The Best Red Wines To Drink In 2023

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If you're looking for the best red wines to drink in 2023, you've come to the right place. Red wines are classified on the basis of their taste, smell, and color. Red wine is made from red or black grapes that are crushed and fermented. Wine Enthusiast explains the color of a wine comes from grape skins, which are removed prior to fermentation in the case of white wine. Red wine also has a higher amount of tannins than you'll find in white wine. The tannins provide astringency and act as antioxidants.

When selecting what to buy, there are different types of red wine to consider, including light-bodied, medium-bodied, and full-bodied red wine. Vinepair tells us that light-bodied wines have a low amount of alcohol. Medium-bodied reds have a moderate amount of alcohol, while full-bodied red wine contains high amounts of alcohol. Different grape varieties have their own distinct characteristics as well, from syrah to cabernet and pinot noir to shiraz.

With these notes in mind, we've rounded up a list of our top picks for red wines that are perfect for drinking all through 2023. From fruity and refreshing reds to rich and full-bodied wines, there's something for everyone on this list. 

How we chose

To select the best red wines for you to drink this year, we looked at popular reviews online and tried many of these wines ourselves. Reviews give insight into user experience with a wine and are a great way to get an idea of what a wine is like. Personal taste is also important in deciding whether you'll enjoy a particular type of red wine.

When choosing a red wine to drink, you'll want to first consider what kind of body you want it to have. If you're looking for a light-bodied red wine, pinot noir is a good choice. For a medium-bodied red wine, merlot or zinfandel would be a good pick. And if you want a full-bodied red wine, you can't go wrong with a cabernet sauvignon.

Once you've decided what kind of red wine you want, the next step is to check where the grapes were grown. Climate can have a big impact on the taste of wine, says Wine Enthusiast. For example, red wines from cool climates tend to be lighter in body, while red wines from warm climates are usually full-bodied and robust. The recommendations below offer a range of choices from different regions.

Our picks were largely determined by balancing important factors such as price, popularity, availability, and ratings from experts and consumers. After incorporating all these considerations in our recommendations, you can be sure that these wines won't disappoint. 

Best overall red wine

The Unanime Malbec from Mascota Vineyards is a red wine with a high rating of 94 points from wine critic and journalist James Suckling. This Mascota malbec is a quality red wine that is perfect for summer drinking and ideal for those who enjoy the smooth flavors of a delicious Argentinian red.

Malbec is a red wine grape that is native to southwestern France. The grape is now most commonly associated with Argentina, where it produces rich, full-bodied red wines. Malbec wines are typically high in tannins and have a dark purple color.

When choosing a Malbec, you can look into the history of the producer to get a sense of what to expect. Mascota Vineyards has been producing wine in Argentina since 2005, according to Wine Folly. Though malbec makes up less than a quarter of its production, it is one of its specialties and it consistently gets high marks for its amazing wines in this category.

The Unanime Malbec is a great red wine to pair with food. It has a high acidity that will cut through fat and richness. It is also a great choice for drinking on its own. If you want to impress your friends, or just enjoy a great bottle at home, the fruity Unanime Malbec is an ideal choice. It is our pick for "best overall" thanks to its fantastic flavor, great reviews, and reasonable price point.

You can buy Unanime Malbec at Total Wine for $24.99 as of April 2023.

Best budget red wine

Budget wines can be hit or miss, but if you know what you're looking for, you can definitely find some gems. If you haven't tried any Cavit wines, a great place to start is its budget-friendly pinot noir. The company has become famous for its quality wines that are affordably priced. Family-owned and operated Cavit Wines was founded in the 1970s and is located in the Trentino region of Italy.

The Cavit Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine made from 100% pinot noir grapes and has the aromas of cherries and strawberries. The Cavit Pinot Noir pairs well with a variety of foods, making it a versatile wine that's great for summer picnics and other outdoor gatherings. It also has good acidity, which helps to balance out the wine and make it more enjoyable to drink. The moderate tannins of this pinot noir give the wine a bit of structure and body too.

