Red

"Red" grapes can range from pink to red to dark purple in color when ripe. They are normally used to make red wine, although again the wine's color can cover the spectrum from pink to ruby to garnet to nearly black. Red grapes can also be used for white and pale pink wines if vinified with little or no skin contact.

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Aglianico
Aglianico One of Italy’s three greatest grape varieties and one of its oldest. Best vineyards are in volcanic soils on mountainous slopes. The three Aglianico DOCGs—Taurasi, Taburno, and Vulture—have separate biotypes. Very high acidity and prominent minerality. Usually quite tannic. Aromas & flavors: Floral (red roses), red fruit (sour cherries), plum (esp. from Vulture), leather and herbs (esp. from Taburno), smoke. Capable of long aging.
Albarossa
Albarossa
Aleatico
Aleatico
Alicante
Alicante
Alicante Bouschet
Alicante Bouschet
Ancellotta
Ancellotta
Avanà
Avanà
Avarengo
Avarengo
Barbera
Barbera Native to Piedmont, but now widespread in Italy and internationally. Low in tannin, high in acidity, and deeply purple in color. Aromas & flavors: Tart red fruit (cherry, raspberry), dried herbs, lavender, underbrush, spices. Best DOPs: Barbera d’Asti and Nizza.
Barsaglina
Barsaglina
Becuet
Becuet
Bombino Nero
Bombino Nero Thin skinned, and therefore better for rosato than rosso. Usually added to Negroamaro wines. High acidity; light to medium bodied. Aromas & flavors: Red berries, floral, citrus. Best DOP: Castel del Monte Bombino Nero DOCG.
Bonarda
Bonarda
Bovale
Bovale Two distinct grape varieties: Bovale Grande and Bovale Sardo. Bovale Grande is similar or identical to Carignano, Bovale Sardo to Spain’s Graciano. Sardo is considered the better of the two. Highly tannic and acidic; can produce deeply colored wines.
Brachetto
Brachetto Aromatic red variety. Light bodied. Aromas & flavors: Sour red cherry, raspberry, strawberry, baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), floral notes.
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cagnulari
Canaiolo Nero
Canaiolo Nero
Cannonau
Cannonau Cannonau is a genetic match with Garnacha of Spain (Grenache in France and many other countries), as are Tai Rosso and Vernaccia Nera, but all of them have developed in relative isolation for centuries. Light in color. Aromas & flavors: Floral, herbal. Best DOP: Cannonau di Sardegna subzones Oliena, Jerzu, and Capo Ferrato.
Carignano
Carignano Transplanted from Spain centuries ago. Similar or identical to Bovale Grande. Grows best on sandy soils, where it produces creamy wines with soft tannins. Best DOP: Carignano del Sulcis.
Carmenère
Carmenère
Casavecchia
Casavecchia
Casetta
Castiglione
Castiglione
Cavrara
Cavrara
Cesanese
Cesanese Two distinct varieties: Cesanese Comune and Cesanese di Affile (the latter considered better). Moderate color and tannin. Aromas & flavors: Red cherry, spices (cinnamon, white pepper), rose petals. Best DOPs: Cesanese del Piglio DOCG, Cesanese di Olevano Romano DOC, and Cesanese di Affile DOC.
Chatus
Ciliegiolo
Grapes-Ciliegiolo
Corbina
Cornalin
Corvina
Corvina Thick skin, ideal for air-drying. Light in color and tannin. Aromas & flavors: Violet, blackberry, red cherry, herbs. Believed to be a descendant of both Marzemino and Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso; distinct from Corvinone and Corbina.
Corvinone
Corvinone
Croatina
Croatina Frequently called, but unrelated to, Bonarda, Uva Rara, or even Nebbiolo. High in color and tannin. Aromas & flavors: Red fruit (ripe black cherry, raspberry). Best DOP: Bonarda dell’Oltrepò Pavese.
Dolcetto
Dolcetto Low in acidity and high in tannin. Earlier ripening than Barbera or Nebbiolo. Aromas & flavors: “Grapey,” blueberry, black currant, violet, orange peel, black tea. Best DOPs: Dogliani (most floral and powerful), Dolcetto d’Alba (fullest bodied), Diano d’Alba (in between); in Liguria, Ormeasco di Pornassio.
Doux d’Henry
Doux d’Henry
Fogarina
Fogarina
Fortana
