If you are just starting on your wine journey, knowing where to begin can be daunting. With so many different types and styles available, how do you know where to start? Are sweet dessert wines a good place to start or should I begin with sparkling wines? How about a dry wine or lighter wine? In this article, I will recommend 12 wines that are perfect for beginners, so you can start your wine journey with confidence.
With regards to choosing wines for beginners, it’s important to consider wines with straightforward fruit flavors, low tannin, and moderate acidity, as these tend to be the easiest wines to drink. Sauvignon Blanc is known to be light, crisp, refreshing, and high in acid, making it a crowd-pleaser, especially during spring and summer. You’ll notice some distinct differences as you sample bottles with grapes grown in different regions. Red wines like Pinot Noir and Merlot are also great options for beginners, as they tend to be lighter in body and tannin compared to other red wines.
It’s also important to note that price doesn’t always equate to quality, and there are plenty of affordable wines that taste great. In this article, I’ll be recommending wines under $25, so you can start your wine journey without breaking the bank. Whether you prefer red or white wine, sweet or dry, there’s a wine on this list that’s perfect for you. So, let’s dive in and discover the best wines for beginners.
Top 12 Wines for Beginners
If you’re new to the world of wine, it can be overwhelming to navigate all the different varietals and styles. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the top 12 wines for beginners to help you get started on your wine journey. From light and refreshing whites to bold and fruity reds, there’s something for everyone on this list.
Pinot Noir is a great red wine for beginners because it’s light-bodied and easy to drink. It has a smooth texture and low tannins, which means it won’t leave your mouth feeling dry. Pinot Noir is also versatile and pairs well with a variety of foods, from salmon to chicken to pasta. Try Bread & Butter Pinot Noir here.
Chardonnay is one of the most popular white wines in the world and for good reason. It’s full-bodied and rich, with flavors of butter, vanilla, and oak. Chardonnay is a great wine to pair with creamy dishes like risotto or lobster bisque. Give Canyon Road Chardonnay a try.
Sauvignon Blanc is a light and refreshing white wine that’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. It’s known for its crisp acidity and flavors of citrus and grass. Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with seafood and salads. One we have really enjoyed is Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
Zinfandel is a bold and fruity red wine that’s perfect for those who like their wine with a bit of spice. It has flavors of blackberry, pepper, and spice, and pairs well with grilled meats and hearty stews. We can personally recommend Seven Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel
Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine that’s perfect for those who like their wine with a bit of structure. It has flavors of black currant, tobacco, and leather, and pairs well with steak and other red meats. Try Bread & Butter Cabernet Sauvignon at the LCBO.
Port is a sweet fortified wine that’s perfect for sipping after dinner. It has flavors of caramel, chocolate, and dried fruit, and pairs well with cheese and chocolate desserts. We have not yet reviewed any Port wines so we can’t name a specific varietal.
Pinot Grigio is a light and refreshing white wine that’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. It has flavors of green apple and citrus and pairs well with seafood and salads. Here’s one to try: Mare Di Sirena Pinot Grigio
Grenache is a medium-bodied red wine that’s perfect for those who like their wine with a bit of fruitiness. It has flavors of raspberry, cherry, and spice, and pairs well with grilled meats and vegetables. Try a bottle of Bastide Miraflors Syrah/Vieilles Vignes Grenache 2020
Vinho Verde is a light and refreshing white wine from Portugal that’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. It has flavors of green apple and citrus and pairs well with seafood and salads.
Rosé is a light and refreshing wine that’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. It has flavors of strawberry and watermelon and pairs well with light appetizers and salads.
Moscato d’Asti is a sweet and bubbly white wine that’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. It has flavors of peach and apricot and pairs well with fruit and cheese plates.
Beaujolais Nouveau is a light and fruity red wine that’s perfect for those who like their wine with a bit of fruitiness. It has flavors of cherry and raspberry and pairs well with grilled meats and vegetables.
Whether you prefer red or white, sweet or dry, there’s a wine on this list that’s perfect for you. So go ahead and explore the world of wine – you never know what you might discover!
Exploring Wine Types
As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to navigate the world of wine. There are so many different types of wine, each with its own unique flavor profile, aroma, and texture. In this section, I will provide a brief overview of the most common types of wine: red wines, white wines, sparkling wines, and dessert wines.
