Best Wine for Beginners

In this blog post, we will explore some excellent wine options that are perfect for beginners who are new to the world of wine. Whether you’re just starting to develop your palate or looking for approachable wines to share with friends, these recommendations will help you navigate the diverse and exciting world of wine.

Characteristics of Beginner-Friendly Wines

Before diving into specific recommendations, it’s helpful to understand the characteristics of wines that are particularly well-suited for beginners:

  1. Approachable Flavor Profile: Beginner-friendly wines tend to have a balanced and moderate flavor profile. They are not overly intense or complex, making them more accessible to those who are new to wine tasting.
  2. Versatile Food Pairing: These wines pair well with a variety of dishes, providing flexibility for experimentation and exploration.
  3. Widely Available: Beginner-friendly wines are often produced in larger quantities and are readily available in many wine shops, making them easily accessible for newcomers.

Wine Recommendations for Beginners

I recommend four different wines for any beginner to ensure you find something that hits the spot. Try any of these:

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a refreshing white wine with vibrant acidity and a range of fruit flavors, such as citrus, green apple, and tropical fruits. It’s an excellent choice for beginners due to its crisp and lively character.

Pairing Suggestion: Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with lighter fare, such as salads, seafood, goat cheese, and grilled vegetables.

I recommend you try this Roast Cod with Potatoes, Olive and Thyme recipe. Simple and delicious.

Recommended Sauvignon Blanc: Try one of these excellent examples:

Bread & Butter North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

This Sauvignon Blanc has bright aromas of lemon zest and hints of tropical fruit, lively flavors with citrus notes followed by a rich texture and a clean finish.

2021 Decoy California Sauvignon Blanc

Aromas of pineapple, lemon, and green apple lead the way for this crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Underneath those fresh scents is a layer of lime zest that adds another exciting dimension to what you taste, which lingers in your mouth long after each sip.

Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc 2017

This Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of ripe kiwi, lemon, and lime accented by hints of green apples. The palate is full and creamy with a rich mouthfeel that is balanced by crisp acidity.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a delicate red wine that offers a great introduction to reds for beginners. It typically features flavors of red berries, cherries, and sometimes earthy undertones. It has lighter tannins and a smooth finish.

Pairing Suggestion: Pinot Noir pairs well with a variety of dishes, including roasted poultry, grilled salmon, mushrooms, and mild cheeses.

Recommended Pinot Noir

2016 Domaine Lecheneaut Les Pruliers

This is towards the more expensive end of the price range but no doubt this is an exceptional wine. Les Pruliers has a strong color. The wine offers aromas of fresh red fruit, wild prunes, and licorice. As it ages, it adds depth and roundness. It has aromas of cocoa, and smoked meat.

2019 Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge

More affordable is the Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge. This is an organic pinot noir that’s delicate, easy to drink, and naturally delicious. It has a fresh, crunchy, summer pudding fruit flavor with crisp acidity and just lip-smacking moreishness. And because it’s low in sulfur, it’s great for summer or winter drinking.

2018 Corazza Pinot Nero

At the lower end of the price range is the Pinot Nero. This is a unique wine from Friuli, a region in northeastern Italy. It’s made from the pinot noir grape and is unlike other Pinot Noirs you might be used to. It’s light, bright, and easy to drink.

Riesling

Riesling is a versatile white wine known for its aromatic qualities and a wide spectrum of flavors, ranging from crisp citrus to honeyed sweetness. It can be enjoyed in both dry and off-dry styles, accommodating different preferences.

Pairing Suggestion: Riesling pairs well with spicy cuisines, Asian dishes, grilled sausages, and blue cheeses.

Recommended Riesling

Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Riesling Kabinett 2017

This Kabinett is a fresh, crisp wine with lingering sweetness balanced by tart lemon-lime acidity. Delicate wisps of smoke and earth lend touches of complexity throughout, adding dimensions to its fruity character.

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese

Spätlese Riesling is richer and more intense in flavor than Kabinett. It comes with a lively minerality that perfectly balances the bright white peach and lemon fruit you’ll find here. Worth seeking out.

Ransom Sunnyside Vineyard Riesling (Willamette Valley of Oregon)

From the vineyard themselves, “This single vineyard, old vine bottling from the South Salem Hills is a classic, terroir-revealing Riesling. Opening with fresh fruit aromas of key lime and pineapple, the palate offers vivid acidity and flavors of Meyer lemon zest and candied ginger wrapped around a mineral vein. The wine finishes fresh and bright, with a beguiling note of honeysuckle blossom. A delight to drink now, but also exceedingly age-worthy.” 

Malbec

Malbec is a medium-bodied red wine that often features dark fruit flavors like blackberry and plum, with hints of spice and chocolate. It offers a smooth and approachable drinking experience, making it a favorite among beginners.

Pairing Suggestion: Malbec pairs well with grilled meats, barbecued dishes, burgers, and hard cheeses.

Recommended Malbec

2018 Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyards Malbec (Argentina)

Critic tasting note: “The Nicasia Vineyard was planted on stony soils in the Altamira zone in 1996. The wine was 100% whole-cluster fermented and 100% in barrels. After two years of ageing in oak, this malbec is able to capture the essence of Altamira, that austere side that the stony soils give as well as the aromas of red fruits and violets that are very characteristic of the heights of the Uco Valley. The texture is firm, and it has very sharp tannins that act as pillars so that the crisp and lively fruit can show itself clearly.” – 96/100Patricio Tapia – Descorchados

2016 Altos Las Hormigas ‘Appellation Gualtallary’ Malbec (Argentina)

Critic tasting note: “Located above 1,300 meters a.s.l. in the Gualtallary zone, the 15-year-old vineyard that produces the grapes for this wine is planted on a selection of sandy loam soils with stones “painted” with lime. The wine ages in foudres for 2 years, and the result is a delight of flavors recalling cherries and red fruit in general with a firm structure and acidity as sharp as a knife. The wine shoots through the mouth like an arrow, slicing through it like air.” – 96/100Patricio Tapia – Descorchados

2015 Bodega Mauricio Lorca Poetico Malbec (Argentina)

Critic tasting note: “This is a blend of wines from Vista Flores, planted in 1999, and from Los Árboles, planted more or less at the same time. It was aged in barrels for 14 months and spent another four years in bottles before its release to market, a decision that’s pretty unusual in these times for South American wines. The result is a red with tremendous varietal purity, with a touch of flowers and ripe red fruits in a context of tremendous friendliness and balance.” – 95/100Patricio Tapia – Descorchados

Conclusion

By starting your wine journey with these beginner-friendly options, you can develop your palate and gain confidence in exploring different wine styles. Remember, wine tasting is a subjective experience, so feel free to experiment and discover your own preferences. Cheers to your exciting wine adventures.

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