4 Red Wines: Why Their Fruit Flavors Matter


Strawberries in wine glass
photo by: Yulia Matvienko

Each of the noble grapes has typical fruit flavors. That fruit profile can vary a bit depending on the ripeness of the grape at harvest. Why does this matter? If you know the flavor range of any given grape, then you’ll know the flavors to expect when picking up a bottle.


Let’s take a closer look at the flavor ranges for these 4 noble grapes.


1) Pinot Noir

The typical taste profile for Pinot Noir is red fruit like raspberry and strawberry. The range of flavor moves from fresh red fruit flavors to ripe red fruit flavors. To better understand this, think about the taste of a just-ripe strawberry. It may be fresh, bright, and a bit acidic. Then think about a fully ripe strawberry. It will have full, robust flavors.

Picture of Strawberries and Raspberries with a color bar depicting the ripeness range from Fresh Red Fruits to Ripe Red Fruits.

2) Merlot

The typical taste for Merlot is a mix of red and black fruit. Merlot will range from red fruit flavors of strawberry and red plum to cooked black fruit flavors of blackberry and black plum.

Picture of Strawberries and Blackberries with a color bar depicting the ripeness range from Red Fruit to Cooked Black Fruit.

3) Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet typically has flavors of black fruit like black currant and blackberry. It ranges from fresh black fruit to cooked black fruit.

Picture of Blackberries and currants with a color bar depicting the ripeness range from Fresh Black Fruit to Cooked Black Fruit.