The 25 Best Wines for Beginners
If you’re a new wine drinker, the task of choosing a bottle to start your wine journey can seem daunting. With so many different types and styles available, how do you know where to start?
Are sweet dessert wines a good place to start or should I start with sparkling wines? How about a dry wine? Or lighter wines?
In this blog post, we will recommend 25 wines that are perfect for beginners. We have selected a variety of reds and whites from different wineries and regions around the world, all of which retail for under $25.
So, whether you are looking for your first Malbec, Pino Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc, we have got you covered!
Here is our list of the 25 Best Wines for Beginners under $25
Chardonnay is the most planted wine grape in the world. Chardonnay is one of the most popular types of white wine among seasoned wine drinkers, and for good reason. It is versatile and can be enjoyed with a variety of different foods.
Chardonnay is typically made in a dry style, but there are also sweeter versions available. This is typically a medium-bodied wine with notes of citrus, apple, and pear. California-style chardonnay is typically oakier, while French chardonnay has more minerality.
This is one of my favorite wine books written about the amazing Jess Jackson, the founder of Kendall-Jackson
1 – Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay
This wine is a great example of a California chardonnay. It’s a medium-bodied white wine with the aromas of green apple, citrus, and honey. The oak is well-balanced and there is a touch of sweetness on the finish.
This wine pairs well with chicken, fish, and salads. We selected this wine because it is easy to find in the local wine shop, grocery store, and on restaurants’ wine lists not to mention it’s a good-value white wine.
2 – Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay
This Chardonnay has the intense aromas of tropical fruit and oak. The palate is creamy and full-bodied with flavors of pineapple, mango, pear flavors, and vanilla.
This wine pairs well with roasted chicken, grilled fish, or creamy pasta dishes. We selected this wine because it is consistently a top performer so you will get a bottle of good wine no matter the vintage.
Pinot Noir is a red wine grape that is grown in cool climate regions around the world. Pinot Noir wines are typically light-bodied with aromas and flavors of cherries, strawberries, and raspberries. Pinot pairs well with a variety of foods including chicken, pork, and salmon.
Burgundy, France is the traditional home of Pinot Noir, and wines from this region can be some of the most expensive in the world. However, there are also many great examples of Pinot Noir from California, Oregon, and New Zealand that are more affordable.
If you are just starting to drink wine, these reds made from the Pinot Noir grape are perfect for you. Pinot Noir is a very popular wine for wine drinkers of all levels.
3 – La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a perfect example of a California Pinot Noir. This wine has aromas and flavors of cherries, raspberries, and spice. The palate is medium-bodied and earthy, with soft tannins. This wine pairs well with roasted chicken or pork tenderloin.
We selected this wine because it is from a reputable producer known for their mastery of the Pinot Noir grape and other red wines. It delivers good quality for the price.
La Crema also makes this terrific Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
If you want to hear more about La Crema wines, click here to listen to this podcast episode with La Crema Enologist Natalie Ellis.
4 – Meiomi Pinot Noir
Meiomi Pinot Noir is one of the most recognizable Pinot Noirs because it can be found at your local grocery store or restaurant red wine list. This wine has fruity and floral notes with aromas of cherry, cranberry, and raspberry. The palate is full-bodied with flavors of blackberry, cherry, and chocolate.
This wine pairs well with grilled meats or roasted vegetables. This is a perfect wine for people starting their wine journey, who are not familiar with Pinot Noir, and want to see what it’s all about.
Malbec is made from red wine grapes that are originally from Cahors, France. Malbec wines are typically full-bodied with powerful dark fruit flavors and aromas and flavors of blackberry, plum, and spice. Malbec pairs well with grilled meats or hearty stews.
Argentina has become the New World home of Malbec and is home to 70% of the world’s planted Malbec vineyards. Most people don’t think of Malbec when they think of beginner red wines but the sooner you experience this grape, the better. Malbec is an underrated red wine.
