10 Splendid Light Red Wine Bottles: Tasting Notes, Prices (2024)

by Hunter Robillard

A glass of lively light red wine is perfect for every occasion and is sure to spice up your brunches and dinner parties!   

These delicious reds have less than 12.5% alcohol, fewer tannins, and a softer body than a medium or full-bodied red wine.

Let’s explore everything about the delicious light red wine - how it’s different from medium-, and full-bodied red wines, some popular light reds, and the 10 best bottles to buy.

We’ll also take a look at the investment potential of light red wines and some spectacular food pairings to go along with them.

Further reading

How Is Light Red Wine Different From Medium And Full-Bodied Red Wines?


The terms “light” and “full” describe the body of the wine, more specifically, its mouthfeel.

Light reds are less viscous than a medium or full-bodied wine, meaning their texture is closer to water than syrup. 

The tannin content of the wine also affects its mouthfeel. Tannin is a naturally occurring compound in grape skin that gives the wine a drying sensation. The rule of thumb is, the higher the tannin, the firmer the mouthfeel.

Medium and full-bodied reds, like Petite Sirah or Cabernet Sauvignon, usually have higher tannin and alcohol content (more than 12.5%.)

Let’s take a look at some much-loved light reds.


Here are some of the most popular light red wines:

  • Pinot Noir: The Pinot Noir grape is the leading red grape variety most widely grown in France’s Burgundy and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Pinot Noir offers different tastes depending on the terroir. But, typically, it is characterized as an aromatic red wine with some spice notes.
  • Lambrusco: Lambrusco is a slightly sparkling wine hailing from Northern Italy. It’s a subtly sweet red wine.
  • Gamay: Known as the affordable cousin of Pinot Noir, Gamay offers earthy notes and a distinct banana flavor. Beaujolais Nouveau is a much-loved Gamay sweet red wine.
  • St Laurent: An Austrian red grape in the same family as Pinot Noir, St Lauren produces a dark red wine with cherry, earth, and spice flavors.
  • Cinsault: Cinsault wine has a distinct savory profile. Cinsault exudes red meat aromas and peppery notes.
  • Primitivo: Technically the same grape as Zinfandel, Italy’s Primitivo red wine is light on the palate and has some spice undertones.
  • Zinfandel: One of America’s favorite light red wines, hailing from the prestigious Napa Valley, Zinfandel showcases concentrated fruit flavors and hints of mocha. It has higher acidity than Primitivo.  
  • Counoise: This is a high-quality blending grape. As a varietal wine, Counoise has high acidity with plum and strawberry notes.
  • Blaufränkisch: This German grape variety produces excellent red wine with higher tannin than an average light red. It has ripe berry flavors and an earthy finish.
  • Zweigelt: A hybrid of the St Laurent grape and Blaufränkisch grape, Zweigelt is often used in a red blend to add complexity. It has fresh berry flavors and crunchy tannins.
  • Pinotage: The champion South African wine, Pinotage has a red meat aroma with high acidity and a hint of spice.
  • Grenache: This primary blending grape in Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds produce mouth-watering light red wines. Grenache wine has bright acidity and citrus, flowers, and berry flavor. Rhone Valley is a famous Grenache-producing region. 
  • Nebbiolo: A famous Italian red wine grape, Nebbiolo makes wine with amazingly grippy tannins. It has cherry, clay, and rose aromas.

10 Brilliant Light Red Wine Bottles To Buy In 2024

Here’s a list of some delicious red wine bottles to add to your collection:

1. 2011 Bernard Van Berg Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire La Rose Rouge, Burgundy, France ($820)


This red wine has a concentrated palate of raspberry, cherry, and forest fruits. Aromas of cinnamon and white pepper fill the nose.

2. 2015 Weingut Keller Morstein 'Felix' Spatburgunder Grosses Gewachs, Rheinhessen, Germany ($789)


A finely polished 2015 vintage, this wine has acrylic and red fruit aromas. The palate of this light bodied wine offers crisp acidity and lively fruitiness.

3. 1998 Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir, Gippsland, Australia ($1,279)


Violets, dark cherry, and fruity cedar permeate the nose of this Pinot Noir wine. Expect beef, mushrooms, and spice notes with a medium-length finish.

4. 2000 Emmanuel Houillon - Pierre Overnoy Arbois-Pupillin Poulsard, Jura, France ($1,115)


This light red has a fantastic nose of old Burgundy and burnt wood. Fruity flavor dominates the palate with a touch of bitterness.

5. 2014 Yann Durieux - Recrue des Sens Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes-de-Nuits 'Jeannot', Burgundy, France ($472)


Light aromas of rose petal, violet, and red currant penetrate the nose of this red wine. Expect a bright acidity with some earthy notes on the palate.

6. 2015 Bruyere & Houillon Arbois-Pupillin Ploussard, Jura, France ($489)


This red wine has beautiful red fruit, mushrooms, and truffle aromas. There’s a fizzy mouthfeel followed by hawthorn, lingonberry, and rhubarb flavors.

7. 2006 Yvon Metras Fleurie Cuvee l'Ultime, Beaujolais, France ($452)


Here’s a 2006 light-bodied red wine with vibrant raspberry and cherry aromas. It has earthy and smoky notes with a white pepper finish.

8. 2005 Lini 910 In Correggio Rosso Metodo Classico Millesimato, Emilia-Romagna, Italy ($40)


Fresh bread, almonds, and fruity aromas delight the nose of this red wine. It has a slight fizz with a tannin presence on the palate. Expect a tart cranberry finish.

9. 2019 Kanonkop Estate Pinotage, Stellenbosch, South Africa ($36)


Here’s a Pinotage with plum, black cherry, and chocolate aromas. On the palate, a mild tannin texture and a heavy oak presence balance out the acidity. 

10. 2018 Turley Wine Cellars Old Vines Zinfandel, California, USA ($37)


This 2018 light red has oak, black cherry, and cedar scents with a crisp mouthfeel. The palate is complex with wet slate, pomegranate, and vanilla flavors.

Investing In Light Red Wine


The aging potential of light reds varies dramatically. For example, a Nebbiolo can age between 10-20 years, while a good bottle of Burgundy Pinot Noir can age for 50-100 years.

They can also command high prices:

  • A bottle of 2008 Emmanuel Houillon - Pierre Overnoy Arbois-Pupillin Poulsard rose from $371 in 2020 to $963 in 2021 - that’s over a 159% price appreciation!
  • The 1998 Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir from Australia appreciated by 46% between 2020 and 2021 when it rose from $872 to $1,280.

Also, keep your eye on light red wines at auctions. In 2021, a magnum bottle of 2005 Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire La Rose Bernard Van Berg sold for $1,297 at an ideal wine auction.

These reds are sure to impress the pickiest of wine drinkers.

Sign up with Vinovest, a reliable wine investment company that will help you buy, store, and sell the best light red wine or other fine wine from around the world.

Food Pairings With Light Red Wine


Even white wine drinkers will be surprised at the variety of foods that pair with light reds.

Pair a light red with seafood, turkey, or chicken for a lovely dinner accompaniment.

And for dessert, dark chocolate, cherries, and salted caramel perfectly complement a light red wine.

Brighten Up Your Day With A Bottle Of Light Red Wine!

You don’t have to be a wine expert to enjoy a delicious light red. A bottle of bright, fruity light red wine is perfect for every wine drinker.

Also, an exceptional bottle can make for a savvy investment option.


Partner up with Vinovest for help buying, storing, and selling investment-worthy bottles of Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, or any other fine wine from across the globe.

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