Cinsault Grape Variety & Wine Profile: Taste & Food Pairings

Cinsault, a lesser-known grape variety, has been gaining popularity in the world of wine. Originating from the Languedoc region in southern France, Cinsault is known for its versatility and unique flavor profile.

With its delicate aromas, vibrant red fruit flavors, and smooth texture, Cinsault offers an exciting alternative to more common varietals. It is a table grape often used as a blending grape in wine regions like the chateauneuf du pape area.

What is Cinsault Wine

Cinsault, a red grape variety originating from France, may not be as well-known as some of its counterparts like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. However, this versatile, very heat tolerant, resistant and charming grape has been gaining popularity among wine enthusiasts for its unique characteristics. This vin de France has an ability to produce a wide range of styles as single varietal cinsault wine or when it is commonly blended adds to its flexibility.

Cinsault de France

One such region is the Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France and the Chateauneuf du Pape region and the southern rhone valley, where Cinsault plays a significant role in creating delightful red blends there. Here, it is often used as a blending grape with other local varieties like Grenache and Syrah to produce vibrant and fruit-forward red wine blends with a touch of Mediterranean warmth.


Italy is home to some of the most diverse and exquisite wine regions in the world, and one grape variety that stands out is Ottavianello, also known as Cinsault. This red grape variety has found its perfect expression in various wine regions across Italy, offering wine enthusiasts a unique and delightful experience. From the sun-kissed vineyards of Sicily to the rolling hills of Tuscany, Ottavianello thrives in different terroirs, showcasing its versatility and adaptability.

In southern Italy, specifically in Sicily’s Marsala region, Ottavianello vines thrive under the Mediterranean climate.


Originally from France, this versatile grape has found a new home in several Australian wine regions, where it thrives under different climatic conditions and soil types.

One such region is McLaren Vale or the Barossa Valley, located in South Australia. Known for its Mediterranean-like climate and diverse soils, McLaren Vale produces some remarkable Cinsault wines. The warm days and cooling sea breezes allow the grapes to ripen fully while maintaining their acidity, resulting in elegant and well-balanced wines with bright red fruit flavors.

South Africa

South Africa has emerged as a prominent player in the world of wine, and one grape variety that stands out is Cinsault. Known for its versatility, Cinsault vines can produce a wide range of wines ranging from light and fruity to rich and complex. South Africa’s diverse climate and terroir make it an ideal region for cultivating this grape next to Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and other grapes. This results in exceptional expressions that showcase the country’s winemaking prowess.

The Western Cape region is home to some of South Africa’s most renowned Cinsault wine regions. Stellenbosch, with its Mediterranean climate and diverse soils, produces elegant Cinsault wines with notes of red berries and spice.

North Africa

Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia may not be the first countries that come to mind when thinking about wine production, but they are home to some truly remarkable Cinsault wine regions as this grape varietal is very drought resistant.

In Algeria, the coastal region of Oran stands out as one of the key Cinsault wine-growing areas. Its Mediterranean climate and proximity to the sea create ideal conditions for grape cultivation. The vineyards here benefit from cool ocean breezes that balance out the hot summer temperatures.

Characteristics of Cinsault Wine

With origins in the southern Rhône region of France, Cinsault has gained popularity across the globe due to its distinct flavor profile. This red grape varietal is often used for red blends in renowned wines like Châteauneuf-du-Pape and rosés from Provence. However, when crafted as a single-varietal wine, Cinsault showcases its own exquisite characteristics.

Cinsault Tasting Notes

Cinsault wines typically exhibits a delicate yet vibrant aroma of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and red cherries. These fruity notes are complemented by floral undertones such as roses or violets that add an elegant touch to the bouquet. On the palate, Cinsault displays a light to medium body with low tannins and moderate acidity.


This red grape variety, known for its low tannin levels, produces wines that are light-bodied and highly drinkable. Tannins are natural compounds which are present in grape skins, seeds, and stems that contribute to the texture and structure of a wine. However, Cinsault grapes tend to have thinner skins with lower tannin content compared to other red varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.

With its low tannin profile, Cinsault wine showcases bright fruit flavors that truly shine through. Expect vibrant notes of fresh berries such as raspberry and strawberry on both the nose and palate. These fruits dominate the flavor profile of Cinsault wines and give them a refreshing character that is perfect for warm summer days or casual sipping occasions.

