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red wine fi

It’s that time of year, you’ve just finished updating your restaurant menu for winter, now it’s time to update your wine list with these dishes and flavors in mind.

Need some inspiration for varietals for your richer dishes? Check out these red wines from around the world that might not be on your radar yet.


One of the most versatile wine regions in France for food pairings, Châteauneuf-du-Pape produces a wide array of styles, but all contain some common characteristics. Flavors of cherry and strawberry can be found, as well as spice, black pepper and the earthy qualities of a Rhône wine.

These wines love braised dishes, grilled meats and creamy sauces.


As Spanish wine grows in popularity, Spain is exporting more and more wine, such as the delicious wines of Priorat. Known for its hilly, slate soil, this region produces mostly Garnacha and Cariñena, as well as some international varieties such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Due to the terrain and terroir, these vines have low yields and produce intense and concentrated grapes.

These wines pair well with roasted vegetables, hearty meat dishes and flavorful sausages.

wall wine

Australian Shiraz

There was a time when these wines were all the rage, and then it became just as popular to dismiss them for being too big, too fruity, or too alcoholic. While these adjectives are sometimes well deserved, especially for the big brands, there are still plenty of Australian wineries producing delicious wine with nuance and care.

Rich winter dishes can stand up to a bigger wine, and Australia can deliver a big wine without sacrificing integrity.

Portuguese From The Dour

The Duoro region of Portugal has a long history of wine growing, and is famous as the source of port wine. However, consumers are now starting to appreciate the Duoro for the rich and delicious unfortified wines that also grow there. These wines can be rustic and elegant at the same time, with plenty of fruit and spice flavors, and good acidity.

They pair well with hearty foods found in Portuguese cuisine, but also richer seafood dishes.

Red Zinfandel From California

85% of the Zinfandel grapes being grown in California may go into the sweet and cloying White Zinfandel, but that doesn’t mean that Red Zinfandel should be at all compared to its pink counterpart. Red Zinfandel is bold, with a high acidity, moderate tannins, and a slightly higher alcohol level.

Since the flavors tend to be a little peppery, these wines pair well with spicier foods and grilled meats.

As always, taste a lot of bottles, try them with different dishes from your menu, and have fun trying to find some new and exciting wines for your customers.
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Kristin lives on the West Side of Providence with her wine blogger husband. When she's not co-hosting their monthly wine tastings, she's planning her next travel adventure and daydreaming about Spanish jamón. She can often be found pouring over travel guides at her favorite neighborhood spot, Nick's on Broadway.