Remember that wine is just another alcoholic beverage, fermented grape juice to be exact, that is meant to be enjoyed rather than studied.
Choosing a bottle of wine can be extremely difficult if you are a novice, given the wide variety of wines from various countries that are available in the market at various price points. You may be hesitant to take those first steps into the world of wine because the terminology associated with wine drinking can be intimidating. However, it is not a difficult task. Remember that wine is just another alcoholic beverage, fermented grape juice to be exact, that is meant to be enjoyed rather than studied. And, if consumed in moderation, it is probably a healthier option than the others.
You may understand the basic distinction between red and white wine, which look and taste differently, but how do you go about purchasing your first bottle of wine at a store or ordering it at a restaurant, amidst a sea of unfamiliar labels and unpronounceable grape names? Because it is impossible to predict how a wine will taste simply by looking at the label, you should be familiar with various wine styles, grape varieties, and regions, as this will show you the type of wine that most closely matches your preferences. Remember that if you're a novice, you might not like the taste at first. However, the more wine you consume, the more you will appreciate it.
In the wine world, countries with a long history of wine production, such as Italy, France, Spain, and Germany, are referred to as "Old World." They have a more complicated labelling system and typically use cork closures on their bottles, which necessitates the use of a wine opener. Understanding these labels may be difficult for someone with no prior wine knowledge. So, for beginners, it is recommended wines from the "New World," such as Chile, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India, because they use grape names on labels for easy identification and 90 per cent of wine bottles have screw-caps.
It's always a good idea to start your wine journey with lighter, less complex red or white wines.
Why White Wine Is Ideal To Begin Your Wine Journey?
When it comes to white wine, new wine drinkers prefer lower acidity wines because they are less tart or sour. A light-bodied wine that is soft and approachable with mild fruity flavours, such as Chenin Blanc, is great to begin. The best part about this grape variety is its adaptability and ability to pair with a wide range of foods. Consider Chenin Blanc from South Africa or India.
Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris is another fruity white wine that is easy to drink but has more acidity than Chenin. The best examples of this light zesty style come from cool climates, and one of the favourites is the Italian Pinot Grigio. It is delicious on its own or with food, particularly seafood.
Another popular food-friendly white wine that beginners enjoy is Sauvignon Blanc. It has herbal and tropical fruit flavours, and the Marlborough New Zealand varieties are excellent. This and the Austrian Grüner Veltliner pair well with vegetables, goat-cheese salad, sushi, and Thai cuisine.
If you prefer a full-bodied white wine with a rich smooth taste and a subtle creaminess, choose a California Chardonnay. In this category, it is recommended a white Burgundy from France, which is also an oaked Chardonnay but requires a slightly more evolved palate to appreciate. Oaked Chardonnay is the world's most popular white wine, but unoaked Chardonnay from New World countries like Chile and Australia is gaining popularity and is less expensive than the other famous unoaked Chardonnay, French Chablis.
Sweeter wines are easier for some beginners to enjoy early on, so a Riesling from the USA or Australia is a great choice because it is light-bodied and has delicious fruity flavours. It goes especially well with Indian and Chinese cuisine. Rieslings from Germany, Austria, and Alsace can be tried as your palate develops.
Then there are aromatic wines like Gewürztraminer, Moscato d'Asti, and Torrontés, which, despite being dry, have a hint of sweetness due to the perfume aromas. It's not a bad idea to give them a shot to see if this style appeals to you.