The Best Wines To Drink In 2020
Father Gerasime of the Alaverdi Monastery in Kakheti, Georgia.
Wondering which wines should be on your radar for 2020? I asked a group of wine writers and sommeliers what they’re personally looking forward to exploring in the new year. After;far-flung explorations around the globe, it seems many are returning to the comfort of the classic regions of France and Italy. Some are going further back in time, to the wines of Georgia, Armenia and Lebanon, while others are looking at the newest emerging winemaking states in the U.S., such as Texas, Arizona and Michigan. Looking at whats happening behind the bottle, such as supporting fair practices and wineries owned by women, is also important for many. And when they need a break from wine, many sommeliers are turning to tea for inspiration.;
In 2020 I plan to keep drinking Spanish wines! Either Albarino with longer lees contact, hearty Ribeira Sacra Mencia’s, Garnacha’s from Sierra do Gredos or some smoky reductive wines form Canary islands. It’s amazing how spain is reinventing itself! Theres a great wine from there for everyone.
Forgotten Grapes Pascaline Lepeltier, Managing Partner at;Racines NY, Meilleur Ouvrier de France
Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Aged
As its famously said, wine and cheese age beautifully with time. Produced by Oak ridge winery, the Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon is an aging red wine that is both rich and intense.
Also comes from the Lodi region in California, you can pair this red wine with lamb. This is one of the best cheap red wines on the list and has around 14% alcoholic content.
You May Like: How To Get Red Wine Out Of A White Shirt
Dana Estates 2016 Hershey Vineyard Howell Mountain Napa Valley
Dana Estates 2016 Hershey Vineyard Howell Mountain;Joshua Scott
Theres no shortage of candidates for this award. From Napa Valley, Sonoma and Californias Central Coast to eastern Washington, producers have honed Cabernet Sauvignon to exquisite levels. But in Napa Valley, a region that always stands out, one producer consistently achieves perfect balance among structure, complexity and beautiful fruit: Dana Estates, shaped by the winemaking team of Chris Cooney and consultant Philippe Melka. While Dana produces deserving Cabernets from three different vineyards, its the winerys 2016 Hershey Vineyard on Howell Mountain that gets our nod this year. With an intensity that reflects its mountain source, the wine manages elegance and finesse as well. Juicy dark berry flavors are layered with complex notes of spice, smoke, underbrush, espresso, dark chocolate and lovely minerality. The tannins have a grip that suggests this one will unfold beautifully over many years. Give it time.
Read Also: Is There Carbs In Wine
E Guigal 2014 La Mouline Cote
E. Guigal 2014 La Mouline Cote-Rotie;Courtesy of Guigal
In a mere three generations, the Guigal family has traveled from vineyard work to producing some of the most highly acclaimed wines from almost every district in the Rhone Valley. And while the familiar E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone label shouts value the world over, it is the familys tiny productions from post-stamp vineyards in the likes of Cote-Rotie, Saint-Joseph and Hermitage that prompt collectors to sleuth out bottles on the secondary market. La Mouline, in Cote-Rotie, is the oldest of the Guigals vineyards. In fact, its considered the oldest in the AOC itself, with walls dating back some 2,400 years. Replanted in the 1890s, after the scourge of phylloxera, the vineyards current vines average about 90 years old. The E. Guigal 2014 La Mouline shows what gorgeous balance vine age can produce. Its dark berry fruit is concentrated and layered with an earthy smoked-meat character, with delicate floral aromas, and theres a subtle silky quality to the winelikely the result of a full 11 percent Viognier cofermented with the Syrah.;
The Best Wines For Daytime Drinking
As the weather warms, we get really excited for the first afternoon spent at a picnic in the park or someone’s backyard, sipping something refreshing and cool. But if you’re going to drink all day, you have to plan accordingly: you’ll want to bring a bottle of wine that isn’t too overwhelming in flavor or high in alcohol. We asked our crew of sommeliers for their favorite picnic wines and their top wine choices for day drinking.