Best Red Wines for Beginners
Red wine is made from red or black grapes that have been fermented with their skins, giving the wine its characteristic color. Red wines are typically bold and full-bodied, with flavors ranging from fruity to earthy. Some popular red wine varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.
It’s best to start with a wine that has low-to-medium detectable tannins (that drying or cotton-mouth sensation), juicy or fruit-forward flavors, and is easy to drink without food. For example, the 2019 Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir is a great option for beginners with its smooth texture and fruity notes.
Best White Wines for Beginners
White wine is made from white or green grapes that have been fermented without their skins. White wines are typically lighter and crisper than red wines, with flavors ranging from citrusy to floral. Some popular white wine varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling.
It’s best to start with a wine that is not too dry and has a fruity flavor profile. For example, the 2019 Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling is a great option for beginners with its sweet and fruity notes.
Sparkling wine is a type of wine that has carbon dioxide bubbles, which give it a fizzy texture. Sparkling wines can be white, rosé, or red and can range from sweet to dry. Some popular sparkling wine varieties include Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava.
When choosing a sparkling wine as a beginner, it’s best to start with a wine that is not too dry and has a fruity flavor profile. For example, the Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto is a great option for beginners with its sweet and fruity notes.
Dessert wine is a type of wine that is typically sweet and served with dessert. Dessert wines can be red, white, or fortified, and they range from light and fruity to rich and complex. Some popular dessert wine varieties include Port, Sherry, and Moscato.
When choosing a dessert wine as a beginner, it’s best to start with a wine that is not too sweet and has a fruity flavor profile. For example, the 2017 Royal Tokaji Late Harvest is a great option for beginners with its honeyed notes and balanced sweetness.
Wine Tasting Tips for Beginners
As a beginner wine drinker, you might feel intimidated by the idea of wine tasting. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can learn to taste wine like a pro and enjoy the experience.
With regards to choosing wines to taste, it’s a good idea to start with easy-drinking wines that are lighter in body and have fewer tannins. These wines tend to be more approachable and less intimidating for beginners. Some popular options include Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.
As you become more comfortable with wine tasting, you can start to explore fuller-bodied wines with more tannins. Dry wines, which have little to no residual sugar, are a good place to start. However, don’t be afraid to try off-dry wines as well, which have a slight sweetness to them.
Check our post on Wine Etiquette for tips on how to best enjoy your wine-drinking experience.
Buying Your First Bottle
As a beginner, buying your first bottle of wine can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many options to choose from, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:
Before you head to the wine shop, take some time to think about what types of wine you might enjoy. Do you prefer red or white? Sweet or dry? Light or full-bodied? Knowing your preferences can help narrow down your options and make the selection process easier.
If you’re not sure where to start, reading reviews can be a great way to get some ideas. Websites like Vivino can provide you with user reviews and ratings for different wines. This can help you get a sense of what other people like and what might be a good fit for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from the staff at your local wine shop. They can provide you with suggestions based on your preferences and budget. They may even be able to recommend specific bottles, like the Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages or the Venturini Baldini Montelocco, that are great for beginners.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a great bottle of wine. Look for wines that offer good value for their price. For example, the Lucien Crochet Croix du Roy is a great value red wine that is perfect for beginners.
Remember that buying wine is a process of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. You may discover a new favorite, like the Val d’Oca Extra Dry or the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
By following these tips, you can find a great bottle of wine that is perfect for beginners. Remember to trust your instincts and have fun with the process. Cheers!
When starting your wine journey, it’s best to begin with wines that are easy to drink and have low alcohol content. Some of the best wines for beginners include Riesling, Moscato, and Pinot Noir. These wines are light, fruity, and easy on the palate, making them perfect for those who are just starting to explore the world of wine.
It’s also important to consider your wine palate when selecting a wine. If you prefer sweet or fruity flavors, then a Riesling or Moscato may be the perfect choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer dry wines with a more complex flavor profile, then a Pinot Noir or Chardonnay may be more to your liking.
Ultimately, the best wine for beginners is one that you enjoy drinking. Don’t be afraid to try new wines and experiment with different flavor profiles. With time and experience, you’ll develop a better understanding of your wine palate and be able to select wines that suit your taste preferences.