5 – Salentein Reserve Malbec (Barrel Selection)
Salentein Reserve Malbec (Barrel Selection) is a perfect example of an Argentinian Malbec because its medium-bodied, with soft tannins, and a beautiful dark red color. This Malbec has the aromas of dark fruits with hints of vanilla and spice.
On the pallet, there are flavors of blackberry, black current, and a hint of chocolate on the finish. This wine is not readily available at your local store but can be purchased on Vivino.com and is worth it!
6 – Shannon Ridge Reserve Malbec (Home Ranch)
Next on our list of best beginner wines under $25 is the Shannon Ridge Reserve Malbec. This is one of those wines that you would remember if you were lucky enough to taste it while wine tasing.
This delicious red wine has the aromas of black fruits, mulberry, and some tobacco. The palate is medium plus bodied with flavors of blackberry, cassis, and dark chocolate. Due to its balanced acidity, this wine pairs well with grilled meats or hearty stews. You can also find this wine on Vivino.com.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular red wines in the world. A glass of Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect way to unwind after a long day.
This popular red wine is known for its rich, full-bodied flavor, and it pairs well with a wide variety of foods which is why it is one of the most sought-after grapes in the world. Best of all, it’s relatively easy to find and can be reasonably priced.
For these reasons, Cabernet Sauvignon is often recommended as the best red wine for beginners. If you’re new to drinking wine, start by looking for a bottle from a major producer such as Bordeaux or California.
Once you’ve developed a taste for Cabernet Sauvignon, you can branch out and explore the hundreds of different producers and styles available.
If you want to try a high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon for a special occasion, you can’t do much better than Joseph Phelps Insignia.
7 – Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon
The Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon from the Duckhorn Portfolio is a beautiful red wine. This full-bodied red wine has aromas of black cherry, currant, and chocolate.
On the palate, it has flavors of blackberry, cassis, and mocha. The finish is long and lingering with hints of vanilla and oak. This is a great wine to enjoy with food or on its own.
The Best Red Wine for Beginners Under $25
8 – Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet
The Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet is one of the most popular red wines on the market. It is a dry wine, with a rich and full-bodied taste. The fruit for this wine comes from hillside vineyards, and the resulting wine is an excellent value for its price.
The Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet has a deep red color and a complex flavor that is perfect for pairing with red meats or hearty pasta dishes making it the best red wine under 20 dollars on this list.
If you are looking for a red wine that is both delicious and affordable, the Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet is an excellent example of one of the most popular red wines for people new to drinking red wines.
9 – The Prisoner Unshackled Cabernet Sauvignon
The Prisoner Wine Company’s Unshackled Cabernet is a delicious wine that appeals to new wine drinkers. It has a fruity taste that is not too dry, making it a good choice for those who are just starting to drink red wines.
The Prisoner Wine Company produces wines that are fruit-forward and approachable, and the Unshackled Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception.
This wine is made from cabernet sauvignon, and it has flavors of blackberry, dark cherry, and chocolate. The Prisoner Wine Company’s Unshackled Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious wine that is perfect for any occasion and has beautiful wine label too.
A red blend is a wine made from a combination of two or more different red grape varieties. The term “blend” refers to the fact that the wines are blended together with other wines, rather than being made from a single grape variety.
Red blends are some of the most popular wines on the market, and they offer a wide range of flavors and styles.
For many, red blends are the best choice for everyday drinking. They are easy to find and tend to be very affordable. In addition, red blends are typically very versatile, working well with a variety of different foods.
If you’re looking for a red wine that is approachable and easy to drink, a red blend is an excellent option to have on your wine journey. Best of all, there are so many different types of red blends available that you’re sure to find one that suits your taste.
10 – Daou Pessimist Red Blend
Paso Robles is a region in central California known for its dry, warm climate and rich, clay soils – both of which are ideal for growing Bordeaux grape varieties. The Daou Pessimist is made of Sirah grapes that perfectly embody the Paso Robles terroir.
