Different Types of Wine for the Novice to Start Drinking
Right from the get go, different people like different types of white wine or different types of red wine. For many a rose’s are the type of wines to start out with. For most wine beginner’s the most popular types of wine to begin with are white and rose wines. The main reason is that many are lighter in body, tendency to run a little sweeter and can be chilled which makes them easier to drink. But it really is a matter of personal choice of whether you begin your wine experience with any of the different types of wine.
Types of White Wine to Start With
Pinot Grigio: One of the most wine beginner’s friendliest white wines. Pinot Grigio wines are light bodied, slightly sweet but still has a little crispness to it. For a beginner these are the types of wine that make a great beverage style wine and will also pairs well with food. Give Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio from Italy a try. It is a old world wine but oh so good. This wine is a little spendy but a treat. Northern Italian Pinot Grigios are bright, light and zippy, with white peach or nectarine flavors and tingly acidity. New World versions are essentially divided into two styles, and the wines tend to be labeled Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio accordingly to where they are produced. Pinot Grigio/Gris wines should be enjoyed young, while they still retain a lively freshness. For the most part these are not wines for keeping. I prefer to buy and drink Pinot Grigio’s that are less than 5 years old.
Woodbridge Pinot Grigio, California – shows a lot of fruit flavor when you first sip it. Intense aromas of peach and apricot on the nose and lively flavors of citrus zest with a spicy kick on the finish. These types of wine are easy drinking and perfect for summer evenings ($9.00)
Chenin Blanc: Chenin Blanc is one of the most versatile white types of wine grapes produced in the world. The quality of Chenin blanc wine is directly connected to the care taken in the vineyard. If the grapes are harvested too soon, the high acidity of the wine will be a turn off. If the grapes are harvested at too late, the grapes can be too sweet and will not retain any of Chenin blanc’s distinctive character notes. With optimal ripeness and balance between acidity and sugars being such a priority for Chenin blanc, many growers depending on location will harvest the grapes in successive pickings through the vineyards. During each picking they only take the ripest clusters.
Dry Creek Chenin Blanc – Crisp, but with rounded fruit, it is smooth and lush. The acidity is on the mild side, making the Chenin Blanc suited as a sweeter beverage wine or even for after dinner. The finish is fresh fruit that lingers in the mouth. ($11.00 )
Beringer Chenin Blanc — To retain the delicate varietal flavors, Beringer’s winemakers chill the juices immediately following crush and continue to closely monitor the temperature throughout fermentation. Just before dryness, they cool the juices even further to halt fermentation and retain a smooth, lush mouth feel and lingering slightly sweet finish. These types of wine usually are well-balanced with aromas and flavors of crisp citrus, melon, and spicy ginger. It’s meant to be enjoyed with a variety of foods, from Asian and Mexican foods to a casual backyard barbecue with friends. ($7.00)
Moscato d’Asti: These types of wine are not new world wines but has become very popular in the last few years. The wine has a slight frizz, and is a little dry from Italy. A delightful wine with flavors of apricots and almonds, and offers a sweet, crisp and juicy wine that tickles the palette and nose as you drink it. This wine is from Italy and this is one of the different types of wine they make. I noticed the other day a Rose Moscato d’Asti from Australia. Have not tried it yet but cold be interesting.
Riesling: This wine ranges from dry to very sweet. The most popular wine is a Riesling that is crisp with slight citrus and mineral flavors. A refreshing, light bodied wine with some acidity that counteracts the sugar in the wine. Enjoy a bottle of Riesling from Washington State. Read the label to make sure it is sweet or dry. These are two different types of wine.
Hogue Cellars Riesling – Riesling can be produced in such a range of styles, the tastes associated with it are equally diverse. Balance is the key in all wines and this is an aspect that good Riesling producers like Hogue excel at. When grown in cool climates, Riesling has the ability to reach levels of acidity that can match any degree of sweetness ($8.00)
Hogue also makes a Late Harvest Riesling which is a lot sweeter. It is known for it’s sweet and appealing lemon curd and apple pie flavors. ($9.00)
Moscato Wine: The Muscat types of wine grapes are grown in vineyards located in several California grape growing areas. The Muscat grape is grown all over the world and is used for table grapes, raisins and wine making. These types of wine are on the sweet side with relatively low alcohol content which is perfect for many wine beginners.
