Switching to Red...suggestions please.
- misnatalie Dec 16, 2008 02:51 PM
Hello all, I am a white wine drinker, especially dessert wines- ice wine, sweet Riesling, etc. Due to my inexplicably high cholesterol I'm switching to red to see if it has any beneficial effects. The only red wine I ever liked was nuevo beaujolais and a red dessert wine served chilled (don't remember what it was, had it at a restaurant). Any suggestions for light bodied red wines to try. Thanks
You might try some 2007 Oregon Pinot Noir's. 2007 was a rainy year and they are tending to be thin, but tasty. Prices are also good. I bought a case of the 2007 King Estate Pinot Noir for about $18 per bottle for my daughter-in-law, she likes a thiner red wine. I prefer something much more full and have backed up the truck on the 06's.
Basically the two lightest red wines are probably pinot noir
(grown in cool weather, Burgundy in Europe, Oregon or Russian
River in the USA) and grenache (grown in warmer weather,
the Rhone valley in France or Dry Creek in Sonoma/the Sierra
Foothills and Paso Robles/Santa Barbara in the USA). Pinot noir
itself has a range of styles ranging from full bodied like Pommard
or Archery Summit in Oregon to light and fruity like Aloxe Corton
or say, Moshin in the Russian River. My current favorite US piinot
noir is Moshin, and for grenache, Cedarville and Unti (France has
a lot of great grenaches as well) In my preferences I factor price.
All of the above recommendations are not cheap ($20-$40) but
not outrageously so, like many top pinot noirs.
I should add that sangiovese can also be fairly light bodied.
Also, if you are looking for "soft" reds (i.e., easy to drink,
usually prefererred by beginners), then you would have to
look at Merlot and Barbera (if my wife had her way, that's what
we would drink all the time).
Germany and Alsace both produce wonderful light red wines, often with some residual sweetness. The traditional style for German Blauburgunder (aka Spätburgunder, aka Pinot noir) might be a good match for you. Unfortunately, there is more and more German red made in a more French style, which is probably the sort of red wine you don't like. You're less likely to get that with the non-Burgunder grapes, so you might try Trollinger from Wurtemberg or Portugieser from the Rheinland.
I would go to a good wine store and ask for light, classic German reds, and try a variety of them.
In increasing intensity:
French Rose, Spanish Rosado.
Grenache, Spanish Garnacha, also good buys
Beaujolais, not Beajolais Nouveau
Other lighter French reds, mentioned.
Since so many Pinot Noirs are more like Syrah, I don't agree that they are the best "transition to red" wines. Same with many Sangioveses -- they are more like Cabernet. Other varietals are better baby steps towards first enjoying red wine, IMO.
Predominently Garnacha wines from Spain. They will not always be labeled as such, so you'll have to ask your retailer. But Borsao is a good place to start.