Wines come in a pretty wide range of varieties. Still, even if you find a type you like, you might be confused about the “body” of a wine. Mainly used for red wines, these red wine styles can seem complex at first. However, they actually aren’t to hard to understand…
Red Wine Styles: Light to Bold
Light-bodied wines are the first of the styles to know. Red wine styles which are light bodied have few tannins present. These wines are very lean, and can have a mouthfeel similar to water. This means they tend to be very easy to drink, as well as also being pretty smooth.
Plus, these wines tend to be low on ABV, usually hovering around 12%. They also have a very minimum impact on your pallet. They tend to go best with light and lean foods, like chicken or salmon. Some common light-bodies wines include Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Schiava.
Medium-bodied wines are the next of the red wine styles. Like the name implies, these wines are somewhere in-between light-bodies and full-bodies. They’ll have a bit more tannins than light ones, but not nearly as many as full ones. As a result, these tend to be the most common wines, and they cover a very wide spectrum in the wine world.
These wines tend to have an ABV of around 12.5-13.5%. Medium-bodies also compliment a lot of different food options, further adding to their versatility. Some of the most well-known choices include Merlot, Chianti, and Cabernet Franc.
Finally, the last of the red wine styles are full-bodied wines. These are wines that have a very high tannin content. This gives them a very strong mouthfeel, and makes them somewhat more “tart” than other choices. Whereas light-bodies may feel like water, these wines can have a mouthfeel similar to milk!
Full-bodied wines tend to also have a high ABV, usually at 13.5% or higher. As a result, these wines are best when sipped slowly over time, either throughout a meal or when at an event. These wines work well with hearty food options, like steaks. Common examples include Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Sauvignon or a Super Tuscan.