Selecting a great wine on a budget is actually easier than it sounds. These days, there are plenty of great options that won't cost you too much. Cavit Wines are famous for being an affordable option that tastes great. Its pinot noir is perfect for budget-minded individuals who don't want to sacrifice quality. It's a complex and well-rounded wine that you can get for less than $10.

Purchase Cavit Pinot Noir from Total Wine for $10.99 as of April 2023.

Best splurge red wine

Mark Ryan Winery was founded in 1999 and has since become an industry leader. Mark Ryan wines are renowned for their quality, and the Dead Horse Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception. This red wine is made with a blend of cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and mourvèdre grapes. Mourvèdre grapes are special. They're considered to be a type of blending grape because of their ability to add structure and complexity to a wine (via Dead Horse is aged in French oak barrels to produce a stunning wine with plenty of flavor. For about $60 at Total Wine & More, it's a splurge, but worth it.

To store this wine, you'll want to find a cool, dark place to keep it. You may even want to invest in a quality wine fridge or wine cellar if you're building a collection. Dead Horse is a beautifully balanced wine with plenty of tannins, making it ideal for aging. In fact, it will only get better with time.

When you're ready to drink, make sure you use a decanter or swirl it in the glass. This will allow it to breathe and reach its full potential, suggests Decanter. Also, serve your wine in large glasses so you can enjoy all of its complex flavors. The number of bottles produced each year is limited so be sure to pick some up while it's available.

Buy Mark Ryan Dead Horse from the winery website for $70 as of April 2023.

Best red wine for date night

This full-bodied cabernet boasts a gorgeous bottle with significant heft. If you want to impress a date, this is a great option. Cabernet sauvignon pairs well with a number of cuisines, from steaks or burgers to pasta dishes. It's also easy to get a hold of and widely available.

San Simeon Cabernet Sauvignon is a particularly tasty example of the style, made on the California coast in Paso Robles, not far from the world-famous Napa Valley. Paso Robles Wine Country states that this area of the California central coast is the fastest growing wine region, and currently has over 200 wineries in operation.

When it comes to date night, you want to select a wine you'll both enjoy. San Simeon Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect choice and gets great reviews from those who have tried it. It's a wine that's sure to please and may become one of your favorites. Perhaps you'll get another bottle for your anniversary.

You can buy San Simeon Cabernet Sauvignon from San Antonio Winery for $25.95 as of April 2023.

Best non-alcoholic red wine

This non-alcoholic Chateau Diana Cabernet Sauvignon is made from the same grapes as other cabernets, but it goes through a process where the alcohol is removed. This particular red wine has all of the flavors that you would want in a cabernet sauvignon, without the negative effects of alcohol consumption.

Non-alcoholic wines have been flying off the shelves, especially at retailers like Amazon that can carry wines so long as they don't contain alcohol. Many are surprised to learn that non-alcoholic wines can taste just as good as their spirited counterparts.

Non-alcoholic red wine is made just like regular red wine, except that the alcohol is removed using a vacuum distillation process after the fermentation is complete (via Well & Good). Alcohol is a naturally occurring substance in wine, and removing it also removes some of the flavors that make wine special. Winemakers usually add flavoring back into the wine after removing the alcohol. The end result is a red wine that contains 0.5% alcohol or less.

Even without the alcohol, the Chateau Diana Cabernet Sauvignon has all of the rich, fruity flavors you want from a cabernet. It's a great choice if you want to have some wine without the buzz.

Purchase Chateau Diana Cabernet Sauvignon direct from Chateau Diana for $20 as of April 2023.

Best boxed red wine

When red wine in a box hit the shelves in the early 2000s, it was derided by wine snobs. But over the past few years, boxed red wine has become increasingly popular as quality wineries have sprung up (via Telegraph). These days, it's easy to find high-quality boxed red wines on the shelves.