This wine is incredibly easy to drink, with medium firm tannins and juicy dark fruit flavors. It pairs well with a variety of foods, making it an ideal choice for any occasion.
Here are a few suggestions: grilled steak, roasted chicken, lamb chops, or even a simple cheese plate. No matter what you choose to pair it with, the Daou Pessimist is sure to please.
11 – Beringer Brothers Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Blend
The Beringer Brothers Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Blend wine is a special wine that has been carefully crafted by the Beringer Brothers. The wine is aged in bourbon barrels giving it a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other red wines.
The Beringer Brothers Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Blend has a complex, earthy, flavor profile that includes notes of blackberry and spice. The wine also has a hint of black plum that makes it perfect for pairing with food like blue cheese.
If you are looking for a special wine to take on your next wine journey, the Beringer Brothers Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Blend is a perfect choice. Thanks to its unique flavor profile and ability to pair with food, this wine will make any wine lover’s journey even more enjoyable.
Zinfandel is a versatile red wine that can be enjoyed by wine enthusiasts of all levels. For beginners, Zinfandel is the perfect introduction to the world of red wines and one of my favorite varieties.
Its fruit-forward flavor profile is approachable and forgiving, making it a great choice for those just starting to explore the complex world of wine. Best of all, Zinfandel is widely available and relatively affordable, so you can easily find a bottle that suits your taste and budget.
12 – Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel
The Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel is one of the best wines for beginners. It has a distinctive flavor that is a blend of fruit and a hint of black pepper. The wine has a richer taste than Zinfandels of similar price points but still has a smooth taste.
It pairs well with meats and cheeses, making it a great choice for entertaining. The Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel is a great way to get started in the world of Zinfandel.
It is easy to drink and has a unique flavor that will make your guests take notice. Whether you are new to wine or looking for something different, the Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel is sure to please.
This Zinfandel is so good, it could easily make a list of the best wines under $50. If you haven’t tried Seghesio, you need to.
13 – Opolo Summit Creek Zinfandel
The Opolo Summit Creek Zinfandel is a wine that will appeal to many people. It is a fruit-forward wine with plenty of easy drinking appeal. The wine is made in Paso Robles and delivers on the classic Zinfandel taste that wine lovers have come to expect.
This is a wine that is perfect for enjoying on its own or with food. It pairs well with a wide variety of dishes and is sure to please any palate.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular white wines, and it’s one of the best wines for beginners. It has a crisp, refreshing taste with hints of citrus, and it pairs well with a wide variety of food. The grape is native to the Bordeaux region of France.
The grape produces a high acidity wine that can be dry or sweet. The dry version is more popular, and it is often described as “mineral” or “flinty.” It is best served chilled, and it should be drunk within a year or two of being bottled.
Thanks to its popularity, this wine is produced all over the world, so there are many different styles to choose from.
14 – Kim Crawford – New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Region: New Zealand
Kim Crawford New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a wine with a light straw color and vibrant acidity. On the nose, there are lifted aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, and fresh cut grass. The palate is juicy with citrus flavors and zippy acidity.
The finish is clean and refreshing. This lighter wine is perfect for summertime sipping. It pairs well with lighter fare such as salads and grilled chicken.
15 – Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc
The Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc is a Napa Valley classic. This wine has juicy citrus flavors, with a touch of tropical fruit flavors making it one of the best beginner wines. The wine is medium-bodied and has a crisp, clean finish.
The distinctive flavors of this white wine make it a perfect choice for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing white wine to enjoy on a hot summer day or searching for a unique gift, this wine is sure to please.
Rombauer makes other amazing wines so do yourself a favor and check them out.
For many people, the world of wine can be confusing and intimidating. With so many different types and styles of wine, it can be hard to know where to start.
However, there is one type of wine that is perfect for beginners: Petite Sirah. This easy-drinking wine is fruit-forward and approachable, with flavors of blackberry and plum.
It pairs well with a variety of food, making it a great choice for both casual and formal occasions. Best of all, Petite Sirah is relatively inexpensive, so you can explore different brands without breaking the bank.
