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Everything You Need To Know About Red Wine

It’s no surprise that red wine is one of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks. Known for its tantalizing taste and astounding history, spanning thousands of years, red wine has become a cultural symbol and a beverage that’s celebrated across the entire globe. As we take great pride in being the best wine-makers in Macedonia, in this blog, you’ll discover everything you need to know about red wine, including its production methods and types. In addition, we’ll also provide some of the finest red varieties you can find in our store, promising a taste you’ll want to come back to time and time again.


Red Wine Basics


As you already know, red wine is mostly known for its color, ranging from intense violets to the most alluring scarlets. This color primarily comes from grape skins which are left in contact with the juice during fermentation, resulting in an instantly recognizable hue. Red wine’s flavor is even more intricate than its color, varying from light and fruity to rich and full-bodied. The flavor mostly stems from the grape variety and techniques used in its production, as well as the region where it comes from.


Furthermore, red wine is often praised for its numerous health benefits - when consumed in moderation. Since it’s rich in many antioxidants such as resveratrol, this delectable beverage can do wonders for your heart health and longevity. Because this connection has been discovered ever since scientists started taking an interest in it, wellness and red wine have always gone hand-in-hand, meaning it’s the perfect drink if you opt for health-conscious alcohol consumption. If you want to delve deeper into the numerous benefits of red wine, check out this blog



Red Wine Production


The production of red wine is as intricate as its taste, closely akin to an art form. Just imagine - simple grapes transform into an enjoyable beverage, one that enlivens all of your senses. Since we take pride in being the best wine-makers in Macedonia, we’ll take you through the creation process, so you know how much passion and work it takes to create a blend that provides satisfaction with every sip.



Harvesting & Crushing


As you can imagine, the first step of red wine-making is selecting grape varieties as they set the foundation of its flavor. Their skin plays a crucial role in defining its color and character, so at Tikves, we hand-pick the grapes to provide a quality beyond your greatest expectations. Once harvested, the grapes are crushed, thus releasing their juice, pulp, and skins. This mixture is also known as a ‘must’ and it’s of utmost importance as it affects the wine’s color, tannins, and flavor.



Fermentation


Even if you’re new to wines, you probably already know fermentation is the heart of wine-making. More specifically, the abovementioned must is left to ferment along with the grape skins, allowing the extraction of tannins and color. Compared to its white counterpart, red wine is fermented in warmer temperatures, and the added yeasts, whether natural or added, transform the grape sugar into alcohol, finally resulting in the beverage we all know and love. 


Aging & Maturation


After the fermentation, our wines are stored in either stainless steel or oak barrels to mature. The duration of the aging process isn’t set in stone, meaning it could last from several months to a couple of years. Oak barrels specifically contribute additional flavors and complexity to the red wine, which is why you may often savor smoky notes when drinking certain varieties.



Bottling


Finally, our red wines proceed to bottling, and while it may come as a surprise, this also plays a part in their development. Namely, some of our red wines gain complexity and smoothness over time, and the only way to experience it is if you pick up a bottle of Tikves wine yourself!



What Are Tannins?


When talking about red wine, you’ll probably hear a lot of connoisseurs talk about tannins, but what exactly are they? Allow us to provide some clarity.


Tannins are natural compounds found in grape skins, seeds, stems, and even oak barrels. They contribute to the overall wine texture, giving it a certain sense of dryness. Additionally, tannins play a crucial role in the aging process of the wine. Typically, red wines with high tannin levels have a greater aging potential as they soften over time, ultimately contributing to enhancing their flavor profile. When tasting wine, tannins can be experienced as a dry, puckering sensation primarily on the gums and inner cheeks. 


What is “Body” in Red Wines?


Although tannins are mostly part of red wines, the body of the wine applies to all varieties. This is a term used to describe the weight and texture of it as perceived in the mouth. In short, it’s one of the key attributes that differentiates wine types.


The wine’s body is influenced by several compounds including the alcohol and sugar content, as well as the presence of tannins. Generally, red wines that have higher alcohol and tannin levels are considered full-bodied. In contrast, as this number goes down, the wine can either be medium, or light.


Light-bodied wines are refreshing and delicate and this mostly applies to white varieties. Full-bodied ones, on the other hand, are richer and more intense. To fully understand the richness of red wine, pick up a bottle of our finest Barovo Red and enjoy its full-rounded, soft-tannin taste.


Types Of Red Wine Grapes


You’re aware by now that the world of red wines is as diverse as ever, and this is mostly because of the countless grape varieties used in their production. Here are some of the most popular red wine grapes:


  1. Cabernet Sauvignon


Known for its depth and complexity, these grapes are often aged in oak barrels to add an extra layer of flavor. They’re some of the most common varieties and are easily recognizable for their earthy and somewhat fruity taste. Its tasting notes include bell pepper, green olives, tobacco, black pepper, and black cherry.


  1. Merlot


Compared to Cabernet, Merlot varieties are much softer and fruitier, and they’re popular for their smooth and velvety texture. These are quite easy to drink, so if you’re only beginning to explore all kinds of wine, consider this as the ultimate starting point.


  1. Pinot Noir


Pinot Noir varieties are delicate and rather aromatic and are mostly used to produce lighter-bodied red wines. They pair well with poultry dishes such as turkey and chicken, and you’ll surely enjoy their elegant and complex nature.


  1. Shiraz


Shiraz offers bold flavors that some drinkers may find to be too strong. Still, their spiciness and dark fruit notes contribute to full-rounded wines, resulting in an intense blend that pairs with stews, game, and mushrooms.


How To Serve Red Wine


Serving red wine properly can significantly enhance its flavors and your overall drinking experience. Primarily, they should be served below room temperature, between 15-18C (60-65F). In addition, it’s also important you use the right glassware - wider, larger glasses, allowing the wine to breathe better and release its aromas.


Decating is also recommended for older, full-bodied red wines, as this helps to aerate it. Furthermore, when it comes to food pairing, red wines typically complement red meats, hearty pasta dishes, and strong cheese varieties, though all of this depends on the wine’s body and flavor profile. To get a better understanding of which wines pair well with which food, check out our extensive guide about it.



Tikves Red Wine Highlights


Considering you’ve learned the basics of red wine, it’s time for you to explore its richness hands-on. We’re singling out a few of our finest blends from our selection of red wines, showcasing the best of what Tikves has to offer.


  1. Barovo Red



As previously mentioned, this robust blend showcases the exquisite Kratoshija and Vranec grape varieties, delivering a rich and complex flavor profile.


  1. Vranec



Noted for its deep ruby color and delectable berry flavors, Vranec pairs extremely well with red meat dishes. Interestingly enough, this wine is made from the oldest Vranec vines in Macedonia’s oldest winery!


  1. Alexandria Cuvee



A premium wine that combines opulence and depth. Its balanced blend results in an unparalleled flavor fusion, making it a favorite in Macedonia - and beyond!


  1. T’ga Za Jug



This is undoubtedly one of the most famous Macedonian wines as it is named after a famous poem about the country. It is noted for its light body and subtle nuances, offering a completely different take on traditional red wine.


With that, we conclude this guide on all there is to know about red wine. Know that every sip you take is more than just a flavorful experience. As you know, we take great pride in being the leading wine-makers in the country, and we’re bringing you a piece of Macedonia’s culture directly to your doorstep. So, whether you’re an expert wine connoisseur or just someone who’s looking to pick up a few bottles for your next dinner party, consider the delectable taste of Tikves wine and revel in their magnificence with every taken sip.


To find out more about the vast world of wines, check out the rest of our blogs

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