Wine Talk

Snooth User: whythulc

Red Wine suggestion?

Posted by whythulc, Feb 4, 2011.

Hello all,

I'm fairly new to wine. I've done most of my dabbling so far in white wines and I absolutely love Pinot Grigio and Reislings.

I'm looking to start exploring into red wines, but I don't have any idea where to start. I had a Merlot once that was very clean and tasty on my palette and I just loved it, but I don't remember what it was. The main thing is I don't like very buttery wines which--correct me if I'm wrong--is due to being aged in an oak barrel.

Do you have any suggestions for a clean red wine to start out with? I was told to avoid Syrahs and Cabs at first because they might be a bit strong for a newbie, but I'd love some pointers. What are some of the first red wines you loved?


Reply by cherylh, Feb 4, 2011.

I often recommend the Cono Sur Pinot Noir (from Chile) to my friends who want to explore red wine, but only have experience with whites.  It's a very friendly wine - no strong tannins, nothing terribly complicated - just easy to drink.  It's the perfect gateway red!  Good luck.

PS - Plus it's not terribly expensive.

Reply by bosoxfan23, Feb 4, 2011.

I would suggest some Spanish reds - Tempranillo and/or Garnacha varietals.  They are smooth, easy to drink, with plenty of fruit taste - you should be able to find these wines at inexpensive prices as well

Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 4, 2011.

Work your way up to it.  Get a Tavel rose from France, it's grenache based, just shy of red.  Then get some southern French wines or Spanish grenaches. 

Or just jump in and try some hearty red wine, since eventually you need to wind up there if you are going to drink reds.  Lower end bordeaux is not going to challenge you very much, or try a Cotes du Rhone, perhaps, since it will have (usually) some grenache.  Syrah from St. Joseph is not going to be nearly as overpowering as Syrah from Hermitage or Cote Rotie.  Also, the effect of the oak on red is not going to be the same as it is on white.

But on the whole, this question is too broad to give precise advice.  Try stuff, ask about the grapes, the aging (stainless, concrete, oak), and make notes, mental or written, on what you liked. That's the best advice I have, and it works for anything in wine--how to learn about a new region, how to expand the varietals you drink, etc.

Reply by Flamefighter, Feb 4, 2011.

One of the best ways to get started without spending too much is to join a wine club of others new to wine or start one with your friends.  Each person or couple brings one bottle of a certain kind and around the same price (i.e. everyone brings a merlot between 10 15 dollars).

Another option is to attend wine tastings at stores like Bevmo and Wine and More.  They are inexpensive and you get to try different wines.

Good luck!

Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 5, 2011.

Flamefighter's advice to go to tastings is good, but I would look for a smaller store that doesn't sell soft drinks, chips and the like, and where the staff is stable (possibly the owner on site).  Many local shops have tastings and you can tell the owner/staff what you have liked and listen to their recommendations.  Even if they don't work out, you can tell them what you didn't like, and you and they can learn a little more about your palate.  They won't intentionally steer you wrong into more expensive bottles because they want to build repeat business with you.  If you are still trying to figure out what varietals you like, tasting six inexpensive merlots might not really help.  Another thing you can do is order wine at a restaurant with a good by the glass program and ask for a taste before you order.  Most will do this. Just make sure that you eventually buy something, and don't go through the whole menu to get tastes--that would be tacky.

Reply by duncan 906, Feb 5, 2011.

I would offer you a good Burgundy as these are usually soft fruity and easy-drinking

Reply by jamessulis, Feb 5, 2011.

If you like clean and mild, I would suggest any of Oregons Pino Noir's. They have some of the worlds best Pinot Noir wines, some are resonable, others are quite pricey.  Don't know where you live but if you are anywhere on the West Coast, they are plentiful.  I suppose he Eastern part of the US has them also due to their popularity and reputation.  For myself, I prefer he Cabs and Merlots and the Malbec's along with the Sangiovese's which are deeper, stronger, oakier and smokier with tannins to match my deep palate's curiosoties.

Good luck in the Hunt for your RED's

Lefty - The Great Pacific Norhwest

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Feb 7, 2011.

W - I would try to get hold of some Grenache/Shiraz/Mouvedre[sometimes called Mataro] or GSM blends.  I am sure that you can get some advice on some decent Rhones, Californian or Aussie blends of this type.

They tend to be softer and easy to drink reds but can still have the depth and complexity to give you a good red wine experience.

A good Aussie is the Grant Burge Holy Trinity

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