Wine suggestions for people who don't like wines

At The Wine Rack

with Christpher Reckord

Thursday, July 05, 2018

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“I don't really like wine; they all taste terrible,” a woman said to me over the weekend. I suggested that maybe she had not yet found the right bottle. I went on to explain that many people had a similar first negative experience with dry wines or with wines that had been incorrectly stored and were spoilt as a result. With her words still uppermost in my mind, I decided to visit a nearby supermarket to select a few wines for those individuals who are new to wine and are typically not fond of dry wines.

Which wine style to choose?

In general, new wine drinkers prefer sweeter-style wines. It might be because those who are venturing into the world of wines were drinking either soft drink-based liquor or just moving from other fruit-based drinks, be they fruit or rum punch. I find that once someone has more than a passing interest in the world of wine, then there is usually a graduation to drier, more complex wines. Some in the industry refer to the simpler sweeter wines as “the training wheels” of the wine world.

Sweet or fruity?

The grapes that make wine have a natural fruit aroma that some misinterpret as sweet. Trying to explain varying levels of sweetness can be tricky as everyone's taste profile is different. In general, wines are categorised as being sweet, off-dry (semi-sweet) or dry. Technically, it is the amount of residual sugar in a wine that will determine its level of sweetness. This sweetness is recognised/tasted on the tongue. Some producers in the wine industry have done a great job of assigning numbers: a sweetness code of sorts. 0=very dry, all the way to 10=very sweet.

My selections at John R Wong

If you are new to wine, here are a sweet red, a sweet white, a fruit-forward red and fruit-forward white that I selected from the shelves of John R Wong supermarket in New Kingston for you to try:

Cavit Moscato: Moscato has become extremely popular in recent years; it is the go-to wine for many wine newbies. I prefer the Italian-style Moscato wines, because, in my opinion, they are more balanced and not as cloyingly sweet.

Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling: This wine is fruit-forward, a blend of Riesling from throughout Washington's Columbia Valley. Chateau Ste Michelle's goal is to craft a refreshing, flavourful, medium-dry Riesling. This wine has good acidity that helps to offset some of the sweetness.

Cavit Roscato: Roscato is a great red wine choice for a new wine drinker. It is a delicately sweet, gently fizzy red wine from the northern Italian region of Lombardy. Made from three native grape varieties grown in this beautiful region for centuries — Croatina, Teroldego and Lagrein — Roscato makes a wonderful apéritif and is also very food-friendly.

Primal Roots: If sweet wines are not your thing, then try this very approachable, super-easy-to-drink, fruit-forward red blend. Soft, lush and mouth-watering come to mind when I taste this wine. Oak aging adds to the nuance and complexity while the softness, richness and ripe fruit of 49% Merlot marry with the bold texture and earthiness of 42% Syrah and the zesty berry and spice of 9% Zinfandel for a mouthful of wine that's both tasty and satisfying.

These styles of wine actually pair very well with most of our spicy local dishes. Do enjoy!


Christopher Reckord — Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

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