One new company you should check out is Really Good Boxed Wine. It is changing the game with its luxurious boxed wines, all of which come in elegant, sustainable packaging. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a must-try with its aromas of dark fruit and chocolate. It's the perfect red wine to drink on a summer night.

Really Good Boxed Wine sells primarily online, and you can get a good deal by buying directly from the winery. It offers discounts when you buy multiple boxes or sign up for a subscription, and each box contains about 4 bottles worth of wine. This makes the price tag look significantly better when you do the math. A box of wine will also stay fresh for up to six weeks, according to Decanter. Plus, it's easy to transport and doesn't require a wine opener. 

Some of the other flavors and varieties offered by Really Good Boxed Wine include pinot noir, merlot, and chardonnay. One thing is for sure: After you try the Really Good Boxed Wine Cabernet Sauvignon, you'll want to try the rest.

Purchase Really Good Boxed Wine Cabernet Sauvignon from the company's site for $65 as of April 2023.

Best individual serving red wine

The winery known as Le Grand Verre offers a number of fantastic single-serve wines, such as its 2019 Château Peyredon. Its name means, "the great big glass" in French and the company has been making waves on social media as its Instagram following has grown to almost 10k.

The 2019 Château Peyredon is a bordeaux blend made from cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes. The vines that this wine is sourced from are over 100 years old, and this wine has a fruity flavor with notes of blackberry, strawberry, and vanilla. The 2019 Château Peyredon is a great example of a fruit-forward wine that is complex, and pairs well with grilled meats and roasted vegetables.

These single-serve wines cost about $5-7 each, with bottles made with recycled plastic. Plus, they're easily portable for outdoor activities. It's a good choice for those on the move because you don't have to worry about bringing a whole bottle with you. The 2019 Château Peyredon is a fantastic single-serve wine to try.

Purchase the 2019 Château Peyredon from Le Grande Verre starting at $38.06 for four bottles as of April 2023.

Best red wine to bring to a BBQ

Folks tend to love this pinot noir from Bottega Vinaia because it is so versatile that it can impress just about anyone. Boasting flavors of cherry and plum, this wine is best enjoyed with a meal. It pairs well with a variety of different dishes, making it the perfect drink to bring to a barbecue. Pinot noir is generally a great choice for those who are looking for a smooth red wine. This wine will pair just as well with cheese and vegetables as it does with meat dishes.

When choosing what wine to bring to a cookout or barbecue, you should think about what kind of food will be served. If you're serving heavier fare like ribs or burgers, you'll want a red wine that can complement the heartiness of the meal. Red wines are a good pick for outdoor soirees because they are people pleasers. Plus, pinot noir pairs well with barbecued foods like sausages, according to Decanter. You can also serve it chilled for an extra-refreshing beverage.

Since the Bottega Vinaia Pinot Noir isn't too heavy, it won't be overpowering even if you're sitting outside on a warm day. The best part of any gathering is enjoying good company, but it's always more fun with good wine. 

Buy Bottega Vinaia Pinot Noir from Drizly for $19.95 as of April 2023.

Best small winery red wine

This wine comes from Texas, which is home to over 500 wineries, according to Texas Public Radio, many of which are family-owned and operated. Texas offers a nice climate for growing grapes, with a diverse range of soils, from sandy loam to rocky limestone. This combination allows for a wide variety of wines that are flavorful and complex.

The Texas red wine scene has something for everyone, and this Pa Pa Frenchy Red Wine is one of the best you can get. But C.L. Butaud's Pa Pa Frenchy has a light body without too much tannin. The 2020 vintage is still young, but it's already showing great potential. The grenache gives the wine its bright red fruit aromas and flavors, while the blend of other grapes adds some structure and body. The tannins are there, but they're well balanced by the fruit, and the acidity keeps everything fresh. This is an impressive wine that will age gracefully for years to come.

Purchase a bottle of Pa Pa Frenchy red wine from the winery website for $18 as of April 2023.

