There are a whole lot of red wines out there, and it can be hard to navigate them all. While there is a time and place for all of them, fruit-forward red wines are some of the easiest drinking, hang out wines around. Looking for a wine with subtle tannins that delivers that poppy red candy sucker vibe from your childhood? Check out these fruity red wines that will hit just right.
The one and only from Beaujolais, France, Gamay is full of bubblegum bursts of cherry, raspberry and black currant with floral aromas of violet and peony. This lighter bodied red grape is often made using a process known as carbonic maceration. In this style, the berries are not crushed, but rather each berry ferments individually, from the inside out. This creates juicy, zippy, glou glou reds. Gamay thrives in cooler climates where it keeps its fresh fruit characteristics; outside of France, it is grown in Oregon and Switzerland.
Native to Austria, St. Laurent is a gem of a wine, one that is completely overlooked. This medium-bodied wine displays fresh fruit notes of blueberry, cherry, and raspberry with balanced acidity and soft tannins. It's crunchy and juicy and a dream paired with a burger. Serve slightly chilled.
Malbec is a full-bodied, heavy hitter red, without the harsh tannins of some other lofty wine. Hailing from Argentina, its rich, dark fruit flavors of red plum, raspberry, and black cherry are laced with notes of cocoa. Many are matured in oak, imparting toasty vanilla, sweet tobacco, and spicy notes. The best versions are from higher elevation vineyards, where the grapes hold onto more acidity and express fresher fruit and floral aromas.
This playful sparkling red from Emilia-Romanga, Italy is full of ripe strawberry, blackberry, and red currants with hints of hibiscus, anise, and sometimes a little bit of earthy funk (in the best way). The best versions are dry, or secco. Lambrusco is kind of like the much more mature, adult version of grape soda, and it is an absolute fizzy delight. Serve chilled!
Grown all over the world, from France to Australia to Greece, Syrah is a small dark grape that packs a punch. Depending on the climate, syrah can express fresh black fruit notes of black cherry and blackberry with hints of pepper or, it can have more ripe jammy fruit, like the inside of a blackberry hand-pie, with a hint of liquorice.
Zinfandel is grown in the warm climates of California and southern Italy where it ripens fully to produce red fruit flavors of strawberry and raspberry along with blackberry. They are full-bodied wines with silky tannins and dried fruit characteristics such as prune and raisin.
Grenache is a fruity red grape grown in the warm climates of southern France, Spain and Australia. It has notes of strawberry, red plum, and red cherry. It can also have subtle notes of white pepper, liquorice, and dried cherry. With high levels of sugar and lower acidity, it is a medium-bodied wine. The fruity nature of grenache makes it a common grape used to make rosé.
Grab a Glass
From a summer picnic to a post-ski lunch with a big plate of pasta, light and fruity reds fit with nearly every occasion. Head to your local bottle shop and dive in.