buy Pinot Noir online.

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Other names: Bouchet, Bouche, Vidure
  • Dryness: dry
  • Body: full-bodied
  • Tannins: medium-to-high
  • Acidity: medium

A natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon is hands down the world’s most popular wine grape.

As such, you can find Cab Sav from just about every corner of the globe if you look hard enough!

Generally speaking, Cab Sav tends to be dominated by black cherry and blackcurrant, with secondary flavours including cedar, spices and even graphite.

Click here to buy Cabernet Sauvignon online.


  • Other names: Brunelletto, Brunello, Calabrese, Sangiovese Grosso
  • Dryness: very dry
  • Body: Medium-full
  • Tannins: high
  • Acidity: medium-high

Sangiovese grapes are warm-weather grapes originally from Tuscany, Italy. You’d think they would be right at home in Australia.

Despite that however, it’s a relatively recent import here, only reaching Australian shores in the 1970s!

Generally speaking, Sangiovese is more savoury than other reds, with flavours running the gamut from earthy and rustic, to round and more fruit-forward. Other flavours like oregano, espresso and even balsamic aren’t unheard of.

Regardless of the specific flavour profile however, most wines made of Sangiovese feature cherry and tomato flavours.

Click here to buy Sangiovese online.

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  • Other names: Cannonau, Garnacha, Garnatxa
  • Dryness: moderately dry
  • Body: medium-full
  • Tannins: medium
  • Acidity: moderate

Grenache grapes (Garnacha or Garnatxa in its native Spain) fall right in the middle of the spectrum.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s completely without personality – what they lack in body and colour, Grenache more than makes up for in flavour!

If you prefer fruit-forward wine, Grenache is the way to go. Grenache grapes produce wines that are rich and flavourful, with strawberry, raspberry, cherry and plum characterising most varieties.

Click here to buy Grenache online.


  • Other names: Picard, Langon
  • Dryness: very dry
  • Body: medium-to-full
  • Tannins: medium-high
  • Acidity: medium

“Merlot” – the name oozes sophistication, even by wine standards.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Merlot is a wine that you absolutely need to save for a special occasion.

In fact, Merlot is a fun wine to play around with – especially since it’s primary flavours are cherry and plum, with hints of chocolate and vanilla!

As a relative of Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s easy to mix them up. If you’re confused, look out for a softer tannin and the traces of chocolate.

Click here to buy Merlot online.

Buy Red Wine Online with I Like Wine

There’s a whole world of red wine and wine grapes out there – and you can explore it with the help of I Like Wine!

Our online wine store stocks a huge range of wines, including Australian and international varieties.

When you buy red wine online with us, you’ll have access to wines made from all sorts of grapes, including ones we weren’t able to make space for here, as well as blends.

Explore our online wine shop – buy red wine today.

By | 2020-05-27T07:37:18+00:00 May 8th, 2019|Trends|0 Comments