Red wine is a timeless classic enjoyed by many wine enthusiasts worldwide. While some regions are celebrated for their heavy-bodied reds, there are also light-bodied options that should be noticed. Often referred to as “the other red wine,” these lighter varieties offer a unique experience with their vibrant hues and refreshing palate. From the delicate Pinot Noir of Burgundy to the fruity Beaujolais from France, this article will introduce you to the legendary light-bodied red wines everyone should know. Whether you are new to the world of wine or a seasoned enthusiast, exploring these well-crafted and versatile options will surely elevate your next dining experience. So, come along and discover the beauty of light-bodied reds that are perfect for any occasion.
Light-bodied red wines are excellent for cheese pairings, especially if you want a more balanced and nuanced flavour experience. Light-bodied red wines, such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais, pair wonderfully with a variety of cheeses. These wines have a smoother, less robust profile that complements the cheese rather than overpowering it. The fruity notes in these wines complement the creaminess and milder flavours of the cheese and help cut through any sharpness. Additionally, the lower tannins found in red wines pair well with the high-fat content in cheese, creating a satisfying and rich flavour experience.
When pairing cheese with light-bodied red wines, it’s important to consider both the origin of the cheese and the winemaking region.
AKA: Nouveau Beaujolais – Nouveau Beaujolais Rosé – Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc* – Gamay Noir*
*Gamay Noir – Same grape as that used for Beaujolais, but in other areas of France and outside France, it will be identified as Gamay Noir.
Beaujolais is a light-bodied red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais region of France. It’s made from a grape called Gamay with thin skin, giving the wine a unique taste. Beaujolais is known for being light and fruity, with a refreshing taste. The wine is usually released a few weeks after being made, and it’s called Beaujolais Nouveau. People like Beaujolais because it’s easy to drink, not too strong, and goes well with lots of different foods. There are other types of Beaujolais wine, too, like Beaujolais-Villages and Cru Beaujolais, which are fancier wines from specific parts of the region. People grow the Gamay grape in other parts of the world, but it’s most famous in Beaujolais.
The recommended serving temperature for Beaujolais wines depends on the specific type.
Beaujolais Nouveau, a young wine, should be served slightly chilled at around 12-15°C/54-59°F to enhance its fruity and fresh taste.
The more mature Beaujolais wines, including Beaujolais-Villages and the ten Beaujolais Crus, are best served at 13-15°C/55-59°F. The wine’s aromas and flavours will be more pronounced at this temperature, making for a satisfying drinking experience.
|Nouveau||light||high||dry but juicy fruit||medium|
|Typical Beaujolais||light||high||dry but light fruit||medium|
|Villages level||medium||high||dry but fruity||medium|
AKA: Red Burgundy* – Noiren – Pineau – Savagnin Noir (France) – Spätburgunder – Blauburgunder (Germany, Austria) – Pinot Nero (Italy)
*Red Burgundy is made from 100% Pinot Noir grape.
Pinot Noir is a red wine grape with a thin skin, producing light-bodied and often delicately-flavoured wine. It is famously grown in Burgundy, France, where it produces some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive wines, but it is now grown in many wine-producing regions worldwide, including the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Pinot Noir wines typically have flavours of red or black fruits, such as cherry, raspberry, or blackberry, with a subtle earthiness and hint of spice. It is one of the noblest and most versatile wines. It pairs well with lighter meats such as chicken or duck. It is excellent with vegetable dishes and can also be enjoyed on its own as an easy-going sipping wine. Its delicate nature makes it a challenging grape to grow and vinify, but it produces some of the world’s most elegant and sought-after wines when done well.
Pinot Noir is a delicate and nuanced wine that requires careful temperature control to truly appreciate its complex flavours and aromas. Serving temperature plays a crucial role in maximizing the wine’s potential. Generally, Pinot Noir should be served at a temperature between 12-16°C/55-60°F.
|warm climate||medium||medium||dry but slightly fruity||medium|
The classic wine categories include sparkling, white (light, medium and full-bodied), rosé, red (light, medium and full-bodied) and dessert wine.
Sparkling wine is known for its effervescence, with carbon dioxide bubbles naturally forming during fermentation. White (light, medium and full-bodied) wine is usually produced from lighter-coloured grapes with a lighter body and a more delicate flavour. Rosé wine is a pink-coloured wine made from red grapes with a refreshing taste and versatile food pairings. Red (light, medium and full-bodied) wine is typically made from dark-coloured grapes, giving it a deeper colour and bold flavour profile. Dessert wine is a type of wine that is sweet and often served after a meal or paired with desserts.
These classic wine categories are the foundation of the wine industry and the starting point for exploring the many variations and complexities within each category.
This article is part of “How to plan an unforgettable wine & cheese party”
These tips are from my own experience;
I’m neither a party organizer, a sommelier, nor a turophile (a cheese connoisseur).
I just love cheese, wine and spending time with family and friends.
I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to host a wine and cheese party with a handful of close friends.
If you use my tips for your next Wine & Cheese party, please comment below and remember to take a picture, tag @Fast2eat.com and use #Fast2eat so that we can both marvel at how easy it was!
Thank you so much for reading, commenting, following and sharing.
Check out what I’ve been busy preparing for you!