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Developing a taste for wine

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So many of my friends enjoy red wines and I can never enjoy their choices with them. I started out enjoying white German wines (spatlase) and have never developed a taste for any reds.

Does anyone have a suggestion of a good 'starter' red wine for a me? I would really like to enjoy good red wines as well as my favorite German wines. Are there any stories out there of what wines started you off, and your progression to the wines you like now?

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  1. This discussion has lots of good suggestions:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/730372

    1. easiest thing to do is start drinking red wine with dinner. It really makes a difference if you ask me.

      The most popular easy going red wine is Menage A Trois Red wine. It is a blend wine that is not too dry, so you can get used to drinking wines and then move up to something with a little more body.

      1. Go to a wine bar, wine store or restaurant that offers smaller tastes. It's probably important to try it with food, even if it's just cheese. Write down the varietals and figure out what you like and don't like.
        I'm guessing your friends are drinking Bordeaux varietals (cabernet sauvignon, etc.,) and maybe pinot noir. Try both American and European wines for the different styles. Ask to try oaked wines, mildly oaked wines and unoaked wines.
        I personally had my wine epiphany with Rhones.

        1. I think Rhone valley wines (specifically Cotes du Rhone) and cru Beaujolais (sold under the names of their towns) are the easiest reds to start with. And start trying the wines with food. You may find them easier to drink if you are not drinking them alone.

          On the other hand, there is no shame in ordering a glass of white wine while your friends drink red, if that is what you prefer.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ChefJune

            If CCKitty likes spatlese I'm wondering if she (assuming the OP is a she) would like fruitier wines, though. Like maybe zinfandel or even Aussie Shiraz. That's why I think a variety fo wines is a good idea.

            1. re: SteveTimko

              A good point, Steve. A fruit-driven red would be where I would suggest looking to start.

              Hunt

            2. re: ChefJune

              I agree with Mac8111 on the Menage A Trois , I also second the Rhone suggestion of ChefJune. My personal rec would be an aussie Southern Rhone style blend called "The Stump Jump", very reasonably priced, light in body with a crazy/fruity nose.

              Scott