>Wine for Beginners, Not Dummies

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Not White Zin

A few weeks ago, I was out with my cousin celebrating her birthday.  When we went to the bar, she ordered the sweetest drink on the menu.  She saw my glass of zinfandel and said, “Ugh. I just can’t get into wine.”  Well, it’s probably because no one helped her ease into it. 

If you have decided to jump into the world of wine, here are a few suggestions for getting started.  By the way, I am in no way a sommelier (person who herds wines at a restaurant) and have a hard time telling you what it is I taste/smell in a glass of wine.

Start off with the whites.  They are usually sweeter than the reds.  If you are new to the whole alcohol scene, the sweeter something is, the more quickly you will get used to it. Try a Riesling, Moscato or a Chenin Blanc. Of course, the sweetest wines are usually dessert wines like port.  If sweet isn’t your thing, but the taste of wine still makes you gag a little, try a Pinot Grigio.  They are usually pretty light and have almost no taste.  Then again, maybe my taste-buds are shot.  Make sure it’s icy cold.  Yes, that might make the wine snobs gasp with derision, but it tastes better that way to me.  Heck, I even go as far as putting an ice cube in it. 

Don’t judge me because I like my drinks cold.

When you go to a winery to taste wine, the whites are usually tried first and listed at the top of the menu thing.  Don’t be intimidated unless you go to Napa.  The people pouring the wines are there to get you to buy their stuff, so they should be nice to you even if you are a novice.  Tell them you are overwhelmed and want to learn.  Usually they are there because they love wine, so they should want to share their knowledge with you.

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