Here’s what they had to say.
“The key words here are crisp, fresh, and slightly sparkling; especially when the full heat of summer hits. My absolute favorite summer options are Txakolina wines from the Basque area in the north of Spain. Both whites and rosés are lean and bright, with mouthwatering acidity and tart fruitlemon and lime for the whites, strawberry and white melon for the redsa whiff of sea spray, and a slight spritzy effervescence. Favorite producers include Txomin Etxaniz and Ameztoi .”Mia Van De Water
“I typically recommend anything with a screw cap. If you forget your wine key in your other picnic basket, no problem!”Chris Nelson
“I love a balanced German Riesling with a little bit of a sugary pop, ideally a Kabinett. It’s wonderful on a hot day. The slight bit of sugar balances out the springy, zippy, mouth-watering acidity. I know a lot of people think that Riesling is too sweet, but I liken it to the perfect amount of sugar in your lemonade.”June Rodil
Also Check: Seven Sisters Wine
The Best Sweet And Fruity Wines
I was never much of a wine drinkerexcept for an occasional bottle of Arbor Mist, a brand a true wine lover might write off as juice rather than wine. Maybe I was only an “alcoholic juice” drinker? So I decided to do some experimenting to see what other types of wine I would enjoy .
I tried as many sweet, fruity-tasting wines as possible without breaking my bank account. I was not about to drop a lot of cash on a bottle of wine only to find out that the sink drain would enjoy it more than I would. In my search, I specifically looked for rosé, blush, moscato, and dessert varieties, as they usually have the sweeter taste that is more pleasant to the taste buds of an “alcoholic juice” drinker.
Cliff Lede 2017 Stags Leap
Liquor.com / Laura Sant
As this iconic Napa brand inches toward two decades of winemaking, second-generation vintner Jason Lede, the son of founder Cliff Lede, is taking on increasing responsibility. Jason shares his fathers passion for music, and as Cliff named several estate vineyard blocks after his favorite rock songs and albums, Jason got a shot at naming his own recently. He settled on Intergalactic as a reference to the Beastie Boys and his personal love for hip-hop; when the younger Lede isnt managing the winerys hospitality staff, hes deejaying and donating funds to local charities.;
In the glass, this one delivers savory red currants, spicy wild herbs, cedar and coriander. Its powerful and intense with very concentrated black cherry fruit, brown spices, cracked black pepper and firm, taut tannins. Its royally delicious now and built for long aging.
Berkeley winemaker Jeff Morgan apparently cant stop himself from making profoundly pleasing wines, whether chardonnay from Sonoma, syrah or pinot noir from Israel or opulent Napa cabernet. Covenants 2017 release reveals beautiful black and red fruits, rose petal florals, brown spices and graham cracker crust. Satiny black currants and cassis notes are woven around a tapestry of cedar spices, bolstered by fine-grained tannins and punctuated by silken waves of chocolate-covered strawberries and blueberry compote on a long and lasting finish.
You May Like: Can Wine Cause Kidney Stones
Understanding Wine Makes It Taste Better
Studies have shown that more complex descriptions of red and white wine actually make those wines;taste better. Intuitively, this makes sense. If you have more vocabulary to describe what you’re imbibing, your brain is better able to discern subtler flavors.
So we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to different wine types that will break down the basics of what makes different wines, well,;different,;and the key descriptors you need to know to get the most out of whatever wine you’re drinking.
Best Overall: Lavau Rasteau 2017
Courtesy of Wine.com
Region: France, Rhone, Rasteau | ABV: 14% | Tasting Notes: Raspberry, Blueberry, Plum, Chocolate.
This bottle from Lavau is Frances Rhône Valley in top form: a heady marriage of grenache and syrah, two local favorites. The small town of Rasteau has become a highly sought-out tract of winemaking real estate by Châteauneuf-du-Pape producers aiming to reproduce the popular Rhône blend flavor beloved around the world. Lavau also gets a leg up from legendary wine consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt, whos had a hand advising vineyards from France to California to the Middle East. This 2017 Rasteau is rich, velvety, and aromaticand to sweeten the deal, its an astounding value wine. Theres a lot to love.
