EAT AND DRINK: A Basic Guide To Red Wine

Wine is complicated we hear you say and to some extent, if you are a committed beer guzzler then it is rather.

Last week, Chef Takura told us a lot about white wine which kinda gotsome of you excited and the rest of you in a spin.

Red Wine Wellspring
Arlo Bates / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Well he is back this week to share on red wine. You can use this as a flavour cheat sheet for when you are trying wines at home or with friends.

Cabernet Sauvignon: The biggest most tannic red wine one of the noble grape varieties, famous for its dark berry flavours as well as its minty flavours is a sturdy grape in the vineyard and hence is grown everywhere in the world. Red meat, especially steaks like rump, sirloin, porterhouse and T-bone.

Merlot: Is the comfort variety of the red wine world, coming from Bordeaux in France, it is often Blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to round out the flavours of Cabernet. It is great with hearty dishes such as bangers and mash or a really good gourmet burger.

Shiraz: Is a variety that hails from the Rhone valley in southern France is a popular variety for its richness and plush mouth feel; less tannic than cabernet it is a popular variety and is often blended with the white wine variety Viognier. It is a great variety for richer foods and cuts of meat such Lamb, and beef fillet.

Pinot Noir: Is the food lover’s wine and has a wide range of flavours. It is low in tannins which makes it versatile as it can be enjoyed with foods as far ranging as oily fish to game birds. It is less popular in Southern Africa as it is notoriously hard to grow and our palates tend to prefer the bigger flavours.

Sangiovese: Really stylish really popular Italian variety, a big part in Chianti as well as the only Variety in Brunello Di Montalcino. A really stylish less planted variety with loads of versatility. A perfect wine for bold Italian flavours

Pinotage: I always associate Pinotage with South African cricketer who from humble beginnings grew to be a world beater. A grafting of Pinot Noir and Cinsault grape cultivars Pinotage is Africa’s variety and has not really taken hold in the rest of the world. Think deep dark fruit flavours it is definitely a bold variety and one Africa can call its own.  


Remember to drink responsibly.

Takura Makadzange is a Sommelier and chef, he lives and works in Harare and Bvumba wine and food education is his calling. He posts regular recipes on his website and facebook pages You can email him on chefatakura[@]