Skip to Content

Which red wine is spicy?

As a wine enthusiast, you’re likely already aware that certain grape varieties are known for producing fruity or floral notes, while others are known for their earthy, smoky or spicy flavors and aromas. One grape variety in particular that is renowned for its spiciness is Syrah. Syrah wines are often described as having notes of black pepper, as well as other savory spices such as clove and cinnamon.

What Makes Syrah Wines Spicy?

So, what is it about Syrah wines that gives them their spicy character? The answer is a compound found naturally in the grapes’ skins, known as Rotundone. This compound is also present in black peppercorns, which is why Syrah wines are often described as having a “peppery” flavor.

Interestingly, the amount of Rotundone in a Syrah wine can vary depending on several factors, including the climate in which the grapes were grown, the different winemaking techniques used, and even the type of soil in which the vines are planted. Warm, dry climates have been found to produce Syrah wines with higher levels of Rotundone, while cooler and wetter climates tend to produce wines with lower levels of the compound.

Where Are Syrah Wines Produced?

Syrah is a grape variety that is grown in many wine-producing regions around the world, especially those with hot and arid climates. Some of the most famous regions for growing Syrah grapes include the Rhône Valley in France, where it is the primary red grape variety, as well as Australia, where it is known as Shiraz.

Syrah wines are also produced in other parts of Europe, such as Spain, Italy, and Portugal, as well as in countries such as South Africa, Chile, and the United States. In each of these regions, Syrah wines can display different aromatic and flavor characteristics, depending on the specific soils, climate, and winemaking techniques used.

How to Pair Syrah Wines with Food

Due to their peppery and spicy notes, Syrah wines are an excellent choice to pair with bold, flavorful dishes. The wine’s high tannin content makes it a great match for grilled meats, such as steak and lamb, as well as hearty stews and casseroles.

When selecting a Syrah to pair with your meal, consider the region and vintage of the wine. Syrah wines produced in warmer climates may have more concentrated, bold character, while those made in cooler climates can have a lighter, more acidic profile. Additionally, younger Syrah wines tend to be fruitier and more tannic, while more mature wines can display more complex and developed flavors.

In Summary

Syrah wines are known for their peppery and spicy flavor notes, thanks to the presence of a naturally occurring compound called Rotundone in the grape skins. This compound can vary in concentration depending on a range of factors, including climate and winemaking techniques.

Syrah wines are produced in many wine regions around the world and are an excellent choice to pair with bold and flavorful dishes. When selecting a Syrah, consider the region, vintage, and overall profile of the wine to ensure the best match with your meal.


Are there spicy wines?

Yes, there are spicy wines, and they can be some of the most interesting and exciting wines to try. Spice is a flavor that is often associated with food, particularly in Asian and Indian cuisine, but it can also be found in wine. There are several factors that can contribute to a wine’s spiciness, including the type of grape, the region where it was grown, and the winemaking techniques used.

One grape variety that is known for producing spicy wines is Syrah/Shiraz. Syrah is a red grape that is grown in many parts of the world, including France’s Rhone Valley, Australia, and California. Syrah wines can have a range of flavors, from dark fruit and oak to pepper, spice, and even gamey notes.

Another grape variety that can produce spicy wines is Grenache. Grenache is often blended with other grape varieties, but when made into a varietal wine, it can have a spicy, peppery flavor profile. Grenache is often grown in the same regions as Syrah, including France’s Rhone Valley, but it is also grown in Spain and other parts of the world.

Winemaking techniques can also contribute to a wine’s spiciness. For example, using a higher percentage of new oak barrels during aging can result in a wine with spicy flavors of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Additionally, some winemakers may add spices like black pepper or cardamom during the winemaking process to enhance the wine’s spiciness.

When it comes to pairing spicy wines with food, it’s essential to find a balance between the wine’s heat and the food’s flavors. Spicy wines are excellent with rich, bold flavors like grilled meats, game, and stews. Wines with spicier profiles can also pair well with spicy foods like Indian or Thai curries, as the wine’s heat can balance out the spices in the food.

There are several grape varieties and winemaking techniques that can result in spicy wines. Whether you prefer red or white wine, there are plenty of options to explore. When pairing spicy wines with food, it’s essential to find a balance between the wine’s heat and the flavors in the food for a delicious and satisfying meal.

What wine has notes of spice?

When it comes to wine, many varieties possess unique and distinct flavor profiles. Some wines are fruity, while others are more floral or earthy. However, if you are someone who loves spicy flavors and want to try a wine with spicy notes, then Sangiovese may be a good option to consider.

Sangiovese is among the most common and famous grapes in Italy and is used to produce some of the country’s most popular wines, including Chianti, Montefalco Rosso, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. This grape variety contains spice flavors that remind one of garam masala and other spice blends used in Indian cuisine. These flavors come out even if the wine is made without oak, which can further enhance the spice notes.

In addition to spice, Sangiovese wine also has notes of red fruit, such as cranberry, cherry, and strawberry. It can also have herbal undertones like thyme, basil, or rosemary, which can give the wine a savory flavor. Sangiovese wines are known for their high levels of acidity, which helps to make them refreshing and palate-cleansing.

Sangiovese wines pair well with a range of dishes due to their high acidity and tannin levels. They pair well with tomato-based dishes like pizza and pasta sauces, roasted meats like beef and pork, and even fish dishes like grilled salmon.

Sangiovese is a great wine option for those who want to try a wine with spice notes. Its unique flavor profile makes it a versatile and delicious wine to enjoy with a variety of meals.

What is a savory red wine?

When it comes to wine, the term “savory” can be somewhat elusive, as it can mean different things to different people. In general, a savory red wine is one that is not sweet and has a more complex flavor profile that includes non-fruit flavors such as earthiness, spice, and umami, among others.

One of the main characteristics of a savory red wine is that it is not dominated by fruity flavors. While many red wines have notes of fruit, such as cherry, blackberry, or plum, a savory wine will have a more balanced flavor profile that incorporates other elements. For example, many savory red wines have a mineral-like quality, often described as “flinty” or “earthy.” This can give the wine a slightly savory or salty flavor, which can be quite refreshing and satisfying.

Another aspect of savory red wines is their tannin structure. Tannins are the compounds in wine that give it its astringency, or “bite.” Some red wines can have very high tannin levels, which can make them taste quite bitter or harsh. However, a well-made savory red wine will have tannins that are balanced and integrated, contributing to the wine’s overall complexity without overpowering the other flavors.

In terms of specific varietals, there are many red wines that are well-suited to a savory flavor profile. Pinot Noir, for example, is often described as having earthy or forest floor notes, which can give it a savory quality. Syrah, with its peppery and spicy notes, can also be quite savory. Other varietals that can produce savory red wines include Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese, among others.

A savory red wine is one that is complex, balanced, and not overly dominated by fruit flavors. With its mix of earthy, spicy, and sometimes umami notes, a well-made savory red wine can be a true delight for the senses. Whether paired with a hearty meal or enjoyed on its own, a good savory red wine is a wine lover’s dream.