So, if you’re looking for the best wine for beginners, look no further than Petite Sirah.
16 – Vina Robles Estate Petite Sirah
The Vina Robles Petite Sirah hails from Paso Robles, a region that has become increasingly renowned for producing excellent red wines. This particular wine is made entirely of Petite Sirah grapes, which create a deep and intensely flavored wine.
When drinking the Vina Robles Petite Sirah, you can expect to taste notes of black fruit, oak, and spices. The wine has a full body and smooth texture, making it a pleasure to drink. It pairs well with a variety of foods, making it a versatile option for any dinner party.
In recent years, the Vina Robles Petite Sirah has received critical acclaim from the wine world, cementing its status as a top-quality Paso Robles red.
17 – Mettler Family Petite Sirah
The Mettler Family Petite Sirah hails from Lodi, one of California’s most underrated wine regions. Lodi is known for producing great red wines, and the Petite Sirah is no exception. This inky black wine is packed with intense flavors of black fruit, earth, and spice.
It’s a full-bodied wine with firm tannins and a long, lingering finish. Although it’s not as well-known as some of the other red wine regions of California, Lodi is slowly gaining recognition in the wine world for its exceptional wines. The Mettler Family Petite Sirah is a great example of the quality that can be found in this region.
Riesling is a white grape varietal that originated in the Rhine region of Germany. It is best known for producing sweet white wine, but Riesling wines can actually range from dry to sweet. Riesling is also a very versatile grape and can be used to make sparkling wine, dessert wine, and even ice wine.
Best of all, Riesling is one of the most food-friendly wines, and pairs well with a wide variety of dishes. For these reasons, Riesling has often been considered the best wine for beginners. However, don’t let its easy-drinking reputation fool you – Riesling is also enjoyed by seasoned wine enthusiasts. So whether you’re just starting to explore the world of wine or you’re looking for a new favorite, be sure to give Riesling a try.
18 – Eroica Riesling
Region: Washington State
The Eroica Riesling is a great choice for beginner wine drinkers. This white wine has fruity notes of tree fruit and citrus. It is from the Columbia Valley and has a light, refreshing taste. It pairs well with cheese and fruit, making it a versatile choice for any occasion.
Whether you are having a casual get-together or a formal dinner party, the Eroica Riesling is sure to please your guests.
19 – Weingut Nik Weis – St. Urbans-Hof Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling
The Weingut Nik Weis – St. Urbans-Hof Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling is a white wine that hails from the Mosel region of Germany. It is said to offer unparalleled value for German Riesling and has earned high marks from critics.
The wine is light and delicate, with subtle flavors of peach and apricot. It is well-balanced and refreshing, making it the perfect choice for a summer evening.
Whether you are a fan of white wine or simply looking to explore the world of German Riesling, the Weingut Nik Weis – St. Urbans-Hof Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling is an excellent choice.
Merlot is a type of red wine that is known for being relatively light and easy to drink. Because of this, it is often considered to be one of the best wines for beginners. Merlot is made from a grape of the same name, which is native to the Bordeaux region of France.
The grape produces a wine that is fruity and slightly sweet, with notes of chocolate and plum. Merlot pairs well with a variety of foods, making it a versatile choice for both casual and formal meals. In recent years, Merlot has become one of the most popular types of wine in the world, thanks to its approachable flavor and food-friendly nature.
20 – Chateau Tertre de Viaud Cotes de Bourg Merlot
The Chateau Tertre de Viaud Cotes de Bourg Merlot is a red wine made from red grapes that are grown in the Cotes de Bourg region of France. The wine has complex flavors of red fruit, oak, and earth, and it pairs well with food. This is a great value for a wine from that region of France.
21 – Provenance Merlot
The Californian Merlot from Provenance is a delicious red wine with black currant and plum notes. It’s not a sweet red wine, but it has fruity notes that make it enjoyable to drink. The merlot pairs well with food, and it’s a great choice for a dinner party wine with friends and family.
