Kimani’s Top 5 Beginner Reds

Posted by on Apr 15, 2011 in Wine Nutch Blog | Comments Off

I was thinking about some of the fears I had when starting my interest in wine. Fear reads like a strong word regarding libation but that's actually what I felt the first time I went into a wine shop and wondered how was I to choose between the myriad options...should I pick a country and start there? should I pick a type? should I start with Boone's...or the cheapest other than Boone's?

Well, like most acquired tastes one's palette for wine ebbs and flows, evolving over time. At first it's best not to get punched in the face with flavor. Kind of like if one chooses Guinness as their very first "beer" (no offense to Dubliners...I know Guinness put similac and mother's milk out of business in your country).

I have compiled a short list of wines unoffensive to most palettes but interesting enough to get folks to say,"Hey! This wine stuff ain't so bad. I think I'll give it a go." Also, the price point on these wines is $15 or less unless otherwise noted. Hey, these are tough times! Here we go:

1. Lo Duca Lambrusco - Ahhh...Lambrusco. These are fun wines and at least six bottles should be in every home (made easier because this wine costs less than $10 a bottle in most places sold). The key to this style of wine is the fizz. Some producers don't have the proper balance and their wines taste like seltzer and kool-aid. Lo Duca seems to have found that perfect balance. It is pretty much good with any food on any occasion, but especially on hot days spent outside under the canopy at Suzin Reed's yard in Buras, Louisiana or on the lake "at the cabin up north."

2. Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin - The zinfandel is a good grape for beginners. It is pleasant, a little juicy and bright without any of those subtle hints of all things a little weird (you know, like cheese). Good with meats and the name itself, Gnarly Head, is just cool(BTW, the name comes from the "gnarled" looking heads of the older vines).

Bosco Montepulciano d'Abruzzo - One of my wife's favorites. It is a tad more serious, meaning that with the fruit comes a little bit of a woody flavor. This is excellent with pasta dishes and garlic bread.

4. Conquista Malbec - This treat from Argentina is probably one of my favorites because of the plum taste to it. Melbecs can sometimes come across as leathery; however, when done properly they can be sublime.

5. Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon - Okay...I have to throw this one in. It's a bold wine...what I like to call a Selma Hayek of wines. From time-to-time Beringer produces a super-gem barbarella Serena Williams blow your head off WITH A SHOTGUN vintage, but most aren't. They are just a good entry to the bolder reds. This one will be between $15 and $20.

Well, there you have it. My top 5 wines for beginners. Let me know what you think. Talk to you soon...until then, >>>sip<<<


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