Sunday, July 21, 2024

What Is Good Wine For Beginners

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Getting Started With Wine

The Best Red Wines For Beginners (Series): #1 Pinot Noir

There really isn’t one type of wine that every single beginner will love. On the other hand, there are many delicious wines for the budding wine enthusiast to give a try before trying heavier or more serious wines. Many factors affect the pleasure beginners take in wine.

Best Wine For Beginners Available In Stores

Have you ever come across complex terminology related to wine? The wine industry is flush with jargon that includes descriptions such as strong-backbone, volatile , and even tight. This can be confusing, even intimidating, to know whats the best wine for beginners.

Fortunately, this article wont be using any of those terms. If youve harbored an interest in what exactly all the fuss regarding good wine is about, we have you covered. This article discusses the basics of wine, some terms you should know when talking about them, and some bottles you might want to consider as a beginner.

Best Budget: Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee 2018

Courtesy of Wine

Region: California, Sonoma | ABV: 14.2% | Tasting Notes: Blackberry, Vanilla, Cherry, Spice.

Gundlach Bundschu is an iconic Sonoma brand with six generations and 160 years of winemaking under its belt. Wine beginners will want to acquaint themselves with the GunBun wine portfolioand also, after the pandemic ends, its annual Huichica Music Festival. This event combines GunBun’s great wine with a lineup of excellent music and is arguably the less-crowded antithesis of Outside Lands. Its 2018 Mountain Cuvee is a mostly merlot blend with fantastic flavor and a surprisingly low price tag.

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Domaine Claude Branger Muscadet Svre

There are many vineyards in Sèvre et Maine, but Les Gras Moutons is regarded as one of the best. They make richly fragrant and aromatic wines that have a structure to them and can be tightly textured. They’re full of acidity, which makes them refreshingly tart with some minerality for added complexity.

The wine is left on the lees for 12-14 months and has a round, concentrated taste. It can be aged beautifully with aromas that are similar to Riesling or Pinot Blanc.

Lemon freshness, sea salt minerality, spice, and zest make it perfect for serving as an apéritif when you have oysters that taste like they were just caught today! You can share this delightful white wine with your friends while playing some fun wine games.

Should You Start With White Or Red Wine If You Dont Like Wine

Red Wine for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

Given this, should you choose red wine or white wines if you dont like the taste of wine? The decision can seem overwhelming at first, but it gets easier if you harken back to the advice above. Because the best wine for people who dont like wine is light and sweet, lets compare red and white wines along those dimensions:

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Wine Buying Tip: Less Is More

To get a little sweetness in your wines, dont spend too much. Lower-priced wines below $15 are much more likely to have residual sugar, especially from California.

Why? This price category is full of wines for beginners! Most people buying these wines are budding wine lovers, so the styles fit your palate. There is no shame in spending less, especially when you want a tasty wine.

What’s The Bulleit Of Wine A Few Picks

Picking an actual wine and feeling confident you’re getting a decent bottle is, of course, a major barrier for anyone. We’ve been wondering: What wines are similar to Bulleit Rye, as in: affordable, widely available, and generally regarded as good?

It’s a difficult question to answer, since annual variations in climate, grape quality, and a dozen other factors make the year-to-year quality of a wine vary more than a grain-based alcohol. That said, our research indicates these picks are worth consideration as safe, reliable value for your dollar:


  • Chardonnay: Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve California Chardonnay
  • Chenin Blanc: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier
  • Sauvignon blanc: Brancott Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
  • Riesling/Pinot Gris/Moscato blend: Hugel et Fils Gentil Alsace


  • Cabernet sauvignon: Beringer Founders Estate California Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot: Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Merlot
  • Zinfandel: Bogle Old Vine California Zinfandel

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Red Or White Does It Matter

The real difference comes in when youre deciding what food to pair your wine with. The golden rule is generally red wine for red meat and white wine for white meat and fish. Its all about enhancing the overall taste of your meal. Wines are also a great addition to meats during the marinade process.

The general rule of thumb in beginners circles is to start with white wine. For the most part, this is because white wines are lighter in body and more comfortable on the not-so-experienced palates. There are also a few sweeter wines that are being hailed as the best wine to drink for beginners.

Best Shots For Beginners

âGood Wineâ? for Beginners

Drink alcohol as a shot would not be our recommendation if you are a total beginner at drinking alcohol. We recommend trying alcohol through a cocktail or other means before trying shots. The reason for this is due to the concentration of alcohol and how strong shots can be.

If you are a novice drinker and have tried alcohol before and would like to get an idea of the best shots for beginners we have reviewed and compiled a list of the 5 best shots for beginners. The shots we recommend are easy to drink and will not leave you screwing your face up wishing you had not taken the shot in the first place!

Shots for beginners should be easy to drink, taste good and not leave a harsh or heated after taste in your mouth or throat.


