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15 Best Wine for Beginners Ranked (2024 Best Edition)

Best Wine for Beginners 

Last Updated on March 23, 2024 by Lydia Martin

For new wine drinkers, learning to drink wine shouldn’t be intimidating. Actually, it’s fun, especially if you know how to pick the right bottles.

If this is your first step in your wine journey, where do you start?

To save you from the hassle, we’ve listed the best wine for beginners. Read on.   

Top 15 Wines For Beginners & Newbies

15. Banshee Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Banshee Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Average Price: roughly $22/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 14.7% ABV 

Why We Like It: Banshee, a red wine, is made from the most popular grape variety—Cabernet Sauvignon. It has black pepper notes with vanilla undertones.

The finish is smooth, making it one of the best sipping wines for beginners.  

If you’ve tried Pinot Noir wines, the flavors of this red wine are kind of close, but this Banshee has more tannins.

This is not a dessert wine; the alcohol is on a higher level but not harsh. 

14. 2018 True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon

Average Price: roughly $20/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 14.2% ABV 

Why We Like It: This is a full-bodied red wine made in the Paso Robles region. 2018 True Myth is a superb value for a great Cabernet Sauvignon

We like its powerful dark fruit flavors, such as blackberries, blueberry, and plum, as well as spice and cola—all with a touch of toasty oak.

Yes, it has complex flavors but has softer tannins, keeping it from feeling overpowering.

Read: Top Cabernet Sauvignon Options Under $25

13. Curran Grenache Blanc

Curran Grenache Blanc

Average Price: roughly $22/750ml

Alcohol Content: 12.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: Curran is a medium-to-full-bodied wine with rich fruits and floral notes. It’s one of the white wines with a good balance of acidity and soft texture.

If you don’t feel like red wines, try this off-dry white wine. This is a fruit-forward wine, but not too sweet– a perfect wine for beginners.

If you like spicy foods, this wine pairs well with Thai, Indian, and Mexican dishes and cream sauces. 

Read: Top Healthy Wines To Drink    

12. Val D’Oca Extra Dry

Val D'Oca Extra Dry

Average Price: roughly $15/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 11% ABV 

Why We Like It: This is the first we’ve tried Val D’Oca, and we can say it’s the best sparkling wine for beginners. Val D’Oca is fruity and light, as expected from Prosecco wines.

It has varying sweetness levels, so it caters to each wine palate. If you’re not into sweet wines, look for “brut” on the wine label.

But if you like sweets, go for “Dry” or “Extra Dry.”

11. Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages

Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages

Average Price: roughly $14/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 12.7% ABV 

Why We Like It: This red wine is medium-bodied and made from Gamay grapes–a cousin of Pinot Noir. But this is fruitier and less oaky, making it an ideal red wine for beginners. 

If you like your wine [1] a bit sweeter, try this Louis Jadot in its simplest form.

This is one of the best red wines from Beaujolais Nouveau–pleasant aromas, balanced profile, and smooth finish.  

Read: Recommended Cheap Wines Below $5

10. Decoy Merlot 2019

Decoy Merlot

Average Price: roughly $22/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 14.1% ABV 

Why We Like It: Merlot wines offer medium-to-full-bodied character, and Decoy is a great sample of a good quality Merlot.

It’s subtle, with a very smooth palate, the right amount of tannins, plus sweet and fruity flavors. 

If you’ve been to any wine school before, it’s impossible to not find Merlot red wines.

Due to its mellow character and balanced profile, it’s considered one of the most recommended beginner wines. 

9. 2019 Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir

2019 Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir

Average Price: roughly $24/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: This is a medium-bodied, fruit-forward Pinot Noir that’s well-balanced and full of fruity notes: black cherry, dark chocolate, and raspberries.

Willamette Valley red wine [2] is made with quality winemaking techniques involving Whole-cluster fermentation, where the red wine grapes are fermented whole rather than crushed.  

Read: Our Recommended Rose Wines For Beginners

8. Monte Rio Old Vine Zinfandel 2021

Monte Rio Old Vine Zinfandel 2021

Average Price: roughly $25/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV 

Why We Like It: Zinfandel wines, like Monte Rio Old Vine, is the best wine we’ve tried from this grape variety.

The flavors are close to other reds like Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and Merlot. 

