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Red Wines

red wine   Notes:   Red wines are heavier and more strongly flavored than white wines, and they go best with heavier, more strongly flavored foods, like red meat, pasta, and ripe cheeses.  They should always be served at room temperature.  Substitutes:   Madeira OR Port OR pomegranate molasses (Use just a little.) OR cranberry juice OR broth OR balsamic vinegar (Use just a little.) OR currant juice OR liquid used to reconstitute dried mushrooms




Barbera    Pronunciation:   bar-BEAR-uh  Notes:   This is a hearty red wine that's usually blended into jug wines, but sometimes sold as an inexpensive varietal wine.   Substitutes:   Chianti OR Zinfandel

Beaujolais   Pronunciation:   bow-zhuh-LAY  Notes:   This is a region in Eastern France that produces light, fruity, fresh-tasting red wines that are relatively low in alcohol.  Beaujolais wines should be drunk while young.  Substitutes:   Gamay OR Pinot Noir OR Burgundy OR Chianti OR Barbera 


Bordeaux wine (red) = claret   Pronunciation:   bore-DOUGH   Notes:   The Bordeaux region in France produces excellent red wines, especially in the districts of Médoc, Haut-Médoc, and St. Emilion.  These wines are rich and complex, and usually made with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot grapes.   Bordeaux wines with the generic label "Bordeaux Wine" usually aren't as good as those with more specific appellations, like "St. Emilion Wine."   Red Bordeaux wines go especially well with lamb and poultry.   Substitutes:   Cabernet Sauvignon OR Merlot OR Burgundy

Burgundy wine (red)    Notes:    Burgundy is a region in eastern France that produces excellent red wines, but the Burgundy wines produced in the United States are usually inexpensive jug wines made from different grape varieties.  

Cabernet Franc  Pronunciation:  cah-burr-NAY  FRAHN   Notes:   Cabernet Franc grapes are related to Cabernet Sauvignon, but they make for a lighter, fruitier wine.  The wine is often blended with others, but sometimes sold as a varietal wine.    Substitutes:   Bordeaux OR Cabernet Sauvignon OR Merlot OR Zinfandel 


Cabernet Sauvignon = Cabernet = Cab   Pronunciation:  cah-burr-NAY  sow-vee-NYOHN    Notes:   Cabernet Sauvignon grapes make a hearty, complex red wine that's especially good with roasted meats and heavy stews.  Domestic Cabernets are often excellent.   Substitutes:   Bordeaux OR Merlot OR Zinfandel 


Châteauneuf-du-Pape  Pronunciation:  shah-toe-nuff due PAHP   Notes:  This is a village in Provence that's known for its excellent red wines, which are blended from as many as 13 grape varieties.   These wines tend to be pricey.


Chianti   Pronunciation:  kee-AHN-tee  Notes:   A lot of cheap domestic red wines go by this name, but the real thing comes from Tuscany and has a seal of authenticity on the neck.  Italian Chianti is a hearty wine that's great with Italian food.    Substitutes:   Zinfandel OR Beaujolais OR Syrah

Gamay = Gamay Noir   Notes:   This is a grape variety that the French use to make their famous Beaujolais wine, a fruity, fresh-tasting red wine.  Wines made from these grapes outside of the Beaujolais region are simply called Gamay.  Don't confuse this wine with Gamay Beaujolais, which is made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Valdiguie grapes, or with Napa Gamay, another name for Valdiguie.   Substitutes:   Beaujolais OR Pinot Noir 

Gamay Beaujolais   Notes:    This name is given to American red wines made mostly from Pinot Noir and Valdiguie grapes.   It's an unexceptional fruity wine that goes best with hearty dishes that have rich sauces.   Don't confuse this wine with Gamay or Napa Gamay, both of which are superior.   The name Gamay Beaujolais is scheduled to be phased out by 2007.   Substitutes:   Valdiguie OR Pinot Noir OR Beaujolais OR Cabernet Sauvignon OR Burgundy OR Syrah 

Malbec  Pronunciation:  MALL-beck  Notes:  This red wine is similar to Merlot.  It's a good choice if you want a decent but inexpensive red wine to serve with red meat and pasta.    Substitutes:  Merlot OR Chianti

Merlot   Pronunciation:   mer-LOW  Notes:   This is a hearty red wine that's similar to a Cabernet Sauvignon, but softer and less tannic.  It goes especially well with pork, turkey, and pasta dishes.    Substitutes:  Cabernet Sauvignon OR Bordeaux



Petite Syrah = Petite Sirah   Pronunciation:  puh-TEET see-RAH  Notes:   This is a grape variety which produces an excellent red wine that's very dark and often described as "peppery."  Don't confuse Petite Syrah with Syrah, another red varietal wine.   Substitutes:  Syrah OR Rhone wine (often made from Petite Syrah and Syrah) 

Pinot Noir   Pronunciation:  pee-no NWAHR  Notes:   This earthy red varietal wine goes best with beef, ham, poultry, salmon, or tuna.  Unfortunately, making it is tricky business, so the quality varies tremendously.  A good one will be expensive and sublime.    Substitutes:   Cabernet Sauvignon OR Syrah 

Rhône wine = Rhone wine   Pronunciation:   RONE   Notes:   Vineyards along the Rhône River in Southeastern France produce red, white, and blush wines, but they're best known for their excellent red wines.  Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the region's most famous appellation, while Côtes-du-Rhône is the catch-all name given to lesser Rhône wines.   Substitutes:   Syrah OR Bordeaux OR Pinot Noir OR Merlot OR Barbera OR Zinfandel OR Cabernet Sauvignon


Rioja    Pronunciation:  ree-OH-ha  Notes:    This is a region in Northern Spain that's known for its economical and fairly good red wines.  Substitutes:   Chianti OR Pinot Noir OR Burgundy

Sangiovese   Pronunciation:  san-joe-VAY-zee  Notes:   This is the red grape variety that's often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to make Italian Chianti.  California Sangiovesi are hearty and good with Italian food.   The quality of this wine varies tremendously, but a good Sangiovese is sublime.  Substitutes:  Chianti OR Zinfandel OR Cabernet Sauvignon OR Merlot

Syrah = Shiraz   Pronunciation:   see-RAW   Notes:    This wine is called Syrah in Europe and America, and Shiraz in Australia.  It's a dry red wine that's especially good with barbecued meats, sausages, strong cheeses, and spicy foods.  Don't confuse Syrah with Petite Syrah.    Substitutes:   Zinfandel OR Bordeaux OR Pinot Noir OR Merlot OR Barbera OR Cabernet Sauvignon  

Valdiguie = Napa Gamay     Notes:   This is a relative of the Pinot Noir grape, and it makes a red wine that goes well with hearty meat-based dishes.  Don't confuse it with Gamay or Gamay Beaujolais.  Substitutes:   Gamay Beaujolais OR Pinot Noir OR Beaujolais

Zinfandel = Zin  Pronunciation:  ZIN-fan-dell  Notes:   This is a hearty red varietal wine that's especially good with sausages and barbecued meats.  Don't confuse it with white Zinfandel, a fruity blush wine that wine snobs abhor.  California Zinfandels are often excellent.  Substitutes:   Chianti OR Syrah OR Merlot OR Cabernet Sauvignon OR Rhone wines (red)



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