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Red Wine Day

Dynamic flavors, versatility, and nutrition are all characteristics of red wine, the world's most popular wine, which is celebrated today with Red Wine Day. Dark-skinned grapes are fermented to make the wine, and a pigment in the skin of the grapes, anthocyanin, gives the wine its color. Merlot, syrah, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon are the four international varieties of red wine, meaning the grapes that make these red wines are planted in all the significant wine countries. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted grape in the world. Besides international varieties, the major varieties of red wine are malbec, zinfandel, chianti, cabernet franc, grenache, sangiovese tempranillo, and nebbiolo. There are many other regional red wine varieties. Red wine is made all over the world, but the top-producing locations are Rhône, Burgundy, and Bordeaux in France, Tuscany and Piedmont in Italy, the Barossa Valley in Australia, and Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley in California.

A wide range of flavors and aromas are present in red wine, such as fruits like berries, cherries, and plums, herbs, spices like cinnamon, pepper, and vanilla, and woody and earthy flavors, even though these ingredients aren't actually in the wine. Red wine often has a bitter taste. The bitterness comes from tannins, and the more tannins there are, the more bitter the wine is. Tannins are a natural preservative, which allows the wine to age for many years. The high amount of tannins in red wine comes from the macerating of grape skins, seeds, and to a lesser extent, stems. The body of a wine describes its level of tannins, depth, strength, and complexity. Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine, while gamay and some pinot noirs are light-bodied, and merlot is usually medium-bodied. Acid gives wine a tart and sour taste, contrasting with the bitter flavor tannins provide, and preserves wine, giving it freshness and structure. Tartaric and malic acid are common in red wine.

Red wine is best stored at 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is stored too cold it will become bitter, some flavors won't be apparent, and the alcohol will be stronger. If it is stored too warm, the aging process quickens. Red wine pairs well with beef, venison, and lamb, in contrast to white wine, which goes better with fish and poultry. Red wine can also be cooked with. Dry wines are better for savory dishes, while sweet wines are better for desserts.

When imbibed in moderation, red wine can provide health benefits. It contains antioxidants, most notably resveratrol, which may increase "good" HDL cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart disease, cancer, type-2 diabetes, and other diseases. Healthier wines have a higher amount of tannins. This being the case, young wines are healthier than old wines, since they contain more tannins. Drier wines and wines lower in alcohol also are healthier. With its health benefits, dynamic flavors, and versatility, red wine is a go-to for many, and it's celebrated with Red Wine Day!

How to Observe Red Wine Day

Celebrate the day with red wine!

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