And not only because of the Varietal Park. Making light reds with Malbec or Cabernet requires special attention, while bringing them to life with grapes like Pinot Noir, Bonarda, Criolla, or the rarer Becquinol seems more logical when sparse. That being the case, when it comes to drinking reds today, Gondola, a healthy proposition at the midpoint between substantial reds and whites, reigns supreme. They are, simply put, subtle reds that are a pleasure to drink to quench your thirst, to munch on, and to end a meal by reviewing that last bit of bread over the sauce.
Now how to choose them? Some pointers to keep in mind:
varieties. The main indication of the lightest and tastiest wine is the grape variety. While it is nearly impossible to bring Petit Verdot and Tannat into a light style, it is equally impossible to make Criolla, Pinot Noir and Becquinol with structure and body. It is that the variety is the determinant of the structure of the wine in these cases. The gray area begins with Bordeaux varieties, such as Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec; or with the people of Rhône, such as Sirah. These grapes produce reds with a certain structure because they are good for it, but there are techniques that nudge them toward the lighter side of strength. For example, if the label says carbonic maceration, it is unlikely that it will have a composition and it will be light red, as one might expect.
Technique for light red color. Since the winemaker’s idea is that one perceives the style of wine offered “from the bottle”, it usually indicates how it is made. For light drinking wines, these concepts should be avoided: Crianza, Riserva, Oak because for all of these aging techniques to work, the wine must have a certain intensity and structure. On the other hand, it is necessary to target those that do not say or clarify that they are made by organic maceration, cold maceration or pre-fermentation maceration, in this sense the term infusion is also becoming fashionable. True, you have to start reading in detail, but they are all pointers to lightness.
Wine degree. As long as you approach it with judgment, it’s an irrefutable index. A red that has between 14% and 15% is impossible to lighten if it doesn’t just want to taste the wine. The ideal band is between 11% and 13%. Of course, it could be the case of a cold region red that even with that degree has intense and rough tannins, which take away all its grace. But for that, it’s important to do it justice to the variety: a Cabernet Franc at that point will have tannins similar to a Cabernet Sauvignon. Not so, for example, Syria and Bonarda.
Burgundy Bottle Since Pinot Noir is the supreme reigning variety in Burgundy, France, the shoulderless bottle is actually a sign of lightness. Of course, there can be confusing cases, because clothes – and that bottle is – can hide any style, but in general the law holds. It is important to note the bottle, variety and grade. Once that scenario is in place, it’s very difficult to screw it up.
Producer’s style. It happens that when you get to this point it is because you have become an expert. It is not for everyone to know what style this or that manufacturer produces. But, in the same vein, when you spot a wine you like and classify it as a pale red, you need to pay attention to the producer because almost certainly (almost) he styles it in other reds. Will repeat When does this idea fail? When it comes to wineries with an extensive portfolio, offering a wine for every taste.