Best Red Wines For Beginners

Best Red Wines For Beginners

Let’s face it…not many people know all that much about wine.  And quite often, the ones who do have a broad knowledge and understanding act like it and consider themselves somehow superior.  We call these people wine snobs.  Grape geeks.  Cork dorks.

Then, there are the others…the ones who have learned about wines and winemaking, who have traveled to winegrowing regions, and both enjoy and appreciate what’s in the bottle, and in their glass.  These people love to share, and love to help others discover the joys of wine appreciation, travel, and fine dining.

That’s us.

At Direct Cellars, we’re all about discovery, enjoyment, and (of course) developing a fun, profitable business.  The wines you pour at your wine socials are specially selected to be easy to like and easy to understand.  Why?  Read the first sentence again.  We want to help people toward wine appreciation.

That said, there are SO many kinds of wine in the world.  Some are easy to like right from the pop of the cork, while others take a bit of time, practice, and understanding.

So…here’s a list of red wines that most people will appreciate and enjoy from the very first sip.

Cabernet Sauvignon – It’s the world’s most popular red wine for a reason.  The flavors of many Cabernets are bold, obvious, and very up front both on the nose and on the palate. We call these types of wine, “fruit forward.”  At the first sniff and sip, people are generally able to identify the characteristics without much practice or training.  Blackberry, black plum, and currant notes predominate, and most of us know what those fruits smell and taste like.

Lazy Lab Cabernet Savignon Washington State 2016 – BUY NOW!

Merlot – I call Merlot the “twin cousin” of Cabernet.  The flavor profiles are very similar, but the difference is in the structure.  While Cabernet tends to be richly flavored and tightly wound, Merlot is a bit more mellow, more openly fragrant, and softer on the palate.

Spartan Hills Merlot California 2016 – BUY NOW!

Pinot Noir – Pinot Noir is the most subtly-flavored of all red wines, but it’s also very approachable.  This is an especially good starting point for people who aren’t ready for the bold, extracted flavors of Cabs, Merlots, and Syrahs.  With a little practice, even beginners will be able to identify and appreciate the delicate mix of flavors and aromas.

Questions?  Comments?  Suggestions?  That’s what we’re here for.  As Wine Director of Direct Cellars, it’s my pleasant task to help our members toward greater knowledge and understanding of the wines we offer.  Just email me at  I’m always happy to chat about wine.

Here’s to you!

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