  • Kamikaze A mix of vodka, triple sec and lime juice. This is a great tasting shot and will not leave you feeling like your face is melting.
  • Baby Guinness A mix of coffee liquor and Irish cream this shot is really tasty and goes down really easy.
  • Bazooka Joe A mix of Irish cream, blue curacao and a banana liquor. This shot goes down really well and tastes like bubblegum.
  • Melon Ball A mix of vodka, pineapple juice and melon liqueur. This is a great tasting shot and goes down really well.
  • Woo Woo A mix of peach schnapps, vodka, cranberry juice. This shot is great tasting and down really easy.

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Best Spirits For Beginners

Spirits are called hard liquor for a reason and every beginner to drinking spirits/liquor should always bear this in mind. The alcohol content in spirits/liquor is high and even a small amount for a novice drinker can have you feeling tipsy very quickly. As a beginner remember a little goes a long way.

You can drink liquor on its own aka Neat, Straight Up or Straight and with or without ice. Liquor can also be enjoyed in a cocktail with other ingredients or it can be enjoyed with a single mixer i.e lemonade, soda water or fruit juice.

There are various different types of liquor available and we have put together a list of the types most commonly found in bars. This list is to showcase the variety and to give you an overview of each of the spirits we have reviewed before deciding on the best options for a beginner. It is worth noting that we will look at each liquor type and recommend the best option available to beginners from each.

The 6 types of liquor

  • Vodka
  • Brandy


There is a high variety of vodka on the market and for a beginner, it is very difficult to know where exactly to start. The second hill to climb is knowing how to actually enjoy it over ice, with a single mixer or in a cocktail of your choice. All three ways are perfectly fine but if you are a complete beginner to vodka we recommend drinking it with a single mixer and some ice or in a cocktail.



  • Scotch
  • Grain
  • Tennessee



One For The Spicy Takes

Sweet wines can be polarizing some love em, some hate em. But keep an open mind when tasting, because some wines just smell sweet and the first sip may surprise you.

Pairing with food? The bit of residual sugar in sweeter wines does an excellent job of counterbalancing spice, so go head and pair them with bold and zippy cuisines like Chinese, Indian, and Cajun.

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Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Napa Valley is known for its beautiful scenery and tranquil existence. The wine-making capabilities of this region are no different, producing some of the most flavorful wines in the world. This particular Sauvignon Blanc is reminiscent of a fruity, tropical paradise.

Youll notice hints of mango and pineapple and other citrus fruits like key lime pie and honeydew melon from the first whiff. The taste will remind you more than anything else on earth that it’s summertime, with its flavors ranging from orange blossom to elderflower.

This white wine has an incredibly delicate texture in addition to lively tannins, which carries through until the finish, where minerality shines alongside bright fruitiness for roundness and flavor depth without any unpleasant bitterness or astringency.

How Do You Open A Bottle Of Still Wine

Wine Folly Beginners Wine Chart

The wine bottles have corks or screw caps. A Screw Cap is simple, you open it as a regular bottle. For Corked bottles:

  • Corkscrew is required to open a corked bottle of wine
  • Start by removing the foil on top rim of the cork , using the small blade in the corkscrew.
  • Twist the spiral of corkscrew into the cork.
  • Lift the handle of the corkscrew, once almost half of the corkscrew is in the cork, to remove cork from the bottle.

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The Correct Way To Taste Wine

Now that you know a little bit about wine, you should learn the proper etiquette to taste wine.

First, make sure you are in a good tasting environment where you taste the wine can have as much impact on your senses as the wine itself. A noisy or crowded room can make concentrating on the wine difficult. There should be no strong perfumes, cooking smells, or pet odors as they will interfere with your ability to clearly smell the wines aroma. Different wines should be consumed with the correctly sized and shaped glass.

You should always evaluate how the wine looks.

  • Look straight down into the glass to note the depth of color. As you become more adept at tasting wines, you will be able to identify wines by their color and scent.
  • Hold the wine up to the light and view it through the side of the glass to see how clear it is. Murkiness could indicate fermentation problems, or the wine could just be unfiltered or have some sediment that was shaken up when poured. A positive sign is when a wine looks clear and brilliant.
  • Tilt the glass to establish a wines age and weight. Pale and watery colors suggest bland or dull wines. White wines that are tawny or brow and red wines that are orange or rust-colored could indicate older wines or they could be past their prime.

Best Merlot: Ck Mondavi Merlot

Courtesy of Drizly

Region: California, Napa | ABV: 13.4% | Tasting Notes: Plum, Cocoa powder, Blackberry, Oak.

Look, merlot is the one grape that suffered a disgracing setback for an entire two decades, all because it got disparaged in a movie. Some people are still out there giving merlot the stink eye. But you wont. Oh no. Youre going to try a glass of this sustainably farmed, Dunnigan Hills AVA-sourced bottle of merlot from CK Mondavi, one of the most respected names in wineand youre going to understand and appreciate merlot for the silky deliciousness that its always been. Just one taste, and as if by magic, youll know more about merlot than some experienced wine drinkers.

