Many red wines, including chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz make good gifts for wine lovers and enthusiasts. Red wines, like whites, contain a variety of textures, ingredients and flavors. Red wines derive from grapes grown around the world and in many different climates, which in turn influences quality, flavor and even price.
Some red wines come from the United States, while others import from France, Italy, Spain and other areas of the world. The flavorful grapes used to produce cabernet sauvignon, a popular red wine, derive from the Napa Valley region. The California climate allows ideal ripening of the grapes, which bear a dark, rich and fruity flavor when picked. Cabernet sauvignon reds from the Napa region have sweet, fruity flavors such as black cherries and currants. Fine merlot wines derive from France and Washington State. Merlot reds pick up flavors easily. They have hints of fragrant fruits such as watermelon, plum and strawberry. In France, grapes grown at the highest elevations, such as the Montagne Saint-Emilon region, produce wines with pronounced flavors of blackberry, cherry and spices. Pinot noir red wines vary widely in taste and color. Grapes used to produce these wines grow in California, as well as parts of Washington State. Pinot noirs contain savory flavors, such as tomato leafs and beetroot to plum and cherry flavors.