Best red wine to drink while cooking

Gran Passione means "great passion" in Italian, and this wine is sure to ignite your passion for cooking. This Italian red wine is fruity and smooth, with notes of red berries. It is also low in tannins, the compounds in wine that can cause your mouth to feel dry and astringent, so it won't dry out your mouth.

Rosso wines are made all over Italy, but this particular red wine comes from the Veneto region. The Veneto region is located in Northeast Italy and is known for its red wines. This Gran Passione red wine is made from a blend of corvina and merlot grapes. People love this wine because of its balanced and fruity taste. It is also very versatile and can be paired with a variety of dishes. Whether you're cooking red meat, pasta dishes, or pizza, the Rosso Veneto will be your perfect companion. You can also incorporate this wine into your recipes if they call for it, or if you're looking to experiment.

You can pick up Gran Passione Rosso from Total Wine for $12.99 as of April 2023.

Best red wine for a special occasion

When choosing a red wine to bring to a special occasion, such as a dinner, graduation, or new job celebration, you will want to make sure that you pick a wine that will be loved by all. This cabernet sauvignon is the flagship wine of Silver Ghost Winery. This Napa Valley wine has made the winery famous as cabernet experts. The name Silver Ghost comes from the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost car, which was produced from 1906 to 1926. 

The Silver Ghost brand is known for producing wines with amazing body and aroma. This cabernet sauvignon has flavors of blackberry, cassis, and chocolate. The tannins are well-balanced, making it a great red wine to drink now, or if you prefer, you can age it for 5-10 years and enjoy it at a future special occasion.

This Silver Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon is an impressive wine that gets great reviews online. The bottle for Silver Ghost also features an elegant and simplistic design, making it a great gift for the red wine lover in your life. It's 

Silver Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon is available from the winery website for $45 as of April 2023.

Best red wine for beginners

Those who are new to wine will often feel that they don't know what they're doing. When starting out, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. How do you know which red wine is right for you? The answer is that you just have to get started and try some new flavors out.

Oliver Winery is a great place to begin learning about wine, with its range of fruity, accessible flavors, from reds to moscatos. It is located in Bloomington, Indiana, and produces several red wines, including the Sweet Red known for its easy drinkability. This wine has a light body and lots of fruity flavor, with notes of cherry and raspberry. Oliver Winery has been making waves in recent years as some of its wines have gained lots of popularity, and the Sweet Red is one of their most popular.

At first sip, the Oliver Winery Sweet Red tastes similar to a quality grape juice, typical of Concord grapes, which means the sugar content is high. This wine is perfect for weekend brunch, especially when you want to pick something everyone can enjoy. Sweet reds are perfect for beginners because they're not as heavy or tannic as other red wines. Their dessert-like flavors can include chocolate, cherries, and in some cases even caramel.

Purchase the Sweet Red from Oliver Winery for $10 as of April 2023.

Best Spanish red wine

If you're looking for a Spanish red wine to drink, the Valserrano Rioja Gran Reserva is a great option. This red wine is produced in the Rioja region of northern Spain and is known for its unique flavor profile. According to Wine Enthusiast, it features tobacco and dried cherry flavors, with notes of plum. These red wines are perfect for any special occasions or dinner parties where you want to wow your guests.

The Valserrano Rioja Gran Reserva offers a complex flavor that is sure to please any red wine lover. This red wine is popular and gets great reviews from critics and customers alike. It is a great example of a Tempranillo wine that is full-bodied and has high tannins. The wine is aged for three years or more in oak casks before bottling and release, a process typical of wines from Rioja, says Wine Enthusiast.

Rioja Gran Reserva is available for $39.99 per bottle at Total Wine as of April 2023.

Best red wine from Chile

Red wine from Chile is known for being some of the best in the world. The region produces a wide variety of wines, from fruity and light to bold and complex. Chile makes especially great cabernet sauvignon because the climate is perfect for growing the grape. The region's warm days and cool nights allow the cabernet sauvignon to ripen slowly and evenly, resulting in wines that are well-balanced and have complex flavor profiles. The Cigar Box Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon is a great example of the ideal Chilean red wine.