Fortana
Franconia
Franconia
Frappato
Frappato Low in tannin, light bodied, and light in color. Aromas & flavors: Strawberry, violet, herbs.
Freisa
Freisa High in acidity and tannin; can be bitter. Aromas & flavors: Strawberry, sour red cherry, sandalwood, earth. Best DOP: Freisa d’Asti. Best biotype: Freisa di Chieri. Close relation of Nebbiolo.
Fumin
Gaglioppo
Gaglioppo Natural crossing of Sangiovese and Mantonico Bianco. Can have a red-orange color due to high level of unstable anthocyanins (cyanin and peonin). High in acid with rough tannins. Aromas & flavors: Red berries, citrus zest, minerals, underbrush.
Gamaret
Gamay
Gamba Rossa
Gamba Rossa
Grechetto Rosso
Grechetto Rosso
Greco Nero
Greco Nero
Grignolino
Grignolino High in acidity and tannin; light in body and color (usually with an orange or garnet tinge). Aromas & flavors: Fresh flowers, red berries (cranberry), spices (white pepper), sometimes bitter almond. Best DOPs: Grignolino d’Asti DOC, Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC.
Groppello
Groppello
Guarnaccia
Guarnaccia
Lacrima
Lagrein
Lagrein Full bodied, darkly colored, with sometimes harsh, bitter tannins. Aromas & flavors: Blackberry, black plum, black tea, orange peel, cocoa. Offspring of Teroldego.
Lambrusca di Alessandria
Lambrusco
Lambrusco A family of about 8 related varieties, one of Italy’s oldest. Primary family members:
  • Lambrusco di Sorbara: Lightest, most floral.
  • Lambrusco Grasparossa (di Castelvetro): Big­ger, fuller bodied; considered the best.
  • Lambrusco Maestri: Aromas & flavors: Plum, black cherry, chocolate, violet, bubblegum.
  • Lambrusco Marani: Tannic. Aromas & flavors: Violet, iris, peony, black currant, red cherry.
  • Lambrusco Salamino: Happy medium between Grasparossa and Sorbara.
  • Lambrusco Viadanese: Aka Lambrusco Mantovano.
Magliocco Canino
Magliocco Canino
Malbec
Malbec
Malbo Gentile
Malbo Gentile
Malvasia Nera
Malvasia Nera
Marzemino
Marzemino
Mayolet
Mayolet
Merlot
Merlot 144322568-Merlot
Molinara
Molinara
Mondeuse
Mondeuse
Monica
Monica A group of similar but unrelated Sardinian varieties. Gently tannic. Aromas & flavors: Red berries, herbs, tar, tobacco.
Montepulciano
Grapes-MontepulcianoMontepulciano Light to full bodied; soft tannins.  Aromas & flavors: Red cherry, herbs.
Moscato Nero
Moscato Nero The Muscat family is a large and varied group that includes the red Moscato Nero as well as pink (Moscato Rosa) and white versions (Muscat of Alexandria aka Zibibbo and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains aka Moscato Bianco.
Moscato Rosa
Moscato Rosa The Muscat family is a large and varied group that has white—Muscat of Alexandria (Zibibbo) and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (Moscato Bianco)—and red versions (Moscato Nero), as well as this intermediate pink subtype.
Nebbiolo
177822775-Barolo CastleNebbiolo Aka Spanna in northern Piedmont, Chiavennasca in Lombardy, and Picotener in Valle d’Aosta. Italy’s greatest native grape. Garnet with a telltale orange hue. High in acidity, tannins, and alcohol. Enormous aging potential. Aromas & flavors: Flowers (red rose, violet), sour red cherry, cranberry, tea, tobacco, licorice, sandalwood, truffle. Three main biotypes: Lampia (the “real” Nebbiolo), Michet (a high-quality version of Lampia with fanleaf virus), and Rosé (parent or offspring of Lampia; lighter in color, highly perfumed).
Negroamaro
Negroamaro High in alcohol. Aromas & flavors: Black fruit, tobacco, shoe polish.
Nerello Cappuccio
Nerello Cappuccio Early ripening; darker in color but less tannic than Nerello Mascalese. Aromas & flavors: Ripe cherry, vanilla, coffee, minerals, slightly floral.
Nerello Mascalese
Nerello Mascalese Light in color; tannic. Aromas & flavors: Sour cherry, tobacco, herbs, minerals.
Neretta Cuneese
Neretta Cuneese
Neretto di Bairo
Nero Buono
Nero d’Avola (Calabrese)
Nero d'Avola Often blended with Frappato. Aromas & flavors: Dark red cherry, herbs.
Nocera
Nocera
Ottavianello
Ottavianello