You May Like: Where To Stay In Burgundy Wine Country
Get The Right Equipment
- Tasting glassware. buy tulip-shaped ISO tasting glasses. Youre likely to see them on tasting courses and in exams so it makes sense to standardise, although more and more professionals prefer different;styles of glass.
- Invest into a Coravin. It is pricey, but helps you save on buying your tasting bottles. When you taste 6 wines in a goal, Coravin solves the issue of opening too many bottles and having to drink them in a short period of time. With the Coravin, you can also come back a month later to the same wines you tasted before, compare notes or taste them against other type of wines.
- Aroma board. Build your aroma board with different aromas, or easier, invest into an aroma toolkit, like Le Nez du Vin. It is brilliant to build up memories of aromas. You can also involve the entire family or friend, by having a contest who guesses most of the aromas.
- Get a spittoon. This will help you get into the professional mindset when you taste the wine. Any recipient will do, but we liked this one, which is more easy to use. Perhaps with more practice, well learn to spit with the accuracy of a Marine Corps sniper but this design certainly spares a beginners blushes.
- Buy bottle sleeves. Hiding the label is easy this way and saves you having to decant the wine into a blank bottle .
- Get a white mat. This will help you assess the colour. A piece of paper will do, of course, but a mat is a more stable platform for glasses. You can use a mat with tasting reminders, like Wine Follys.
Sweet Red Barefoot Wines
When searching the Barefoot Wines website, you can filter results from sweetest to driest. Some of their sweetest red wines include:
- Rosa Red Blend: Pair it with fresh fruit, light appetizers, or just drink chilled on a hot summer day. Youll find sweet jammy flavors on the palate and some hints of spice on the nose. It costs about $6 a bottle.
- Sangria: Instead of making your own sangria, Barefoot Wines offers Red Wine Sangria with lots of bright citrus flavors, like orange, lime, lemon, and grapefruit. Its great on its own, or try it with some spicy dishes, like Italian meatballs. Youll pay about $13 a bottle.
- Barefoot Red MoscatoRed Moscato: Traditional Moscato is white, but Barefoot Wines makes a sweet red version with bright cherry and raspberry on the palate, followed by a citrus finish. Its easy to pair with a variety of dishes, but consider fresh fruit and cheese platters to let this wine shine for around $13.
- Sweet Red Blend: Probably one of the most popular Barefoot Wines, the Sweet Red Blend is made with a mixture of Barbera, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Grenache, and Petite Syrah grapes. These grapes typically produce jammy wines, and youll get lots of raspberry, plum, and maybe some cherry notes on the palate. Break out the BBQ and try some grilled meats and veggies with this wine it can also stand up to some spice. This wine ranks in Influensters top 20 wines with over 900 reviews. Itll cost around $13.
You May Like: What Wine Goes With Pizza
Balance Intensity Finish Complexity
Balance.;A wine is balanced if all the elements of the wine support each other all the legs of the table are the same length. Sweetness, acidity, tannin, fruitiness, aromatic components, alcohol should be well integrated. I think it would be easier if I give below some examples of unbalanced wine:
- Wine is sweet without being acidic it will taste cloyed.
- Wine is too acidic it will taste tart, aggressive, sour.
- Not enough fruit wine will seem thin, austere.
- Harsh tannin, woody tannin wine might be too young or the wine maker tried to compensate the lack of fruit tannin with wood tannin an unpleasant astringent sensation, tastes like chewing a wood spoon.
- Too little acid or tannin wine will seem unstructured and clumsy.
Intensity of the aroma and flavours or concentration.
Finish, including how pleasant and lasting is the wine flavour aftertaste.
Complexity look from different angles:
- Fruit itself, if the grapes are very concentrated, coming from old vines or express a particular terroir.