But what’s interesting is that Monte Rio Zinfandel didn’t use sulfur in its process and undergoes natural yeast fermentation.

There’s a warm baking spice note, an acquired taste from the process.   

7. Venturini Baldini Montelocco

Venturini Baldini Montelocco

Average Price: roughly $16/12-pack

Alcohol Content: 11% ABV

Why We Like It: Venturini Baldini Montelocco, made from Lambrusco, is a sparkling red wine. It’s semi-sweet, with rich fruity, cherry notes, and a smooth finish. 

If you’ve been into white wines before, Lambrusco wines, like Venturini, are among the best wines to kick-start your journey to reds.

This is a great sipper, ideal for enjoying on its own.   

6. Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc

Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc

Average Price: roughly $24/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: This white wine, made from Sauvignon Blanc, is a full-bodied wine. It’s smooth, with a bit of citrus and herbaceous notes. 

We find this one unique for its rich green vegetables, along with the fruity and floral notes.

This is a good wine as it’s not as pungent as other wines with this grape. For seasoned wine drinkers, you need to try this one. 

5. Lucien Crochet Croix du Roy

Lucien Crochet Croix du Roy

Average Price: roughly $46/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV 

Why We Like It: This Sauvignon Blanc is a light-bodied and dry wine. It’s perfect for fresh and soft foods, like chicken and cheese. 

Beginner wine drinkers will surely like this fruity wine, with vibrant fruit-forward notes of ripe pear, green apple, and red cherry.

It has the right level of tanginess, delivering a textured wine.  

Read: How Long Does Stella Rosa Wine Last?

4. Broadbent Vinho Verde

Broadbent Vinho Verde

Average Price: roughly $10/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 9% ABV 

Why We Like It: Best budget wine? Broadbent Vinho Verde is what you’re looking for.

This white wine is made from a blend of different local varieties–incredibly refreshing with a slight spritz.

It’s one of the easy-drinking wines we’ve tried; light-bodied. It’s fizzy–looking like a sparkling wine–so it’s refreshing, making it the best wine for beginners. 

3. Terlato Family Vineyards Friuli

Terlato Family Vineyards Friuli

Average Price: roughly $23/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV

Why We Like It: This Pinot Grigio (or Pinot Gris), a dry white wine, is light-bodied, with crisp citrus flavors and stone fruit hints.

Lighter wines, like Pinot Grigio, are great for beginners since they’re not as complex as bold dry wines. 

You can find many Pinot Grigio wines, but this dry wine is remarkable which wine lovers, regardless of experience, would surely like. 

2. White Burgundy Chardonnay

Average Price: starts at around $15/750ml  

Alcohol Content: around 13.6% ABV

Why We Like It: White wines from Burgundy, France, are made from Chardonnay [3]. If you enjoy wines–not too sweet— we suggest trying White Burgundies, one of the best wines in its region.

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.”

— Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States

It has the perfect body, fruit-forwardness, and vibrant acidity, making it one of our recommended wines for beginners. 

If you’ve tried Pinot Gris, this Chardonnay is less acidic and sweeter. There are so many Chardonnay bottles to choose from, but a few suggestions from us include:

  • Oceano Spanish Springs Vineyard
  • Talley Vineyards, Bishop’s Peak 2017
  • Soutiran Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs
  • Sylvie & Alain Normand, Mâcon la Roche Vineuse 2017  

1. 2019 Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling

2019 Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling

Average Price: roughly $14/750ml 

Alcohol Content: 8.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: This white wine is a seriously underrated variety, but it’s one of the best white wines [4] and sweet dessert wines we’ve tried. 

This Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling is a great choice if you want sweet wines.

Not specifically a sugary sweet wine, but it has varying levels of sweetness ranging from dry to sweet.

For those who want to start off dry (slightly sweet), this is the perfect wine for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Which wine is best for beginners?

For beginners, a good starting point is to explore wines that are approachable, versatile, and widely available.

Light-bodied and fruity wines like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Riesling are excellent choices for beginners, as they offer crisp acidity, pleasant fruit flavors, and easy drinkability.

These wines are typically not overly complex and pair well with a variety of foods, making them ideal for those new to wine tasting.

What kind of wine is good for first time?

