Red wine has been the most popular style of wine since humans began fermenting grapes to produce the beverage, and the majority of the world’s most popular bottles of wine today are different styles of red wine.
Some of the most famous and historic bottles of red wine on earth sell for tens of thousands of dollars at auction, and there are a handful of bottles that are quickly recognizable by wine enthusiasts worldwide.
There are four countries that dominate the wine production landscape today, each offering quality bottles of red wine that have become extremely famous and sought after by red wine lovers worldwide.
We will dive into four different regions that excel in wine production to present to you the world’s most popular red wine brands.
Where to Find the Most Popular Red Wine Brands
France is considered by many wine enthusiasts to be the most important wine country in the world. The majority of the world’s most popular wine grapes originated in France, and some of the most famous and sought-after bottles of red wine in the world today are French.
While France is home to a large variety of different famous and easily recognizable bottles of red wine, none are more important than the First Growths of Bordeaux. These were determined to be of particularly high quality in the 1800s, and have retained their fame and quality since.
Château Lafite Rothschild
Château Lafite Rothschild is one of the most popular wine producers in the entire world, and they specialize in the signature red blend of Bordeaux that has made the region so famous. It contains about 90 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot making up the rest of the blend.
Usually referred to simply as “Château Lafite,” this iconic producer is regarded by many wine enthusiasts to be of the highest quality from Bordeaux. It is one of the larger Château in the Bordeaux region and produces between 30,000 and 40,000 bottles of wine every year.
Château Mouton Rothschild
Château Mouton Rothschild reached the elusive and highly sought-after “Premier Grand Cru Classe” in 1973 and has been viewed by many as one of the best Château in all of France for centuries. The newly released 2021 vintage was awarded a 96-point score by Wine Enthusiast.
This Grand Cru Château did not receive first growth status in the initial Classification of 1855 and would have to wait over 100 years to receive the distinction. It was considered by many wine enthusiasts to be on par with the initial first growths of that time period.
The Château Latour Bordeaux blend is highly sought after by wine enthusiasts worldwide, and it is not uncommon for bottles to sell for thousands of dollars at auction. The newest release from the producer is the 2021 vintage, which was awarded 97 points from Wine Enthusiast.
Château Latour has one of the deepest and richest wine histories in all of Bordeaux and has been producing wine in the same area since the 14th century. This Château is renowned among French wine critics for its incredibly consistent record of high-quality products year after year.
Château Haut-Brion produces a fairly small amount of wine compared to the other famous Château in the Bordeaux region. The relative scarcity of wine from Château Haut-Brion coupled with a reputation for high production quality make wines from this producer fairly expensive.
While the majority of the first growth wines of Bordeaux are Cabernet Sauvignon dominant, the Château Haut-Brion blend consists primarily of Merlot, giving it a unique depth of flavor and smoothness that has captivated the palates of wine enthusiasts for hundreds of years.
Château Margaux produces a bold and strong representation of the Bordeaux blend that is both intense in flavor and impeccably balanced. This producer is known for consistently producing red wines of exceptional quality for hundreds of years, and continues the legacy today.
This is one of the most famous wine producers in the entire world, and Château Margaux was known to be a favorite of eventual American President Thomas Jefferson. This is one of many examples of prominent figures choosing Château Margaux, giving it a trend-setting reputation.
Italy is the largest wine-producing country in the world today and is home to hundreds of local grape varietals that are famous worldwide today. Single varietal bottles of red wine like Sangiovese as well and blends like the famous “Super Tuscan” blend are very popular.
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia was one of the first Super Tuscans to take the world by storm, and it has since developed a cult-like following from dedicated wine enthusiasts all over the world. The 2015 vintage was awarded the number one spot on Wine Enthusiast’s 2018 Top 100 list.
The first vintage of this wine was produced in 1968, making it one of the younger producers in Italy to receive world fame. The Super Tuscan trend was established and spread largely thanks to Sassicaia, and it is a staple on wine menus of quality Italian restaurants to this day.
Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore
Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore solidified itself as one of the most sought-after bottles of red wine in the entire world after receiving first place on the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 in 2001 for the 1998 vintage. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that is aged in French Oak.
Decanter Magazine has awarded the wine a 98-point score, as well as renowned wine critic James Suckling for both the 2013 and 2015 vintages. Small amounts of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc are judiciously added to the mix to create extra depth and complexity.
Spain is the third largest wine-producing country in the entire world, and the majority of the most important wines from this country are red. Tempranillo is one of the most important Spanish red wine grapes and is used to make some of the most famous battles in the country.
Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva
Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva is one of the most famous red wines from the country of Spain and is produced in the iconic Ribera del Duero region. It is a quintessential example of high-quality winemaking using Spain’s most important red wine grape Tempranillo.
The mixture of the tannic Tempranillo grape and the strong varieties of oak used for the aging combine to produce a strong wine that is both complex and balanced. This is considered by many to be one of the best “steakhouse wines” from Spain due to the high tannin content.
Dominio de Pingus ‘Pingus’
The word that is most often brought up when discussing Dominio de Pingus ‘Pingus’ is “large.” Everything from the tannins to the length of finish and price tag of this iconic Spanish wine is considered to be “big” by most. The wine is well balanced while providing a bold flavor.
This is considered one of the first and most important Spanish wines with a “cult following,” with many dedicated wine enthusiasts purchasing as many cases as possible on a yearly basis. Bottles of Dominio de Pingus can sell for thousands of dollars at auction depending on the vintage.
While the United States is one of the youngest major wine-producing countries in the world today, there are quite a few bottles of red wine from the USA that have achieved international fame and recognition.
Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon
Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon is the epitome of a “Cult California Cab,” as the demand for this popular single variety representation of Cabernet Sauvignon far outweighs the supply, leading to limited stock and high prices every single year.
Single bottles of Screaming Eagle consistently sell for well over $2500 with regularity, making this one of the highest priced and hardest to find bottles of red wine produced anywhere in the United States today.
Domaine Serene ‘Monogram’ Pinot Noir
Domaine Serene ‘Monogram’ Pinot Noir is one of the most famous bottles of red wine from Oregon, which is one of the top wine-producing states in the USA. This is one of the most iconic and well-known bottles of Pinot Noir from Oregon’s famous Willamette Valley.
Wine Enthusiast awarded the 2016 vintage a 96-point score, and new vintages regularly sell for hundreds of dollars more than neighboring producers in the region. This is one of the most famous American red wines that are not from the state of California.
Most Popular Red Wine Brands – Conclusion
While there are thousands of different bottles of red wine that are extremely famous all over the world today, there are a handful of labels from each of the world’s top wine-producing countries that are most prominent.