The history of wine making in France goes back over 2000 years when Romans first brought their ideas to grow vitis vinifera specifically for wine. France is synonymous with fine wine, and is a great place to start writing about wine. The red wine made there is among the best in the world.
Red wine is made when the skins of the grapes not filtered out during fermentation. This gives the wine its tannins and its violet color. Tannins have an astringent taste, and create a drying in the mouth. The terminology of wine can get confusing here, because most people use “dry” to describe this drying sensation they get from tannins, when actually a dry wine is simply a wine that has no residual sugar, meaning it isn’t sweet. But because a wine is dry doesn’t mean it still can’t taste like fruit, the wine just won’t taste sweet like fruit juice.
As red wine ages the tannins relax, and the color turns from violet, to brick, then to brown just like the color spectrum is shown here compliments of Wine Folly. Many factors determine if a wine can be aged well, like varietal, vintage, wine makers style, how the bottle is stored, or if the cork is bad. Some harshly tannic wines like Barolo and Bordeaux will require bottle ageing to mellow out the tannins.
The two most popular red wine varietals around the world is Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Cabernet, or “Cab” as most people call it, has a thick skin so it generally has medium to high tannic structure, and medium to high acid profile, and allows Cabernet to be a very age worthy wine. Classic Regions for Cabernet Sauvignon are left bank Bordeaux, France, and Napa Valley, California. In contrast Pinot Noir, has thin skin, so it has a lighter color and less tannic than other varietals. Pinots tend to convey earthy notes and a lot of floral notes. Classic regions for Pinot Noir are Burgundy, France, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Central Coast, California.
Red wine is a huge world and can be studied for years before knowing everything, but I hope this gives people a general outline to build from. Please comment, like and follow for more posts.