Chile's cabernet sauvignon selection tends towards the fruitier side, with bottles featuring notes of blackberry, plum, and dark chocolate. If you're looking for a cabernet that's easy to drink and approachable, this is an excellent option. 

The Cigar Box Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon gets great reviews due to its fantastic flavor profile that is perfect for any type of drinker. It's fruit-forward, and easy to drink, making it one of the best wines from Chile, as its high Wine Enthusiast rating attests. 

Purchase the Cigar Box Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon from Beverage Warehouse for $11.99 as of April 2023.

Best Italian red wine

SummuS is a luxurious Italian wine from Southern Tuscany produced by Banfi Wines. This special-occasion bottle should be on any red wine lover's bucket list. The bottle is named after the Latin word for "highest," which is the essence the wine gives off. 

The Banfi bottle contains a blend of sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah wine. It's a labor of love as each grape variety is made into wine and aged in a barrel on its own for at least a year. Then, they all come together and spend nearly another year aging collectively. Once the wine is bottled, it ages for six months before making its way to our glasses. Banfi SummuS is a dry and full-bodied wine that exemplifies the powers of careful aging. "One of my favorites. This is pure art! Any wine lover should try it," one Vivino user wrote in a review. 

Reserve Bar sells Banfi SummuS Toscana IGT for $82.99 as of April 2023. 

Best organic red wine

Cirelli Rosso is a great organic red that is available by Djuce in aluminum cans, in an effort to lessen the environmental impact of waste. The wine comes in at 13% ABV, and each can easily fills two glasses. Cirelli produces it from organic Montepulciano grapes and keeps it unfiltered for a natural taste that has just the right amount of funkiness to it. The canned wine also contains minimal sulfites which can trigger allergic reactions in some wine drinkers. 

Cirelli Rosso isn't a sweet wine but it contains natural fruity flavors like notes of plum. It has a full body that will probably surprise even the most loyal bottled wine drinker. "Very smooth, balanced, light and perfect on a warm rainy day," one Vivino user wrote in a review of Cirelli Rosso. 

Artisan Wine Shop sells one 250 mL can of Djuce Cirelli Rosso for $9.99 as of April 2023. 

Best American red wine

This American-made wine with a global message comes from the Californian vintners at Tank Garage Winery. In 2022, the brand released a 2020 vintage that pays homage to the Russia-Ukraine war. In the wake of major tragedy and uncertainty, Tank Garage made a bottle of wine to celebrate coming together and spreading love. Love Is Louder Than Bombs is a red blend mostly made from syrah grapes, with small amounts of valdiguié and négrette from Amador County. 

The wine spent 14 months aging before being bottled and released. The inspiring label was designed by two Ukranian sisters, and a portion of money from every bottle sold is donated to war relief efforts. Love Is Louder Than Bombs is a rich wine that is smooth on the palate. The notes sway more fruity and herbal, like a freshly picked blackberry that serves as a good reminder to savor the small things in life. 

Tank Garage Winery sells its 2020 Love Is Louder Than Bombs for $65 as of April 2023. 

Best red wine for a movie night

While there are plenty of perfectly good wines on this list that would be a great beverage for a cozy indoor movie night, Josh Cellars actually created a cabernet sauvignon wine to embody that exact feeling. Josh Cellars Hearth cabernet sauvignon is a budget-friendly bottle that should be a guest at every home gathering, whether it's centered around movies, games, or just good conversation. It's also an extremely palatable cabernet, so regardless of who you invite over, they'll likely be interested in sipping on a glass.

The rich Californian wine is fruity with stand-out notes of blackberries, cherries, and plums, which also means it pairs well with snacks like popcorn and candy. "Simply amazing. I'm a fan of the other Josh wines, but this one is special. Silky smooth," one Total Wine customer wrote in a review. 

Josh Cellars sells its Hearth cabernet sauvignon for about $17.99 as of April 2023.