How To Choose California Red Wines for Your Weekend?

As the weather warms up, California red wines are the perfect accompaniment to a weekend barbecue or picnic. But with so many different types and styles of wine available, it can be tough to know which ones to choose, especially if you’re not familiar with the region, for example with Zinfandel Red Wines of Sonoma. You’re in luck! This guide will help you to select some of the best California red wines for your next weekend. Moreover, all these fine wines can be easily found when looking up “best wine near me” or at any online wine store that sells them.

California Red Wines

Author Beth Anderson can’t be wrong; “Everything is just better in California – the wine, the food, fruits and vegetables, the comforts of living. Even the instrumentalists are generous and curious. Everything is wonderful.” California is known for its diverse wine production, 90% of American wines are produced here, but what about the smaller regions? From the warm, sunny, foggy hills to cool coastal air, each region has its own specialties.

North Coast: The North and North Central Coast of California are home to more than half of all wineries on this coast, it’s a large growing area that contains picturesque AVA’s including Napa and Sonoma County where you can find great restaurants or tours to an estate tasting rooms while also enjoying beautiful views from mountain tops! The North Coast also contains Mendocino County and Lake County, two other areas revered for their red and white wine vineyards.

Central Coast: With such a large variety of wines to choose from, you can find something that suits your taste in this region which stretches from San Francisco down to Los Angeles. The climate here is mild – perfect for producing quality bottles! Central Coast also consists of Santa Clara County, Livermore County, San Barbara, Montero, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, and more.

South Central Coast: The dry, warm climate of here is perfect for making elegant wines. This area includes San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara Counties at Pacific coastlines!

California is the home of some world-class wines, and this list proves it. From Cabernet Sauvignon to Zinfandel, there are plenty of options for every type of drinker at your next dinner party!

Best Red Wine in California


When it comes to the best and most expensive Cabernet Sauvignon in America, by far Napa Valley reigns supreme. Other regions may produce Cabs of such consistency, but they cannot match how intense these wines are from this area. Its high tannin content needs porous soil with ample nutrients to flourish into a varietal that has an intense taste profile filled with rich flavors like blackberries, black cherries, herbs, vanilla, or leather. The best cabernet sauvignon wines in Northern California can be found also in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Sonoma Valley.


Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult grape to grow due to its unique skin thicknesses, but when grown well, it can be very rewarding, especially in a cool climate and soil that have moderate clay composition. The terroir of North and Central California is an intuitive match with what’s needed when growing pinot. Sonoma, Mendocino, Oregon, Carneros, Santa Barbara, and Monterey County has become the finest Pinot Noir producer regions in the state


The dark-skinned Syrah grapes produce one of the darkest colored wines, and most can be aged up to 10 years. In warmer regions, Syrah wines are medium to full-bodied with powerful aromas of black pepper, tobacco, leather, smoked meat, and jammy fruit flavors. If you’re looking for some of California’s best Syrah, look no further than South-central; Santa Barbara, The Ballard Valley, and Los Alamos are placed in this region.


Zinfandel red wines typically have a robust, spicy character, but there’s also “White Zinfandel” which is a very popular sweet rose wine in California. You may have heard the term “old vines”, these vines could be aged up to 100 years old! Zinfandel’s reach is truly impressive nowadays, it thrives most comfortably where the climate allows in many California regions such as Amador, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and Lodi AVAs


It’s the fourth most-produced red grape in California and often accompanies Cabernet Sauvignon to create an even more flavorful pairing! There is a bias that Merlot can’t make structured wines like cabernet sauvignon, but, there are merlot wines as tannic and complex as cabernet sauvignon. You should try Sonoma County, Paso Robles, and Napa Valley bold merlots with full aromas of plums, cherries, and chocolate.

With so many different wine regions in California, it can be hard to know which wines to choose for your next gathering. Hopefully, this guide has given you a little bit of insight into some of the most popular regions and the types of wines that are produced there. If you’re looking for some recommendations, we suggest heading over to liquor Store in Santa Rosa. They have an incredible selection of the best California red wines and knowledgeable staff who can help you find the perfect bottle for your next dinner or weekend getaway. Cheers!

Don’t forget to read our blog about Sonoma and Napa Valley for further information about California Wines.


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