Cinsault Food Pairings

When it comes to a perfect wine and food pairing or for grilled meat, Cinsault is an excellent choice that will elevate your dining experience. Known for its versatility, this red wine varietal boasts a delicate fruity flavor with subtle spice notes. They harmonize effortlessly with rich foods or the smoky flavors of grilled meats.

Whether it’s succulent steaks, tender lamb chops, or juicy burgers fresh off the grill or roasted meat dishes, Cinsault’s smooth tannins and vibrant acidity complement the charred exterior and rich flavors. Its medium-bodied nature ensures that the wine doesn’t overpower the natural taste of the meat but rather enhances it.

Grilled vegetables also find their ideal companion in Cinsault wine.

5 Cinsault Wines to Savor in 2024

As we step into 2024, it is time to explore and savor some of the finest Cinsault wines available. Known for its versatility, winemakers often use cinsault grapes as a blending grape.

Rosé wines are one of the main wine categories where these grapes add depth and complexity to other varieties. However, when allowed to shine on its own, this grape showcases its true potential by delivering exceptional quality wines.

One reason why Cinsault wines are gaining popularity is their ability to offer a delightful balance between fruitiness and acidity as a single varietal wines or in red blends. With vibrant red fruit flavors like cherry and raspberry coupled with refreshing acidity, these single varietal wines are perfect for those looking for something light yet flavorful.

Rall Cinsault 2019 – Coastal Region South Africa

Discover the essence of South African winemaking with Rall Cinsault 2019. Crafted by one of the country’s most talented winemakers, Donovan Rall, this wine embodies both tradition and innovation to deliver a truly remarkable drinking experience.

Rall Cinsault 2019 offers a vibrant ruby color and enticing aromas of red berries and floral notes.

Chateau Sainte Roseline – Cuvee Lampe de Meduse Cotes de Provence Rose

Indulge in this vin de France with enchanting flavors and aromas of Chateau Sainte Roseline’s Cuvee Lampe de Meduse Cotes de Provence Rose. With its delicate pale pink hue and captivating bouquet, it is no wonder that this rosé has become a favorite amongst wine connoisseurs.

The Cuvee Lampe de Meduse showcases a perfect balance of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault grapes. The first sip reveals luscious notes of fresh strawberries and raspberries, accompanied by hints of citrus zest.

Chateau Miraval – Cotes de Provence Rose

Nestled in the picturesque hills of the French Riviera, Chateau Miraval is renowned for its exquisite wines. Among the rosé wines in their impressive range, the Cotes de Provence Rose stands out as a true masterpiece. Crafted with precision and passion, this rosé embodies the essence of elegance and tradition.

At first glance, the delicate pink hue of Chateau Miraval’s Cotes de Provence Rose captivates the eye. The nose reveals enchanting aromas of fresh strawberries and white flowers, evoking images of sunny Provençal gardens.

Domaine de la Rouillere – Grande Reserve Cotes de Provence Rouge

When it comes to exceptional red wines, the Domaine de la Rouillere Grande Reserve Cotes de Provence Rouge stands out as a true masterpiece. Hailing from the picturesque region of Provence in southern France, this wine showcases the perfect combination of elegance and richness. With its deep rose hue and enticing aromas, it captivates both the eyes and nose from the first pour.

This Cotes de Provence Rouge is a blend of several grape varieties including Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Carignan. The result is a wine that exudes complexity and depth at every sip.

Savage Winery – Follow the Line 2021 South Africa

Follow the Line 2021 wine from South Africa. Known for their innovative approach to winemaking, Savage has once again pushed boundaries by crafting a wine that embodies the essence of its terroir while honoring traditional winemaking techniques.

Grown in the picturesque vineyards of South Africa’s Western Cape region. Each sip reveals a harmonious blend of meticulously selected grapes nurtured by abundant sunshine and cooled by coastal breezes.

Turley Wine Cellars – Bechtold Vineyard Cinsault

This Cinsault, cultivated by Turley Winery, is a gem hidden in California’s Lodi region. What sets this wine apart is its unique old vine character, with some vines dating back to 1886. These ancient vines produce grapes that result in a wine with remarkable depth and complexity, offering a taste experience unlike any other.

The Bechthold Vineyard Cinsault showcases the potential of this underrated grape variety, proving that age can truly enhance the quality of wine. Its vibrant red fruit flavors and subtle earthy undertones make it a versatile option for both casual sipping and food pairing.

Hi, my name is Christina Day, and I am a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur. It is my favorite alcoholic drink, and I enjoy nothing better than kicking back on the sofa after a long week of work to enjoy a glass of wine… or two!

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