Comment choisir un bon vin rouge ?

How to choose a good red wine?

Choosing a bottle of red wine is often considered complicated, and many prefer to leave this task to connoisseurs. It must be said that the choice is vast, and that you can quickly feel lost when faced with shelves as far as the eye can see. So, to help you recognize a good bottle, here are some tips for choosing red wine .

A good red wine: a matter of taste above all

It is difficult, if not impossible, to tell you precisely which red wine is right for you or not. This is simply explained by the fact that the choice must be based on your personal tastes , and that a red wine that you like may not please your neighbor.

In the same way, we cannot guide you towards a bottle of red wine based on your tastes in white wine. Indeed, these two types of wine are very different, in many respects, and red wine is distinguished by:

  • Its high tannin content;
  • Its higher alcohol level;
  • His more robust body;
  • Its different aromatic palette;
  • Its greatest complexity.

Ultimately, the best way to find out your preferences when it comes to red wines is to taste different vintages and different grape varieties.

Discover the red wine you prefer based on the grape variety

Have you ever not appreciated a great vintage that everyone described as excellent? Rest assured, there is nothing abnormal about that. It's a bit as if it were accepted that everyone must adore old aged cheeses or luxury products: this is not possible, because all tastes are natural! So, to discover the red wines that you like the most, start by testing the best grape varieties.

Here are the 4 main grape varieties of red wine , this is the basis of grape varieties that will help you deepen your knowledge of wine regions.

Pinot noir and its acidity

Originally from Burgundy, Pinot Noir is the ideal grape variety to teach you how to recognize the acidity of red wine . If you like red wines made from this black grape variety, it is very likely that you also like Grenache Noir, which is much more acidic.

Furthermore, Pinot Noir often offers a very good balance between acidity and tannins, which enhances the fruity aromas of the wine.

Syrah and its power

The structure of red wines is one of the elements that most distinguish them from white wines. But there are certain black grape varieties which offer wines with more marked power , as is the case with Syrah. If you like red wines made from Syrah , this grape variety native to the Rhône Valley, you will generally appreciate structured wines, with intense aromatic notes.

Cabernet-Sauvignon and its tannins

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of those grape varieties loaded with tannins. Its wines leave a feeling of dryness in the mouth typical of tannic wines . If you like this type of wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, then you will also like Merlot, red wines from Bordeaux, as well as wines from the South.

Zinfandel and its alcohol

As a general rule, red wines are higher in alcohol than white wines, but wines made from Zinfandel are even higher. With an average alcohol content of 15% , the bottle of zinfandel red wine is particularly powerful, intense and full-bodied. We owe this alcohol level to the fermentation process, which transforms sugars into ethanol.

If you like this strong red wine, you will probably also enjoy red wine from Australia (Shiraz) or red wine from Madeira.

Focus on the quality of the wine

Have you noticed a marked preference for acidic wines, or for tannic wines? Unfortunately, simply turning to associated grape varieties is not enough to ensure a good quality bottle of red wine . In the same way, the high price of a bottle is not a guarantee of quality either, because there are very good vintages at low prices. Finally, the quality of good bottles is mainly based on 3 selection criteria:

  • Wine balance : the best bottles of wine have a nice balance between acidity, alcohol and tannins. These are the ideal conditions for the flavors to express themselves optimally, thus providing a pleasant sensation of balance in the mouth;
  • The intensity of the wine : the more you can perceive in detail each aroma of a red wine, the more intense and qualitative it is;
  • The complexity of the wine : generally, the more the wine offers a varied palette of flavors, the better the quality of the wine. Provided, of course, that each aroma is intense, and therefore easily identifiable.

Choose a wine that matches your knowledge

If you are new to wine tasting, and some notes are still difficult to appreciate, do not venture into red wines that are too complex or bold. On the other hand, if you are comfortable, don't hesitate to step out of your comfort zone by discovering other types of red wines , you might be surprised!

Define your own needs to choose your wine

The final choice of your bottle of red wine depends mainly on your needs, and what you are going to do with your bottle. Indeed, depending on criteria, the selection will not be the same if you want to offer it to a friend, if you want to open it for a friendly meal, or if it is intended to age in your wine cellar.

If the bottle of wine is intended for a loved one, try to find out about their own tastes, or opt for safe values ​​of excellent quality. If your purchase is intended for a convivial meal, take into account the food and wine pairing , because you will not serve the same red wine with white meats (young wines), red meats (full-bodied red wine with a more complex aromatic profile ) or fish, for example. Finally, if you are looking for a wine to age , pay particular attention to the estate, but also and above all to the vintage. For a guaranteed crush, favor rich flavors, exceptional taste qualities, and explore the gems of each wine region.

Choose your right bottle according to your budget

Before even going to wine fairs, to the wine merchant, or to the wine section of your supermarket, it is always interesting to set a budget . This will allow you to guide your choice, and to try to find the best quality/price ratio .

We said above, unless you buy a Grand Cru Classé, which guarantees you a good quality tasting, it is not necessary to pay very much to find good French wines, and it is very easy to do good business.

You can even discover organic wines at the best value for money...

Don't hesitate to taste the wine before buying it

To form your own opinion, nothing beats a good tasting. This is why we strongly recommend that you taste several red wines to form your own idea and define what you like or not. You can then go directly to the tasting cellar of our estate, or take part in a tasting workshop at your wine merchant.

You will then learn the art of wine tasting , starting with visual analysis, then olfactory examination, and ending with taste analysis. You will be able to recognize the characteristics that appeal to you, whether it is acidity, alcohol, or even tannins, and you will learn to put your feelings into words. By evaluating the complexity and intensity of your favorite wines, you will be able to establish a specification of your requirements, and will be able to more easily turn to the vintages that you are sure to like.

Train with an oenology expert

Unless you are an experienced wine lover, you will inevitably have difficulty defining what you like, and finding the right bottle of red on the first try. So don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional, whether an oenologist, sommelier, or even wine merchant. They will be able to guide you according to your tastes towards the quality wine that will meet your expectations: red wines with fruit aromas, red wine to accompany white meat, to accompany roast meats, to accompany a cheese platter. ... Choose the ideal temperature level, appreciate the acidity level that suits you, and choose wines that perfectly match your preferences.

Are you looking for the ideal bottle of red wine for quick consumption or to complete your wine cellar? Don't hesitate to participate in the tasting workshops at the Domaine de Berne, to have a great time with our oenologist, and learn everything about red wine . Fun time guaranteed!


Our selection of wines

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Rosé 2022 AOP Côtes de ProvenceGrande Récolte
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White 2017 AOP Côtes de ProvenceChâteau de Berne Grande Cuvée
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