The wine selection at your local store can be quite intimidating. All those types of red wine, and seemingly no way to tell them apart. How do you know which one is best? And what about that wine list at the restaurant? How are you supposed to pick out just one wine from a big list? Knowing some of the best brands of red wine can help. All prices are as of this publication date.
One of the most common wine brands, you should be able to find this wine at any local shop that sells red wine. The Yellow Tail Shiraz is a bold, wine that isn't too fruity. The wine has flavors of strawberries and cherries, spice and a nice vanilla aroma. Perfect for pairing with barbecued meat, sausage or pork, this is a versatile wine that can stand on its own. According to Restaurantwine.com, Yellow Tail Shiraz was the 11th most popular wine in restaurants in 2008. The price makes it all the more appetizing, between $6 to $7 a bottle, according to wine-searcher.
Another common and well-reviewed brand, Barefoot should be easy to find at your local liquor store, thanks in part to its distinctive label. Barefoot makes many wines, and was the 12th most popular brand at U.S. restaurants in 2008, according to Restaurantwine.com. The Barefoot Merlot is an exceptional wine for its price tag ($7 on the Barefoot website), with fruity tones and a slight taste of chocolate and tannis. For something different, try the Sweet Red.
If you're looking for a higher-quality red wine brand, and don't mind a higher price tag, Geyser Peak is a good bet. The California-based winery has two different Cabernet Sauvignon wines among the top of the rankings at Gayot.com. The more affordable is the 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Block Collection at $36 a bottle, but if you really feel like splurging you can go for the 2002 Vintage Bin 8 Cabernet Sauvignon at $100.
Another higher-priced option, Dutton-Goldfield is a well-reviewed wine brand that cranks out some real high-quality red options. Guyot.com ranks two of Dutton-Goldfield's Pinot Noirs as some of the best in the industry. Look for either the 2005 Dutton Ranch - Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir at $58, or the 2005 McDougall Vineyard Pinot Noir, also at $58. You can join the winery's wine club on their website (duttongoldfield.com).