There are many grape varieties grown all over the world. Sometimes it can be hard to describe what the characteristics of each red wine are. What kind of ‘body’ a red wine has is often the primary adjective to distinguish between varieties.
The ‘body’ of a wine refers to how dark its color is, the viscosity of the liquid, and how dense the mouthfeel is. Medium-bodied red wines have the largest range of these factors.
Medium-bodied red wines tend to be dominant in fruit flavor, with medium acidity and pepperiness. They lie somewhere between 12.5% and 13.5% ABV, considered the medium alcohol level for red wine.
A big factor that contributes to the body of red wine is the tannin level. Tannins are found in the skin of grapes. The thicker the skin of the grape, the more tannins in the red wine. Tannins create the unique texture of red wine in your mouth. Medium-bodied red wines have a medium tannin level, giving a moderately heavy mouthfeel.
Another factor that determines the heaviness of red wine is the climate in which it is grown. Generally, warmer climates produce medium-bodied red wines and full-bodied red wines. The best medium-bodied red wines are often produced in warmer climates.
Medium-bodied red wines are perfect to drink on their own, possessing a balanced flavor profile. Alongside food, they are a wonderful accompaniment to rich fish, like crab, white meat, and red meat. They are often the variety of choice for casual drinking.
In this piece we will list several medium red wine types, finding out what is the best medium red wine. We will list the best medium red wine type by what grape they are produced from.
Medium-bodied Red Wine Varieties
When asked, ‘What is a medium-bodied red wine’ this will often be the provided example. Certainly the most widely available medium-bodied red wine, it is the second most popular wine in America. It is soft and smooth, making it palatable to most wine consumers.
Cabernet Franc is one of the most used grape varieties worldwide. It is most famous for its role in producing Cabernet Sauvignon, often blended with Merlot to do so. It is a long-standing cornerstone of the Bordeaux style of wine, contributing a pepperiness to brighten an otherwise heavy wine.
Sangiovese is a grape that produces so much of the wine we enjoy while remaining fairly anonymous. It is the cornerstone of Italian wine, used regularly to produce Chianti, Prugnolo Gentile, Montefalco Rosso, and more.
Montepulciano grapes produce some of the heaviest medium-bodied wines. However, it also possesses a higher acidic profile. This makes it quite a unique variety as it is uncommon for red wines to possess these two characteristics.
Barbera D’asti is the primary product of the Barbera grape. It is a deep, rich purple color, with relatively high acidity. It has a low tannin count, and so maintains a light mouthfeel.
On average Zinfandel produces the fullest-body red wine. Also referred to as Primativo, this grape variety thrives in the warmer climates of California, Croatia, and Apulia in Italy.
A fairly middle ground medium-bodied red wine variety. Predominantly grown in Apulia, southern Italy, this grape is often blended with its neighboring grapes to produce wines such as Copertino, Brindisi, and more.
Most notably yielding in North-Eastern Spain, the Mencía grape is thought to have originated in Portugal. It is not very well associated with what is a medium-bodied red wine, however, it is acclaimed for its quality.
It can sometimes be hard to determine what is a medium-bodied red wine. The best medium-bodied red wines certainly depend on preference. However, the most famous and heralded medium red wine types are those that are products of blending grapes. This is an ancient style of wine production, likely originating in France, that still occurs today.
There are infinite possibilities for styles of medium-bodied red wines, with the climate changing all over the world, grapes can travel and grow in new regions. This produces new growing conditions for these grapes, producing new possibilities for blends and flavor profiles of new wines.