Spicy Red Wine: A Guide

spicy red wine

Commonly, people consider options when it comes to choosing a bottle of wine because of the country of origin or variety of grapes according to regions. Or, some people choose a bottle based on taste that defines the type of wine.

The different taste descriptors include sweet, smooth, floral, and spicy. So, if you are looking for a wine that delivers a strong kick instantly, spicy red wine is what you should try.

In this post, you get to know what spicy red wine means in terms of wine and some of the best types that you should try.

What exactly does ‘spice’ in red wine mean?

Simply put, the spice in red wine refers to the flavor or aroma of spice that you get after each sip. Besides, it is a common flavor mostly associated with red wine because the spicy smell adds a smooth effect to the drink.

Different from mulled wines, spicy red wines don’t have spices or flavorings added to them. Rather, these pleasant flavors are either from the varieties of grapes used or from the barrel after the wine has been aged.

For example, you can get the peppery taste from Shiraz grapes or clove aromas from Zinfandel after they have been barrel-aged. Common spicy flavors that you find in wine or other alcoholic options include the following.

  • Ginger
  • Aniseed
  • Nutmeg
  • Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Black pepper

Oftentimes, these flavors come along with the aroma of the wine. And, it isn’t their original taste. But these two aspects are interlinked, which means that when you smell the spicy aromas present in the wine, they activate the receptors responsible for detecting warmth and triggering the salivary glands.

What are the two ways through which a red wine gets spicy flavors?

Here are the two major approaches through which a red wine obtains spicy notes in terms of taste and aroma.

1. From grape varietals

It might surprise you but certain types of grapes come along with a hint of spice with them. A perfect example is the Shiraz grapes that come with peppery notes. The red wines that are made from these grapes, tend to carry the flavor in the drink.

It indicates that the drink is made from specific grapes. And, they add peppery tastes and aromas to such a group of red wines.

2. From the barrels

Another way of adding a spicy flavor to the red wine is through the barrel in which the wine is aged. It is a common method used with the help of oak barrels. But winemakers have to be cautious about the procedure.

They have to check the barrels often to make sure that the barrels don’t add oaky flavors. Too many oaky flavors can make the red wine taste woody or vanilla instead of making them spicy.

Hence, to avoid a situation, spice flavorings are induced into the wooden barrels. It is the most common way for red wine to retain the spicy taste. This technique is independent of the nature of grape types.

Spicy red wines that satisfy your palate:

1. Menage a Trois

Wine lovers know that “tasty and simple” is the only right path to take while satisfying their desire. And, Malbec lovers are not an exception. Menage a Trois is filled with the goodness of natural and pleasing aromas such as ripe cherry and blackberry.

Besides, the licorice notes in this red wine are what make them so special that people crave it. In addition, the red wine is spicy and provides you with a prickly feel. Moreover, you get your hands on a great drink that’s worth the price as well.

2. Petite Sirah HandCraft

Are you looking for a Petite Sarah that packs in a great amount of spice without losing the integrity of its jammier notes? If so, the HandCraft Petite Sarah is just the perfect one that should satisfy you. It comes with aromas and flavors of vanilla, plums, stewed currants, and blackberries.

Apart from that, it is backed by an undeniable, spicy black pepper note that won’t dissipate soon. After spending four to six months on oak barrels, the wine develops round characteristics that tend to stick with you for a very long time. Besides, it comes at around $20.

3. Garnacha Alto Cinco

The village of Paniza produces some of the best Garnacha vines that you can’t find anywhere in the world. And, it might surprise you that these vines are spicier than you can imagine, which is reflected through Alto Cinco.

Garnacha Alto Cinco comes in vanilla, black pepper, and raspberry flavors with hints of mocha. However, you get the taste when you are about to finish the bottle. Moreover, it offers great value for money at under $20. When it is about amazing quality, you won’t find anything better at this price.

4. Waterbrook Syrah

Nothing is compared to having steak with Syrah. The peppery finish that Syrah has makes it better to pair it with steak and many people love this bonding. Waterbrook Syrah is another great example of a grape that provides results everything a person wants to have.

Priced at under $20, this wine spends a considerable amount of time on Hungarian, French, and American oak leads to a pleasing finish. Although pepper is there in the wine, it is refined enough not to create a barrier when it comes to creating the wine’s overall impression.

5. Boneshaker Zinfandel

When it is about creating the best spicy red wines, the Zinfandel grape stands out from the rest. Boneshaker Zinfandel comes from the famous Hahn Family Wines based out of Lodi, California. It is a fun-filled wine that consists of 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 87% Zin.

The Boneshaker Zinfandel comes in a flavor of vanilla, white pepper, baking spices, and plums. Besides, it has notes of blackberry brambles that have more spice on each swirl. This red wine is perfect for a barbeque that you could ask for.

6. Horse Heaven Hills McKinley Springs

Another Malbec from Columbia valley is nothing but a stunner with lots of surprises. This red wine is aged in French oak for about 18 months. Besides, the Horse Heaven Hills McKinley Springs carries a massive ABV of around 14.4%.

Also, it has a lush, rich mouthfeel wrapped with aromas of leather, tobacco, and a hefty amount of spice. With this remarkable red wine, you can expect more examples of Malbec from the Washington State in days to come. As of now, the grape accounts for around 5.5% of the whole production in the state.

7. Parducci True Grit

Petite Sirah is a different type of grape that not many people are acquainted with. However, until you move past some of the popular grapes in the world, you won’t look back. If you want something that adds great value to the world of Petite Sirah, you can never get wrong with Parducci True Grit Reserve.

Typically, it is a brand that consists of 91% Petite Sirah, 1% Grenache, and 8% Syrah. The best part is that the grape profile is enough to provide you with an undeniable spiciness that never fails to disappoint you. Besides, it touches upon aromas and flavors such as toasted hazelnuts, blackberry, vanilla, and mint. With lots of oak around it, this one is a slightly different version worth seeking out.

8. Ludovicus Tinto Garnacha

There is no denying that Garnacha, commonly referred to as Grenache in other parts of the world, has a never-ending following of people who love grapes that pair with spicy food well. It hails from Spain and is considered an easy-drinking red wine loaded with the goodness of spicy floral notes.

Also, it has notes of dark, ripe berries and a hint of cherry pie in the background. Furthermore, the limestone soil where the grapes are grown contributes more to the wine’s aroma of crushed minerals and rocks all leading to a beautiful finish. Subdued and spicy, this red wine is an instant crowd-pleaser.

9. 1753 Campuget Syrah

Campuget 1753 Syrah is another great example of high-quality Syrah that comes from France. Besides, it is very reasonably priced at less than $20 or so. This red wine is loaded with hefty flavors of spicy blackberries, cocoa, and currants.

Moreover, the smoky character of this wine makes it perfect for ham. And, at this price point, there is no reason why you shouldn’t grab a couple of bottles for that ultimate pleasure.

10. Morambro Creek Shiraz

It is another great red wine loaded with a spiciness that comes from a small region in South Australia. The grapes are grown in that region and ripen in a warm climate resulting in great taste and aroma.

Moreover, the flavors take you back to the Christmas season when you get baked spices along with red berries, dried mint, and purple beets. While it is inside your mouth, this wine tastes generous and ripe. Besides, there is a considerable amount of oak that adds to the aroma.

However, it is held back by the fine-grained, taut tannins. The alcohol content is about 14.5% and tastes better with Thai curry, roasted duck, spicy seafood, and so on.

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