Red wine holds the key to many wine lovers’ hearts. Dry and tannic, or bright and fruity, there’s a red for everyone. All year long we scour the planet for adventurous new varietals and familiar favorites to deliver an array of options perfect for everyday moments and special occasions. For National Red Wine Day, August 28th, we’ve rounded up our favorite red wines perfect for the end of summer, cool fall nights and beyond. Read on to learn more about red wine and shop our current faves.
2020 Moto Rouge, Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot is the darkest red Bordeaux grape variety. In Bordeaux and California this varietal adds color and provides tannins, density, and intensity wherever it is blended with an herbal black pepper aroma and flavor. Today, we’re seeing more Petit Verdot planted to be offered as a single varietal in Australia’s irrigated interior, as well as in the “red Bordeaux varietal country” of Argentina, Chile, Spain, New Zealand, California, and Washington.
If this wine were a movie, it would be dubbed film noir. If it were part of your wardrobe, it would be a deep purple satin dress. A book? It would a devilish mystery…but it’s not…it’s a deeply delicious red wine that’s sultry, smooth and complex.Leslie Sbrocco, Director of Sommology
Petit Verdot is a grape variety that’s anything but petite. Our Moto Rouge is packed with dark notes of plum & blueberry with hints of black pepper and a touch of earthy elegance. Its smoothness is sure to please those looking for a unique red wine. With this 2020 Moto Rouge, our favorite Washington grower again makes the case that their state’s wines are the “best kept secret” in the American wine business.
Perfect pairings: hummus dip, charcuterie, stuffed mushrooms, beef stew, dark chocolate everything
2019 Perique, Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is the wine shape-shifter – it’s elegant yet smooth, fresh yet concentrated, glamorous yet rustic, and pretty yet bold. It pairs as easily with grilled fish as it does with braised meats making it a wine for all seasons and all reasons. It’s been a while since we’ve had a great Pinot Noir offering but this is it. Combining a silky texture with vibrancy and earthy, red cherry aromas, this Perique captures Pinot’s complex beauty.
Pinot Noir is usually the most appealing red to drink for lovers of white wine because of its elegance. However, big red wine lovers gravitate towards it too, as it offers lighter-styled class in a glass.Leslie Sbrocco, Director of Sommology
Our Perique Pinot Noir sits at the midpoint on the spectrum of weight, more light-to-medium bodied, and certainly not as heavy as a Cabernet Sauvignon. Yet, what it lacks in heft, it more than makes up for in versatility. This is the wine to serve to a large group as it matches a variety of dishes. With just the right amount of acidity and fruit, a “kiss” of oak, and an attractive earthiness that enhances the herb and vegetable ingredients, it marries successfully with many different dishes.
Perfect pairings: olive spread, truffle popcorn, roast chicken, cherry tart, white chocolate covered strawberries
2016 Woodvale Estates, Merlot
This varietal of Woodvale Estates hails from Washington state. Washington grown Merlot tends to be more full-bodied, moderately tannic and slightly higher in alcohol in comparison to Merlots from Bordeaux. In contrast, higher in structural acidity than those from California. Traditionally used in blends, Merlot gained popularity bottled on its own in the 1970s. It captured center stage as Washington’s star varietal almost 15 years after its first commercial release in 1976. Washington Merlot is known for sweet berry and cherry flavors and complex aromas that include mint, cigar box, and sweet spices like nutmeg and cardamom.
Elegance with a touch of flash is why this is appealing to just about every wine lover. The dark fruit flavors and welcoming texture make it an all-purpose red to drink with food and with friends.Leslie Sbrocco, Director of Sommology
Merlot is a fan favorite because of its smooth, pleasing character, which is why we call it the ‘cashmere’ of the wine world. Not only is Merlot a familiar grape variety, but many may be less aware of Washington state’s versions. This is a wine that marries the best of Old-World Bordeaux elegance with New World fruitiness. What makes Washington State Merlot special is its unique intensity. With bolder tannins, vibrant acidity and brown-spiced aromas and fruity flavors, this is a supple sip.
Perfect pairings: potato skins, minestrone soup, stuffed peppers, blueberry pie, brownies
2016 Activist, Syrah
Syrah is a wine varietal that enjoys two very distinct styles based on the growing conditions. It should be noted, the Syrah grown in a hot sunny climate produces a dense, fiercely concentrated red wine loaded with spicy meaty notes. Syrah cultivated in climates with cooler nights and less balmy conditions is much more elegant and refined with mineral and graphite notes underneath a blanket of ripe black fruits. Our Activist is the latter style of wine with vibrant aromas, a touch of mineral and notes of sleek blackberry and blueberry fruits.
This Syrah has a kiss of elegance, it’s the perfect wine to pair with food. Think simple, elegant food to balance the peppery quality of this perfect Syrah.Leslie Sbrocco, Director of Sommology
Grown in the Paradise Vineyard in Santa Barbara County the fruit for this wine was ripened under sunny skies and nicely cooled at night thanks to the Pacific Ocean influence. This year’s Paradise Vineyard Syrah was hand-picked over a two day period to ensure uniform ripeness and quality. Undoubtably, this premium selection is the perfect wine for a special occasion, National Red Wine Day, or just because.
Perfect pairings: burgers, steak tips, bbq chicken, mint chocolate, dark chocolate everything
Ready to celebrate National Red Wine Day in style? Order our fave reds today with your wine guide, and share your red wine selections with us on Instagram with #travelingvineyardredwine. Remember, six bottles always ship free!