Fruity and Savory Reds

The results are in and you’re clearly into Fruity and Savory Reds. Red wines are your go to, and these styles of wines are packed with flavor. They are layered with jammy, complex fruit which balances out their tannins. You prefer wines that are smooth and a perfect compliment  between fruit and savory notes like baking spices, with meaty, herbal and mineral qualities. You like these wines much more than wines that are light, high in acid, with mild tannins. 

We’re gonna take a wild guess here and say you mainly grab a bottle of Zinfandel when you’re at your local wine shop. We think Zinfandel is a great full bodied red. Zinfandel (or "Zin", as it is affectionately known in the United States) is a dark-skinned red wine grape variety widely cultivated in California. Though it shares characteristic fruit flavors with Pinot Noir, it is basically the exact opposite. Zinfandel wine produces a jammy flavor bursting with fruity aromas of blackberry, cherry, plums, black pepper, and cinnamon with varying levels of oak. A fuller bodied wine that is high in alcohol content, Zinfandel is known for its fruity meets spicy kick with a smoky body. 

If you like Zinfandel Try… 

If Zin is your ‘Jam’ we aren’t here to tell you not to drink it, you should keep your favorite wine in rotation. But there are a lot of other grapes out there, that’s one of the most exciting parts about wine. We aren’t telling you to stop drinking that Zin you love so much, but we do think you should try some other varieties we think you’ll love just as much! 


For a good value, easy-to-love red wine from the same hills that produce some of the finest wines in Italy, look no further than the underappreciated Barbera grape. Barbera wines are juicy, drinkable light-bodied red wines that can be thought of as the Italian answer to Beaujolais—it’s a traditional, workhorse wine of the people that is experiencing a minor renaissance as more well-made examples are reaching the US market. That just means it will be easier for you to find!

The majority of barbera is planted in Piedmont, Italy. Barbera ripens before the nebbiolo grape, which goes into Barolo, the long-aged king of Italian wine. Many Barolo producers also make a less-expensive barbera-based wine to drink, they joke, while waiting for the Barolo to mature. 

Because of its heat tolerance, New World growers have begun planting barbera grapes in warm wine regions like South Australia (for varietal wines), Argentina (as a blending grape), and in California’s Central Valley (for bulk wines) and Sierra Foothills (oaked varietal styles). 

When young, most Barbera wines have a bright-red cherry character, distinguished by softer tannins and a certain roundness. When matured in barrel and allowed to age in bottle for a few years, this turns to a denser, sour-cherry note. Barrel maturation can also add wood tannins where these might make up for the generally low tannins encountered naturally with the variety.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernter Franc is one of our favorite wines. You might think from the name that this is gonna be a big, bold wine like Cabernet Sauvignon. But while they are related, Cabernet Franc is actually one of the parent grapes of Cab Sauv along with Sauvignon Blanc, Cab Franc is actually fairly medium-bodied.

This is a wine you should familiarize yourself with because of its beautiful spicy notes and violet aromas. Though it is somewhat rare that you find a 100% varietal bottling of this wine, it is a key component in many Bordeaux blends where other members of the cabernet family strengthen its flavors and where it can bring out a spicy, herbal note and a bright acidity in these big blends.

These wines have flavors of currant, raspberry, and strawberry. As well as notes of bay leaf, white pepper, mint, violet, smoke, toast, and vanilla. Most notably, Cabernet Franc is known for its herbal flavors, these can range from slight tobacco to pungently leafy.


Carignane is the workhorse of the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It was originally planted in droves in the area post-phylloxera for three reasons: It’s a highly productive crop, it survives on very little water, and it was government subsidized.

Carignane, whether in a blend or on its own, tends to have a rather pronounced personality. Right off the bat is the color, which tends to be a rather bright magenta. It is also high in both acid and tannin and can have a slight bitterness to the finish. Carignane tends to have bright fruit-forward flavors like dried cranberry, dark cherry, raspberry, and black currant. But all that fruit is often followed up with an undercurrent of baking spices, pepper, black licorice, and even hints of cured meat.


Merlot is the predominant variety in most wines from Saint-Émilion and Pomerol, the area in which the variety originated. Merlot is now widely planted in wine regions across the world and, in terms of the volumes of wine produced internationally, it is rivaled only by its Bordeaux companion, Cabernet Sauvignon.

The precise flavors that Merlot imparts to a wine are not easily defined. Plum and black cherry are among the most common fruit-based descriptors used, though Merlot is often used for producing wines of a particular texture, rather than a particular taste.

Smooth, rounded and "easy drinking" are common descriptions of Merlot wines. The main reason for this is that Merlot grapes are relatively large in relation to their pips and the thickness of the skins, in which tannins are found. For this reason, the variety is often used to soften wines made from more tannic varieties.


Grenache is a red wine grape variety grown extensively in France, Spain, Australia and the United States. It is particularly versatile both in the vineyard and the winery, which may explain why it is one of the most widely distributed grapes in the world. 

Who here is looking for a wine whose signature taste is fruit roll-up? That pretty much sold me. Grenache is full of juicy fruits, bursting with flowers and loaded with spice. It also plays a very important role in some of the wine world’s most famous blends. It produces wines exploding with cherry fruit along with herbal, almost smoky notes like oregano, lavender, and tobacco.

Join Crush It Wine Society

Crush It Wine Society is the best of an online wine club combined with wine classes. If you want to branch out and discover new wines this is the best way to do, and at a discount!