Merlot: Less tannic than cabernet sauvignon, this red wine grape produces dark wines that are generally full-bodied, high in alcohol, and with notes of chocolate and plum. The most widely planted grape variety in Bordeaux, it can make wines that range from easy-drinkers to prized bottles worth aging. Food Pairing: Because of its diversity, there are a lot of options here — everything from grilled meats and blue cheeses to salmon and mushrooms.
Chianti: This popular Italian red wine is produced in Tuscany, and the best come from the chianti classico region. Characterized as a dry red, the style of the wine varies depending on the grape blend and how it is aged. Food Pairing: Often described as having notes of cherries and spices, chianti classico is a good match with something like an herb-crusted pork loin.