Updated: Dec 31, 2022
A young friend that recently married and had their first child asked me how to get into the world of red wine. Red wine intimidates many and I’ve found that people who begin to drink white will begin wanting to know more about the rich flavor of red after a few years. I don’t claim I be a sommelier, but I know what I like.
First, get a book on the world of wine and start to learn a few things about the geography, names of wines, flavors and colors. I recommend “Wine Folly” by Madeline Puckett and Justin Hammack. The book is rich with graphics and very easy to read.
Pinot Noir is my favorite variety of wine from the United States and can be used by vitners to create some real alchemy. The best region is the Willamette Valley from Oregon, although some good Pinot can be found from California. Start here first and try several from Oregon.
I love Cab from California, specifically Napa and it’s Russian River Valley. For a good, reasonably priced bottle try Josh first. Leave Merlot alone. It’s just meh to me! Try a few of these next.
Next head on over to Europe to get an idea of how much more complex wines are from Europe. I’d try a few red wines from the Bordeaux region of France, then a few from Italy including a Barolo from the North, a few from Tuscany like a Chianti and a Nero de Avila from Sicily. Then try the more spicy wines of Spain with grapes like Tempranillo and Garanace.
Lastly, see how lower priced Malbec from Argentina and Shiraz from Australia stack up against Pacific Coast and European Vines. Then, do this, drink what you like!