New to Wine and Don't Know What to Try? Start Here!

Posted April 10, 2015

WineLibrary Staff


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So you’ve made the plunge and decided to finally get into wine. Congratulations! You have an exciting journey ahead of you. It might be a long one, but the great news is that the only way to take it is to drink more delicious wine, so you’re already in good shape.

The purpose of this guide is to go over some basic archetypes of wine that you’d do well to familiarize yourself with. Once you’ve tried all of these, you’ll have a good baseline knowledge from which to continue building up your palate, and hopefully an understanding of what you’re personally into.

So let’s get going:

RED: A Big Ole' Cab

Flavors you’re looking for: Blackberries, plum, cherries, (a lot of people will say “cassis” which is black currant), maybe something like mint, or even pencil lead.

When to drink it: With a giant slab of meat on poker night

Example: 2010 Cavalierino "Chiccheio"

WHITE: Easy-Drinking Italian

Flavors you’re looking for: Peaches, apricots, honeysuckle, maybe some lemon or lime.

When to drink it: On the porch with some not-too-stinky cheese.

Example: 2013 Nals Margreid Pinot Grigio Alto Adige


RED: Oregon Pinot Noir

Flavors you’re looking for: Cherries, Dr Pepper, that “wet leaves in the fall” smell.

When to drink it: With salmon, or porkchops while wearing a sweatervest.

Example: 2012 Pull Eighty Pinot Noir


WHITE: Chunky California Chardonnay

Flavors you’re looking for: Apples, vanilla, lemon custard, buttered popcorn.

When to drink it: With fatty fish like seabass, or a huge cobb salad.

Example: 2011 Bear Print Chardonnay


BUBBLES: Classic Champagne

Flavors you’re looking for: Lemonpeel, toast, biscuit dough.

When to drink it: Whenever you’re feeling classy or celebrating, or not wearing pants.

Example: Moet & Chandon Imperial

RED: Argentinian Malbec

Flavors you’re looking for: Raspberries, pomegranate, cherries.

When to drink it: Lamb shank, or a big plate of pasta and red sauce.

Example: 2013 Casta Salvajes Famas Malbec

WHITE: Sassy Sancerre

Flavors you’re looking for: Limes, gravel (trust us!), maybe a bit of asparagus.

When to drink it: A date night with oysters.

Example: 2013 Jean-Paul Picard Sancerre


RED: Old-World Rhone

Flavors you’re looking for: Violets, blueberries, cedar.

When to drink it: With a rustic stew, during a power outage.

Example: 2011 Clos Du Serres La Blaca Terrasses Du Larzac


BUBBLES: Friday Night Prosecco

Flavors you’re looking for: Green apple, wildflowers, peaches.

When to drink it: With chinese takeout while watching Netflix.

Example: La Perla Prosecco Extra Dry



Item: 17490

750 mL

Retail: $53.99

$39.09 per btl

Item: 82189

750 mL

Retail: $24.99

$19.98 per btl

Product Label.

Casta Salvajes Famas Malbec

91 Luis Gutierrez - Robert Pa...

Item: 85894

750 mL

Retail: $40.00

$12.74 per btl

Product Label.

Nals Margreid Pinot Grigio Alto...

91 James Suckling - Jamessuck...

Item: 86010

750 mL

Retail: $19.99

$15.99 per btl

Item: 86116

750 mL

Retail: $19.99

$15.99 per btl

Product Label.

Cavalierino "Chiccheio" Cabernet Sauvignon

95 Luca Maroni - Annuario dei...

Item: 86161

750 mL

Retail: $39.99

$29.99 per btl

Item: 87174

750 mL

Retail: $14.99

$10.99 per btl

Item: 87249

750 mL

Retail: $16.99

$12.89 per btl

Product Label.

Clos Du Serres La Blaca...

92 Jeb Dunnuck - Robert Parke...

Item: 87701

750 mL

Retail: $27.99

$16.49 per btl