9 Light Red Wines Every Wine Lover Should Know

Paige with red flowers and light red wine in a glass next to her

Light red wine can be an excellent choice for both experienced and novice wine drinkers alike. With friendly tannins, fruity flavors, and a generally more approachable nature, this style of wine is where elegance and finesse converge. 

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the crème de la crème of light red wines, each captivating sip offering a harmonious balance of flavor and nuance. 

Discover the best light bodied red wines that are sure to ignite your senses and leave an enduring impression!

What is a Light Red Wine?

Light red wine is a category of wines that is characterized by its light red color and translucent appearance, ranging from pale garnet to vibrant ruby hues. 

These wines typically exhibit a lighter body and lower tannin levels compared to full-bodied red wines.

In the glass, you’ll often find delicate flavors of fresh red berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, along with hints of cherries and pomegranates. 

With their vibrant acidity and subtle aromas, light red wines offer a delightful drinking experience that bridges the gap between red and lighter wines, striking a perfect balance of elegance and flavor.

Light red wine in a glass in front of a glass of dark red wine

9 Common Light Red Wine Types

Wines that are light red in color tend to be light-bodied red wines as well, with high acidity and fruit-forward flavors. Below you’ll find some common examples of this category that you’re sure to love!

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir wines are renowned for their elegance and complexity. It grows in various regions around the world and offers delicate flavors of red fruits like cherries and raspberries, often accompanied by earthy undertones. Pinot Noir typically has a light to medium body and a silky texture.

>> Recommended: Pinot Noir Shopping Guide – Best Bottles for Every Budget


Grenache is a versatile grape variety that thrives in warm climates. Wines made from Grenache grapes tend to be light-bodied with vibrant red fruit flavors, such as strawberries and black raspberries. They often exhibit a subtle spiciness and have soft tannins.


Gamay is the grape behind the famous Beaujolais wines. It produces light and fruity red wines with flavors of red berries, including cherries and cranberries. Gamay wines have lively acidity, refreshing character, and minimal tannins.


Hailing from the Veneto region in Italy, Valpolicella wines are crafted primarily from a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes. These light-bodied Italian wines offer bright cherry flavors, gentle tannins, and a crisp, vibrant finish. 

Valpolicella wines are often light to medium-bodied and can range from simple and refreshing to more complex and age-worthy.


Dolcetto is another Italian grape variety commonly found in the Piedmont region. Dolcetto wines are typically low in tannins with bright acidity and flavors of blackberries, plums, and licorice. They are incredibly approachable and are best enjoyed in their youth.


Cinsault is a versatile wine grape that is often both a blending grape and a single-variety wine.

Originating from the Mediterranean region, Cinsault wines exhibit flavors of red berries, such as strawberries, red currants, and raspberries, along with floral and herbal notes. These wines are often refreshing, with a lighter body and moderate tannins.

Light red wine in front of a city skyline at sunset


Frappato is an indigenous grape variety from Sicily, Italy. Wines made from Frappato grapes have light bodies, vibrant acidity, and flavors of red cherries, strawberries, and floral undertones. Enjoy Frappato wines for their freshness and elegance.

St. Laurent

St. Laurent is a red grape variety primarily grown in Austria and the Czech Republic. Wines made from St. Laurent grapes offer a medium-bodied profile with flavors of red and black fruits, spice, and a subtle earthiness. These wines can exhibit a delicate balance between fruitiness and complexity.


Zweigelt is an Austrian red grape variety that produces light and approachable wines. It offers flavors of red cherries and blackberries, with a hint of spice. Zweigelt wines are typically easy-drinking with moderate tannins and bright acidity.

Two glasses of light red wine paired with various cheeses on a board

Perfect Pairings for Light Red Wines

Pairing any wine with the right dish enhances both the wine and the food, creating a harmonious culinary symphony. 

Due to their moderate tannin levels and vibrant acidity, light red wines are incredibly versatile. Consider delightful matches like roasted chicken with herb-infused sauces, seared salmon, mushroom-based dishes, or even gourmet burgers topped with caramelized onions and Swiss cheese. 

For cheese enthusiasts, try pairing these wines with creamy goat cheese or mild cheddar.


In conclusion, light red wine unveils a captivating realm of delicate flavors, elegant aromas, and a perfect balance between red wine richness and lighter-bodied characteristics. 

From the renowned Pinot Noir to the versatile Grenache and the refreshing Gamay, these delectable wines offer a diverse selection to suit every preference. Whether you seek the enchanting floral notes of Beaujolais or the approachability of Dolcetto, these wines never fail to delight the senses and elevate any occasion. 

So, uncork a bottle of wine, savor its nuanced complexity, and let it transport you to a world of subtle splendor.