The Transition from White to Red Wine
There are a lot of people out there that just drink white wine and will not touch red. They often believe red wines are too heavy and harsh. And yes, there are a lot of reds out there that are heavy. For example a young Bordeaux will come across fully-bodied and some may have quite high tannins. Tannins in a wine will give that drying sensation around your teeth and gums but this reduces in the wine with age.
The transition from white to red can be made easy if you know what wines to go for. This week I will give you two red wines you can try if you are a white wine only person.
The first red we will look at is called Beaujolais, coming from a area of the same name in the region of Burgundy. The grape they use here is call Gamay. They produce some really great wine here that you might look into when you start getting into red wine more. But Beaujolais is the best one to start off with. It is not a dark red wine. If you put it up to the light it nearly looks like a rosé wine. It’s light-bodied with little or no tannins, it has a great fruit character of red berries and strawberries and is made to be drunk young. You can pick up a bottle from around €12.
Valpolicella, from Italy is the second red wine to try. Basic Valpolicella wine is light to medium bodied. It’s a fruity red wine with red cherry and plum character. Lighter bodied, entry level Valpolicella usually costs around €10 per bottle. Moving up the scale to the likes of Classico, brings a medium bodied wine.
My recommendation is to chill these wines a little before you enjoy them, about an hour in the fridge would do.
So keep these two wines in mind next time you are in your local Off Licence.
*this post was originally posted on February 6th 2013 but has been updated to reflect a price increase of Beaujolais wines. Which have since become extremely popular in Ireland. And Patrick’s recommendation of Brown Brothers Tarrango – which has been discontinued.