Canyon Oaks Moscato — Full flavored, tasty, very sweet wine. Originally it was intended to be an after dinner wine. Problem is the wine drinkers that normally sip on an aperitif after their meal, do not buy $6.00 wine. This wine has become very popular with wine beginners because of price and taste.
Sauvignon Blanc: This is a clean, crisp, refreshing white wine. It is light bodied type of wine with some acidity. A Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand has flavors that include kiwi and citrus or maybe even grapefruit. This is a wonderful summer wine because it is so refreshing.
When you first try a Sauvignon Blanc make sure it is from New Zealand because I believe they make the best. Should be able to pick up a wine for under $10
For you that insist on California wines try the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc. It is a great summer wine. For some this may be a food wine because the flavors were bold. pretty tart, with a fair amount of acidity to be enjoyable with a meal. or cheese and crackers. Watch for it on sale under $10.00
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Types of Red Wine to Start With
It is best to start out with simple, fruitier red types of wine. As you develop your wine palate, then you can move on to more complex, full bodied wine.
Pinot Noir: These types of wine can run from light to medium body. This is a very friendly wine because it is verastile. Many people have fallen in love with a slightly chilled Pinot Noir and a burger off the grill. The wine is nice as a light bodied, low tannin, fairly dry beverage wine. Give Lindeman’s, Devil’s Corner Bin 99 or McMurray Ranch Pinot Noir a try. These wines are both Pinot but are to different types of wine.
Mirassou California Pinot Noir –The top selling Pinot in the US. The tannins are very soft, but there is some acidity. A nice Pinot Noir needs good balanced acidity to give the wine longevity. Nice finish that starts off strong, starts to fade quickly, but never completely does. Drink young. ($11.00)
Syrah: Syrah or Shiraz. Interesting they are one and the same grape. The Australian Shiraz tend to be a bit on the peppery, spicy side. The Syrah style tend to be friendlier on the beginners palate with more fruit. Again two different types of wine because of the region grown.
For Shiraz style, you can not go wrong with a bottle of Penfold’s. When it comes to a Syrah, try a bottle of elegant Eaglepoint Ranch. Both reasonable priced.
Beaujolais: This French type of wine is meant to be drunk young. The wine is fruity and light, slightly dry, without heavy tannin, making it a favorite for new wine drinkers. I like to start out new wine drinkers with a 20 minute chill on the bottle. As it warms their palate becomes accustom to it. In California they are better known as Gamay Beaujolais.
Beringer Gamay Beaujolais – A soft and flavorful red, à la Beaujolais, with ripe, juicy raspberry and black cherry flavors and hints of tea and vanilla. Its fruit flavors jump out and are more intense at the finish. A tasty alternative, affordably priced at arounf $8.00. These types of wine should be drunk now!
Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape variety. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country exposing it to diverse climates. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognized through its prominence in Bordeaux. It is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc to soften the wine. Until the 1990′s it was the most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot. Cabernet wines can go from very soft, low tannin to strong and robust with high tannins.
Wine beginners need to be cautious when first purchasing Cabernets.
Cycles Gladiator Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon — This Cabernet has been aged in new French oak barrels and used oak barrels. The wine’s color is deep purple, as a bigger red wine should be. The nose is very intense black cherry, vanilla, maybe a little leather with a hint of grassy aroma. Has firm tannins, but they stay under control with some food pairing. The finish is soft and subtle, and lingers. I love it with beef. Watch the alcohol content at 14.5%. ($10.00)
Types of Rose Wine to Start With
Rosé wines are perhaps the most versatile, food-friendly wines especially for the wine novice. Many consumers mistake Rosé wines to be overly sweet and in the category of beginner wine because of White Zinfandel. But lately Rosé wine sales are on the rise as many wine lovers have discovered that many of these pink wines can be “dry” and not sugary sweet. Rosé wines offer a very good wine value for the money. Rosé wines get their color from the short contact time the grape juice has with the red grape skin. The winemaker can make the pink color darker or lighter this way. Remember these types of wine can run dry to sweet in taste.
Francis Ford Coppola Sofia Rosé – This Rose always shows elegantly. Comes in stunning bottle shape for super presentation. Sofia Rosé is derived from mix of Syrah and Grenache grapes and offers an alluring nose with rich, red berries. Entice your friends with the fruit of – wild strawberries, sweet cherry and ripe raspberry. Let them engage the palate with the well-balanced acidity that make this wine a versatile summertime wine. Always a delight! Serve chilled. ($15.00)
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