- Combination of secondary and /or tertiary aromas.
- Expression of a specific place, wine region making style.
Why Try Wine Tasting
You’ve probably noticed that there are significant differences between wines. Even within a particular variety of wine, such as Chardonnay, there can be a lot of variation. For instance, one bottle may taste full-bodied and oaky, while another is light and fruity. These differences are what give wines their own personalities, and they are also the reason for wine tasting.
Recommended Reading: Lowest Calorie Wines
Cabernets Pinots And Beyond
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts; youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Liquor / Chloe Jeong
Best Value French:Chêne Bleu Abélard 2011 at Vivino
Silky soft, elongated tannins support a panoply of flavors, from warm cinnamon and brown sugar spices to curry powder-dusted red berry fruit, with generous dollops of black cherry and red licorice.
When it comes to red wine, there are a variety of classic grapes to choose from, including cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. However, the style of each classic red varies greatly from maker to maker.
Take pinot noir, for instance: a hard grape to cultivate because of its delicate skin and difficulty ripening in areas that lack sufficient sunshine. The style of pinot from California is typically ripe, powerful and fruit-forward. The same grape grown in the various Burgundy villages of France returns a much different style: wavering in degrees of ripeness, with some more fruit-forward than others, but remarkably earthy and imbued with ample acidity and firm, taut tannins.
Taking all of the red wine grape varieties into consideration, here are some of the best red wines from around the globeso get that corkscrew ready.
Terminology: The Key Terms To Know When Buying Wine
ABV: Alcohol By Volume the percentage of ethanol in a beverage.;
Appellation: A legally defined and protected geographical area used to identify where grapes for a wine were grown.
Assemblage: A French term for the grape varieties used to blend a wine.
Blind tasting: This allows for an unbiased evaluation of the wine and is when the identity of the wine is hidden from the taster.
Dry wine: Red or white wines where all the residual sugar has been fermented.
Full-bodied: A term for wines that are usually higher in alcohol, glycerin and concentration.
Tannins: Extracted from the grape skins and stems, these are the backbone of a wine and need to be ripe for a wine to feel good in your mouth.;
Variety: The type of grape used to make a wine.
Vintage: The year a wine was produced.
Recommended Reading: Red Wine On White Shirt
Best Overall: Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2017
Courtesy of Wine
Region: California, Central Coast, Paso Robles | ABV: 15.1% | Tasting Notes: Blueberry, Black cherry, Blackberry, Currant.
Winemaker Paul Draper is an icon of mythic proportions. In over 50 years as chief winemaker at Ridge Vineyards, he fought valiantly against French competitors at the Judgment of Paris wine tasting in 1976, earned several prestigious honors, and almost single-handedly brought fame to the California zinfandel. So if youre serious about venturing into the wonderful world of wine, start with this 2017 bottle of zinfandel from one of the worlds wonderful winemakers that transformed the varietal into a beacon of greatness. This bottle is fruity, spicy and irresistible.
Best Italian: Frescobaldi Nipozzano Vecchie Viti Chianti Rufina Riserva 2014
Courtesy of Wine.com
- ABV: 13.5%
- Tasting Notes: Red cherry, tannins, cocoa, salt
When a family winery has been in business for 700 years, you have to assume that they know what theyre doing. By now, Frescobaldi is a Tuscan institution and the generations of winemaking expertise shine through in this elegant 2014 bottle of Chianti Rufina.
Dont Miss: Making Beer Bottle Glasses
You May Like: Best Box Wine Brands
Best Wine Tasting Order Of Common Wine Types
Wine tasting order is a vital aspect of the wine tasting experience. If you havent noticed yet, wine tasting can seem very complex but I promise, once youve done it a couple of times, it will come as second nature. I enjoy educating you guys so that when you go to a wine tasting event, you can get the most of your time, money, and most of all, enjoy the wine!
Experts around the world have analyzed wine and what makes for the most effective wine tasting order. Even if youre a novice, following this order will help you better taste all that the wine has to offer.