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Cabernet, Pinot Noir Most Popular Red Wines

Cabernet, Pinot Noir Most Popular Red Wines

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According to a new study, merlot is now the third most popular red wine out there

What are the most popular wines to order while dining out?

Well, well, well. Merlot might just be losing its grip; a new study from Restaurant Sciences LLC has found that pinot noir has surpassed merlot when it comes to wine-by-the-glass sales in restaurants.

According to the study, cabernet sauvignon remains the top-selling red wine (making up 31.6 percent of red wine-by-glass sales), followed closely by pinot noir (19.9 percent), merlot (15.3 percent), and a red blend (8.8 percent).

As for whites, chardonnay remains the most popular (44.8 percent), followed by pinot grigio (23.2 percent), and sauvignon blanc (15.5 percent).

Malbecs, however, are reportedly having a moment, as diners are continuing to choose blended reds and malbecs, while red zinfandel is losing its steam. So malbec drinkers? You're no longer the mavericks. Go drink some tempranillo instead.

Understanding Red Wine: How to Decide If Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec, or Syrah Is Your Preferred Style

Delicate and elegant or rich and robust, there&aposs a red wine out there for every lover of the glorious grape. Where to start? Try one of these four very different reds: cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, malbec, and syrah. Here&aposs what to know to get started plus how to pair them with food-and some sommelier favorites.

It&aposs important to note that red wine grape varieties aren&apost all created equal: They are as different from each other as granny smith, golden delicious, and McIntosh apples. Each unique grape variety creates a completely different wine in terms of aroma, texture, flavor profile, and body. With that said, grape varieties themselves are only one aspect of the finished wine. Other factors that influence the final result are the climate and soil types in which the grapes are grown, as well as the type of barrel the wine is aged in and the length of time the wine is aged before it&aposs released. It&aposs fun to try different examples of a certain grape to see if there&aposs a certain growing region or winemaking style that you prefer.

Here&aposs some basic information to inform your red wine drinking.

Wines High In Resveratrol

Since resveratrol is only present in grape skins, white and rosé varieties of wine contain fewer amounts of it when compared to red wine, which leaves the skin on during the process of fermentation. According to a July 2016 study published in Advances in Nutrition, the best wines for resveratrol include red grape varieties, which are known to contain anywhere from three times to ten times the amount of resveratrol than white wine varietals.

The pinot noir resveratrol content averages approximately ten times that of white wines such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. The authors of the July 2016 study in Advances in Nutrition report that red wines typically average between 1.7 to 1.9 milligrams of trans-resveratrol per liter of alcohol. Wines high in resveratrol depend on various factors including the variety of grape being used in the fermentation process, the country the grape is grown in and even its exposure to bacterial and fungal microorganisms.

Sweet Red Wines

Now that you know all about the flavors in dry red wine, we can talk about sweet red wines.

Slightly Sweet Red Wine Flavors

Slightly Sweet red wines are often red wine blends, such as Apothic Red, Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet, and others. These are affordable red wine blends, usually from California, and they have some residual sweetness in them.

Lambrusco and Brachetto d'Acqui are Italian sweet red wines, and they often have more nuance and character than the sweet red wine blends.

Here are some recommendations for both types of slightly sweet red wines -

If you’re looking for a sweet red wine that’s more sophisticated, you have some other options. If you love complex, thought-provoking wines (that may be a little more difficult to find), try one of these:

Pinot Noir

"Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult wines to grow, as it is thin-skinned and therefore prone to many types of maladies or minor natural disasters," says Lincoln.

Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile grapes to work with, giving the winemaker the freedom to create several different styles of wine.

"Pinot can be whimsical and bright like the wines from the newer generations in France's Loire region, or austere and thought-provoking like more traditional Burgundian wines," says Lincoln.

Pairs best with: BBQ chips

"The earthy spiciness of Pinot Noir and the umami-like BBQ seasoning is the most classic of wine and junk food pairings," he says. "Almost as good as fried chicken and Champagne!"


Sofía Vainesman

The Malbec is similar to Merlot but a little more rough around the edges. It has that same fruit-driven character but with a little spicy kick at the end. Though originally created in France, Argentina has become the leader in creating a perfect Malbec and is really good at it.