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Best Cider For Beginners

Generally speaking, cider is a drink most popular in the UK and Commonwealth countries around the world. There are various types of cider but for a beginner looking to venture into the world of cider the easiest way to begin is by narrowing the varieties into two categories Traditional Cider and Flavoured Cider.

Traditional Cider is made from fermented apples with the addition of sugars. If you are new to cider and have not tasted it before the best description of its taste is a combination of apple juice and white wine. Generally speaking, due to the apples and sugar Cider is sweet tasting.

Flavoured Cider is made in the same way as traditional cider with the addition of flavours like strawberry, lime, raspberry and blackcurrant to name a few. Flavoured Ciders have seen a massive increase in popularity over the past few years as they are really refreshing to drink, crisp, sweet and are perfect in the sun.

The question is which cider is the best for beginners. This caused a lot of deliberation as both traditional cider and flavoured cider could be argued as the best cider for beginners. Traditional cider is the foundation of cider and ciders true taste and flavoured ciders are so easy to drink they would appeal to beginners.


New To Alcohol Points To Consider Before You Drink

The Best White Wines For Beginners (Series): #3 Sauvignon Blanc

For a beginner looking to make their way into the world of alcohol, I feel a word of warning should always be given first and foremost. Drinking alcohol can seem like a fun way to enjoy your time and it certainly can be, but only when enjoyed responsibly and in moderation.

Alcohol strength should be at the forefront of anyones mind when they are planning on having a drink. If you are a beginner it is important to understand that some drinks have a higher alcohol content than others and when you first venture into the world of alcohol that you ensure your first drinks have a low to moderate alcohol content.

Like everything in this world, there is a first time for everything and this also applies to drinking alcohol. The key thing to remember when you start out drinking alcohol is that you are exploring the options available and doing a taste test until you find the drinks you enjoy.

The aim is not to get as drunk as you can as fast as you can, the aim is to start off slowly having only one drink and determining if you like the taste and if you can handle the alcohol content without feeling too tipsy. Start off slowly with great tasting drinks that are easy to drink with a low to moderate alcohol strength.

Drinking alcohol is fun and enjoyable but it can also lead to a hangover. A hangover is not an enjoyable experience and when you first venture into the world of drinking alcohol you should be drinking within moderation to prevent any hangovers.

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The Modern History Of Wine

From 1492 through 1600, the wine was brought to Mexico and Brazil by the Spanish conquistadors and spread across South America. Chiles first winery was established in 1554 by Spanish missionaries. In 1556, the missionaries traveled to the Mendoza region of Argentina and began to plan the regions first grapes.

Wine production started briefly in Florida from 1562 through 1564. The French Huguenots used native grapes around the area of Jacksonville, but they did not like the taste and ceased production.

The Dutch East India Company added alcohol to wine in the late 1500s to preserve it for long journeys. Fortification occurred and Port, Madeira, Marsala, and Sherry were created for the first time.

The 1600s witnessed the first attempt at using glass wine bottles. The bottles were unfortunately stored upright which caused the corks to dry out and lose their seal.

In 1619, France imported French grapevines to Virginia and began cultivating wine there. Wine spreads over the eastern seaboard, but it is not immediately popular due to the areas Puritanical roots.

Around 1650, in the region of Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc naturally cross-pollinate and Cabernet Sauvignon is created.

As the Dutch East India Company colonized South Africa in 1659, they needed to supply wine to sailors for the long trip back to Europe. They planted vines and started wine production.

In 1740, wine bottles were redesigned to be laid flat. This created the ability to age wines longer.

What Are The Four Key Wine Descriptors

Sweetness. Needs no explanation. The opposite of sweet is dry. A wine can also be medium-dry or off-dry .

Acidity. We already talked about this. Acidity is a big deal for white wines, and it makes them refreshing and crisp . Lower acidity makes a wine taste fat.

Tannin. Another one weve already covered. Its all about the tannins for red wine. High tannin wines are astringent, maybe even bitter and inky. Lower tannin wines are smooth and soft, and depending on your tastes, more drinkable.

Body. This refers to the perceived weight and viscosity of the wine. A full-bodied wine feels thick, coating the sides of the glass as you swirl. A light-bodied wine is almost like water. A medium-bodied wine is in-between.

The best way to wrap your taste buds around the four primary wine descriptors is to make yourself a strong cup of tea. Sip it black, without anything added. Thats what something very tannic will taste like . Now, add a squeeze of lemon juice and taste it. Thats acidity joining the party. Combined with the tannic taste, it should taste astringent. Now, stir in some sugar for some sweetness. This mellows everything out to make it taste soft.

There’s a fifth thing to be aware of when describing wineflavor. Unlike the four key descriptors, flavor encompasses every descriptor under the sun and is far more subjective.

Hot tip: Pair oaky wines with salty food. Salt cuts the bitterness of oak in much the same way that salt makes shots of tequila go down smoother.

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