Chenin Blanc is often touted as the best wine for beginners. This is because it is a very versatile wine that can be enjoyed in a wide range of styles. Whether you’re looking for a dry, Crisp white to pair with seafood or a sweet, dessert wine to enjoy with fruit, Chenin Blanc is sure to please.
Best of all, Chenin Blanc is widely available and can be found at most liquor stores or grocery stores. So if you’re looking to branch out from your usual Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc is the perfect place to start.
22 – Eenzaamheid Chenin Blanc
Region: South Africa
If you’re looking for a delicious Chenin Blanc that hails from South Africa, look no further than Eenzaamheid! This white wine is produced in the Western Cape region, and it’s known for its beautiful straw color and refreshing flavor. When you take a sip of Eenzaamheid, you’ll notice hints of citrus and stone fruit, as well as a touch of minerality.
The acidity is well-balanced, making this an easy-drinking wine that pairs well with a variety of foods. Whether you’re enjoying a summer picnic or a winter feast, Eenzaamheid is sure to please. So go ahead and add a bottle (or two) to your cart – you won’t be disappointed!
Rose is one of the most popular light body wines for new wine lovers because it has a beautiful color, balanced acidity, and can be slightly sweet. Some people believe rose is always a sweet wine but this is not true.
Rose wines are made from red grapes and get their pink color from spending a small amount of time with the grape skins before fermentation. Rose’s are made as still wines (no bubbles) or as sparkling wine. This Rose
23 – A to Z Wineworks Rose
The A-To-Z Wineworks Rose is made from Sangiovese grapes and has a medium salmon color. Notes of Strawberries and watermelon are on the nose with flavors of cherry, watermelon, and lemon. It has one of the most beautiful wine bottles you will ever see.
This rose wine can be found in your local grocery store or online at Vivino.com. If you have the opportunity to wine-tasting in Oregon, A to Z Wineworks is a fun place to visit.
Pinot grigio wines are white wines that originated in France. It is made from the pinot gris grape, which has a grayish-purple color. The wine gets its name from the grape, with “gris” meaning gray and “grigio” meaning grayish.
Pinot grigio is usually light-bodied and has a crisp, refreshing flavor. It is often described as being slightly sweet, making it a good choice for those who are new to wine drinking.
The wine’s sweetness makes it easier to drink, and it can also help to develop your wine palate. Pinot grigio is the perfect wine for those who are just starting to explore the world of wine.
24 – Chemistry Pinot Gris
Region: Oregon / Willamette Valley
The Chemistry Pinot Gris is one of the highest rated Pinot Grigios and for good reason. The nose of this white wine has floral notes and hints of lemon, and orange peel.
The palate incudes tropical flavors of pineapple, and fresh tree fruits including pears and peaches. The finish is crisp and refreshing.
25 – Les Princes Abbés Pinot Gris Alsace 2018
Region: Alsace, France
This beautiful French Pinot Gris is a great choice for wine drinkers of all levels. With floral notes, and aromas of tree fruits like apple, peach, and pear on the nose and crisp citrus notes of lemon and lime on the palate this Pinot Gris will not disappoint. This Pinot Gris is an amazing value for a wine from Alsace.
My Picks for the Best Wine for Beginners Under $25
My picks for the best wines for beginners are:
White Wine: Weingut Nik Weis – St. Urbans-Hof Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling
Red Wine: Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet
My Recommendation to New Wine Drinkers
If you’re new to wine drinking, my recommendation is to simply start practicing. Do a wine taste or two, and take note of the wines you like and don’t like.
Don’t worry that some people tell you to stay away from sweet wine, or that light-bodied red wines are the best. You need to develop your own palate and everyone does this differently.
Don’t worry too much about being “educated” when it comes to wine – just have fun and see what you enjoy.
The more you taste, the more you’ll develop your own personal palate for red wine, sparking wine, or white wine, and before you know it, you will be enjoying everything the great world of wine has to offer!
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