Pelaverga
Pelaverga
Pelaverga Piccolo
Pelaverga Piccolo
Perricone
Perricone
Petit Rouge
Petit Rouge
Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot
Piedirosso
Grapes-PiedirossoPiedirosso Often blended with Aglianico to soften it. Aromas & flavors: Red berries, floral, tar, green herbal note.
Pignolo
Pignolo
Pinot Meunier
Pinot Meunier
Pinot Nero
Pinot Nero
Prié Rouge
Prié Rouge
Primitivo
Primitivo Essentially the same as Zinfandel (aka Crljenak Kaštelanski or Tribidrag). One of earliest ripening varieties in Italy. High in alcohol. Aromas & flavors: Red cherry, strawberry jam, plum; sometimes tobacco, tar, herbs. Best DOPs: Gioia del Colle DOC, Primitivo di Manduria DOC.
Pugnitello
Quagliano
Quagliano
Raboso
Raboso Two related varieties: Raboso Piave (aka Friularo) and its offspring Raboso Veronese. Very high in acid, tannins, and anthocyanins (but loses color quickly). Aromas & flavors: Strawberry, black cherry, violet, tobacco, black pepper. Best DOPs: Piave DOC, Piave Malanotte DOCG, Bagnoli Friularo DOCG.
Rebo
Rebo
Recantina
Recantina
Refosco
Refosco Group of unrelated varieties, of which the most significant are:
  • Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso: Rough tannins. Aromas & flavors: Dried red cherry, herbs, almond, flowers (lavender, geranium, violet). Best DOP: Friuli Colli Orientali DOC.
  • Refosco Nostrano: More acidic and less (but smoother) tannins. Aromas & flavors: Flowers (lavender, iris, rose), red licorice, spices (cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram).
Rondinella
Rondinella Most reliable and least problematic of the Valpolicella varieties. Ruby red color; low in tannin. Aromas & flavors: Neutral, somewhat herbal.
Rossese
Rossese
Ruchè
Ruchè
Sagrantino
Sagrantino Italy’s most tannic wine. Aromas & flavors: Black fruit, herbs.
Sangiovese
BrunelloSangiovese Several biotypes, including Brunello, Morellino, Nielluccio, Prugnolo Gentile, Sangiovese Grosso di Lamole, Sangiovese Marchigiano, Sangiovese Montanino, Sangiovese Romagnolo. Light in color. Aromas & flavors: (In warmer areas) sweet red cherry, plum, herbs; (in cooler areas) sour red cherry, red berries, licorice, violet, tea; (with age) underbrush, leather, tobacco.
Schiava
Schiava Group of unrelated varieties, most significantly Schiava Gentile, Schiava Grossa, and Schiava Grigia—typically interplanted and blended together as “Schiava.” Light to medium bodied, pinkish, high in acid. Aromas & flavors: Intense strawberry, cherry, cranberry, almond, violet, red currant, pomegranate. Best DOPs: Lago di Caldaro DOC, Santa Maddalena subzone of Südtirol DOC.
Schioppettino
Schioppettino
Sciascinoso
Sciascinoso
Susumaniello
Susumaniello
Syrah
Syrah
Tai Rosso
Tai Rosso Tai Rosso is a genetic match to the Garnacha of Spain (Grenache in France and many other countries), as are Cannonau and Vernaccia Nera, but all of them have developed in relative isolation for centuries.
Tazzelenghe
Tazzelenghe
Teroldego
Teroldego Darkly colored; soft tannins. Aromas & flavors: Red cherry, quinine, ink, tar, herbs. Best DOP: Teroldego Rotaliano DOC. Related to Pinot Nero.
Terrano
Terrano
Tintilia
Tintilia
Turchetta
Turchetta
Uva di Troia
Uva di Troia Blended with other Puglian varieties to give them finesse and freshness. Medium bodied; high in acid. Refined tannins. Aromas & flavors: Red cherry, red currant, black pepper, tobacco, underbrush.
Uva Longanesi
Uva Longanesi
Uva Rara
Uva Rara
Vermentino Nero
Vermentino Nero
Vernaccia Nera
Vernaccia Nera Vernaccia Nera is genetically identical to the Garnacha of Spain (Grenache in France and many other countries), as are Cannonau and Tai Rosso, but all of them have developed in relative isolation for centuries.
Vespolina
Vespolina
Vien de Nus
Vien de Nus
Vuillermin
Vuillermin

Avanà

Becuet

Bonarda

Bovale

Casetta

Cavrara

Chatus

Corbina

Fortana

Freisa

Fumin

Gamaret

Gamay

Lacrima

Malbec

Mayolet

Merlot

Monica

Nocera

Pignolo

Raboso

Rebo

Rossese

Ruchè

Syrah

Terrano