Red wine comes from numerous grape varietals, but it is the grape-skins that are responsible for red wine's distinct colour. During fermentation, the skin is in contact with the grape's juice, which disperses both colour and tannins. The particular shade of red depends upon the grape used and the length of time the skin is in contact with the juice.
Red wine is classified by its "body type". A "light-bodied" wine has fewer tannins than a "medium-bodied" wine, which in turn has fewer tannins than a "full-bodied" wine. Examples of where different wines sit in this classification are shown below.
Cabernet Sauvignon has a distinct blackcurrant aroma and is a most suitable candidate for ageing. It is the most widely planted and significant among the five dominant varieties in the Medoc district of France's Bordeaux region, and it is also the most successful red wine produced in California.
The grapes are small and spherical with black, thick, tough skin. This toughness makes the grapes fairly resistant to disease, and alongside its flavour, helps it to become one of the most popular red wine varieties worldwide.
Rich meats, game
A Pinot Noir aroma can be intense with a ripe-grape or black cherry aroma, often accompanied by a cinnamon spiciness. They tend to have a soft, velvety texture, and the best Pinot Noirs, such as The Co-operative Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir, can be likened to liquid silk. They do not have the longevity in the bottle that the darker red wines do.
Pinot Noir is grown in the following places: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United States.
Creamy, light cheeses, poultry, beef, fish, spicy food
Merlot tends to be less distinctive and slightly more herbaceous overall in both aroma and taste than Cabernet Sauvignon. It has more of a lush mouth-feel, which is very apparent in our Washington Hills Merlot.
Most major wine-producing countries have Merlot vineyards, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, the United States, and France.
Beef, lamb, pork and poultry
This grape is called Syrah in its country of origin, France, as well as in the rest of Europe, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Uruguay and most of the United States. However, the name Shiraz became popular for this grape variety in Australia.
It is the primary and sometimes sole grape variety used to make Rhône wines of Côte Rotie and also forms the backbone of a Châteauneuf du Pape.
Syrah formed wines tend to be deep violet with a certain richness. They tend to be spicier rather than fruity. A prime example of this is our hugely impressive Great Southern Mount Barker Shiraz from Western Australia.
Sirra / shi-raz
Lamb, steak, rich and hearty flavours
Malbec has a particular plum-like flavour, and falls between a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot. They tend to have a very deep colour and ample tannin. Malbec truly comes into its own in Argentina, where it is the major red variety planted and is most often bottled as a single varietal. A fine example of a Malbec that we have in store is The Co-operative Fairtrade Organic Gran Reserva Malbec.
Spicy meat dishes, sausages
Welcome to The Co-operative Fairtrade wine section. The free to download attachments will provide further information on the Co-operative Fairtrade Wine Range and the benefits that the range has had on developing communities in Argentina, Chile and South Africa.
In 2001 The Co-operative broke new ground by launching the UK's first fairly-traded supermarket wine, and we haven't looked back since. At the time there were no internationally agreed criteria for wine to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark, so we worked with Traidcraft the UK's leading fairtrade organisation, to set up a trading relationship with the Los Robles co-operative in Chile.
After the establishment of a criteria for Fairtrade Wine in 2004 The Co-operative began to work with the Du Toitskloof co-operative in South Africa, helping them to gain Fairtrade accreditation which they achieved in 2005. Shortly after, The Co-operative was then able to launch its own range of Fairtrade wine from Du Toitskloof throughout its UK stores.
Today our range of wines carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark comes from all over the world, including Chile, Argentina and South Africa. Each of our Fairtrade wines tells a story; about struggling communities revived and renewed, about schools built, clean water supplied, and hope restored.
So when you're sipping our velvety Argentine red, enjoying a refreshing glass of our Chilean white, or celebrating with our Fairtrade Sparkling Brut, you can be sure that someone on the other side of the world is benefiting from a better deal that will improve their lives. Isn't that worth raising a glass to?
For more information on Fairtrade projects in Argentina, Chile and South Africa take a look at our Fairtrade wine notes.