As many know, Argentinians love their meat, so they made the wine perfect for that, pairing well with lean cuts of meat such as sirloin or lamb. If you're more in the mood for a wine and cheese night, aim for aged cheeses such as manchego or gouda.

Cabernet, Pinot Noir Most Popular Red Wines - Recipes

The wine region of Monterey lies just inland from California's magnificent central coastline. The waters of the Pacific crash into rugged seaside cliffs which form the base of the Santa Lucia mountains that rise above the clear blue waters. Just beyond the mountains lies the vast Salinas Valley. Here, Pinot Noir thrives on the hills and rocky outcrops overlooking the valley.

During the day, the bright sunshine radiates on the vines ripening the grapes to perfection. But at night, the cool ocean air prevents the berries from getting too ripe too fast, thus preserving Pinot Noir's inherent freshness. Mornings are often marked by the arrival of a sweeping blanket of fog which extends cooler temperatures well into the late morning. These special conditions create a one-of-a-kind environment for Pinot Noir. The wines made here feature the grape's abundance of red berry fruit aromas, and also its more nuanced flavors of earth, minerals, and spice.


If you are on a mission for bold, fruit-forward and impeccably smooth California Pinot Noir than you've found it! Fresh and full-bodied, this wine presents the best of both worlds. Mix in generous flavors of black cherries, plums and sweet spice and now you've got it made.

Find a retailer near you, or buy our wines online.

Need a little wine inspiration? Check out our blog for wine pairings, cocktail recipes, wine education and more!

At 90+ Cellars, we believe that every occasion calls for a great wine. That's the philosophy behind every wine we bottle. Great wines at a great price. So you can enjoy them anytime.

Get Rosé Ready!

Best Stemless: Duralex Picardie Tumbler

If you’re looking for a versatile workhorse, James recommends her go-to stemless glass, the Duralex Picardie Tumbler. According to her, these glasses are durable, reliable, and great for brasserie-style wines. Plus, they won’t break the bank. “This is my vehicle for a tipple at the end of a long workday,” she says. The tempered, non-porous glass of these tumblers is impact- and chip-resistant, and it’s designed to withstand sudden temperature changes—meaning if you make an espresso and want it iced, you can stick it in the freezer while hot and the glass can easily handle it. These space-saving, stackable tumblers are also dishwasher- and microwave-safe.

Common White Grapes

1. Chardonnay -- The King of Whites

Chardonnay is the cabernet sauvignon in the world of white wines. Full-bodied, rich, and complex in taste and flavor. Depending on regions, aromas range from lemon, honey, green apple, kiwi, melons to oaky and hazulnutty . The California Chardonnay, enjoying sunshine and fully ripen, are well-known for their full-bodied and buttery texture. French Chardonnay, having undergone cooler climate, are more subtle and crispy.

Optimal Drinking Window: Most are meant for early enjoyment (within 5 years). The more complex White Burgundy can be best enjoyed in its 6-10 years.

Recommended Region: Chablis, Cote de Beaune (Burgundy, France). Sonoma Valley, Carneros (US). Margaret River (Australia).

2. Sauvignon Blanc -- Aromatic and Crisp

Delightfully aromatic with a distinctly grassy, gooseberry, peach, and melon -like aromas. Dry, acidic, the best sauvignon blanc is crispy and offers a long finish. French Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume from Loire Valley, are more acidic, grassy and tangy. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, benefiting from its friendly climate, is more aromatic with hints of melons and elderflowers.

Optimal Drinking Window: Meant for early drinking. Best drink within 1-3 years of harvest.

Recommended Region: Marlborough (New Zealand). Napa Valley (US). Loire Valley (France). Casablanca Valley (Chile).

3. Riesling -- Versatile and Ageable

Though commonly associated as the German sweet wine, not all Rieslings are sweet nor from Germany. Alsace and Australia have developed distinctive Riesling. Light-bodied, clean, and crispy, Riesling has varying bouquet, ranging from apple, peaches, lime, honeysuckle, to minerally . Rieslings are highly acidic in nature which means they are great food partners and age well.

Optimal Drinking Window: Can enjoy young. Complex riesling can age for 10+ years and will gain notes of petrol as they age.

Recommended Region: Mosel (Germany). Alsace (France). Eden Valley, Clare Valley (Australia).

Please note the recommended region is only the starting point. There are a lot of good regions for each grape variety.

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