When trying wine for the first time, it’s helpful to start with varietals that are known for their palatability and broad appeal. White wines such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc are popular choices for beginners due to their refreshing acidity, fruit-forward flavors, and smooth finishes.

Similarly, light-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais are often recommended for first-time wine drinkers, as they offer gentle tannins, bright fruit flavors, and easy-drinking qualities.

Ultimately, the best wine for a first-time drinker depends on individual preferences and taste preferences, so don’t hesitate to explore different varietals to find what suits your palate.

What is the best wine to drink first?

For those new to wine tasting, the best wine to drink first is one that is approachable, balanced, and enjoyable. White wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio are excellent choices for beginners, offering crisp acidity, vibrant fruit flavors, and a refreshing finish.

These wines are easy to appreciate and pair well with a variety of foods, making them versatile options for introductory wine drinking experiences.

Additionally, light-bodied red wines such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais are also popular choices for first-time drinkers, as they offer smooth textures, soft tannins, and delicate fruit aromas that are pleasing to the palate.

Ultimately, the best wine to drink first is one that appeals to your taste preferences and encourages exploration and enjoyment of the wide world of wine.

What is the smoothest wine?

The smoothness of a wine is often subjective and can vary depending on individual taste preferences and winemaking styles. However, certain types of wine are commonly associated with smooth textures and balanced flavors.

For example, many people consider Merlot to be a smooth wine due to its soft tannins, ripe fruit flavors, and velvety mouthfeel.

Other varieties such as Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Rioja can also exhibit smooth characteristics, particularly when aged properly and crafted with care.

Ultimately, the smoothest wine is often a matter of personal preference, so it’s essential to explore different varietals and styles to find what suits your palate best.

What are the 5 basics of wine?

The five basics of wine encompass key aspects of wine appreciation and understanding:

Grape Varieties: Wine is made from various grape varieties, each contributing unique flavors, aromas, and characteristics to the finished product. Common grape varieties include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Terroir: Terroir refers to the environmental factors that influence grape growing and wine production, including soil composition, climate, topography, and vineyard location. Terroir plays a crucial role in shaping the flavor profile and quality of wine.

Winemaking Techniques: Winemaking involves a series of processes, including grape harvesting, crushing, fermentation, aging, and bottling. Various winemaking techniques, such as oak aging, malolactic fermentation, and blending, can significantly impact the style and character of wine.

Tasting and Evaluation: Wine tasting involves assessing the appearance, aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel of wine to evaluate its quality and complexity. Key aspects of wine tasting include observing the wine’s color and clarity, identifying aromas and flavors, and assessing its balance, structure, and finish.

Food Pairing: Wine and food pairing involves selecting complementary combinations of wine and food to enhance the dining experience. Matching wine with appropriate dishes can accentuate flavors, balance acidity, and create harmonious flavor pairings that elevate both the wine and the food.

Understanding these five basics of wine can help enthusiasts develop a deeper appreciation for wine and enhance their enjoyment of the beverage.

What is the healthiest wine to drink?

When it comes to wine and health, moderation is key. Consuming wine in moderation, typically defined as up to one glass per day for women and up to two glasses per day for men, may offer potential health benefits, including cardiovascular health and antioxidant properties.

In terms of specific wines, red wine, particularly those made from grapes high in polyphenols such as resveratrol, is often touted for its health-promoting properties. Varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are commonly associated with health benefits due to their antioxidant content.

However, it’s essential to remember that all types of wine contain calories and alcohol, so moderation is crucial.

Additionally, individual health factors and dietary preferences should be taken into consideration when choosing which wine to drink. Consulting with a healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance on incorporating wine into a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Which wine tastes sweet?

When it comes to sweet wines, there’s a wide range of options to explore, catering to various preferences and palates. Moscato, for instance, is renowned for its sweetness, boasting fruity flavors like peach and apricot.

Riesling is another popular choice, offering a delightful balance of sweetness and acidity, with notes of citrus and stone fruit. If you’re inclined towards red wine, you might enjoy a sweet Lambrusco, known for its effervescence and berry-like sweetness.

Additionally, Port wine, particularly the Ruby and Tawny varieties, delivers rich, sweet flavors with hints of caramel and chocolate.

Ultimately, the sweetness of a wine depends on factors such as grape variety, residual sugar content, and winemaking techniques, so exploring different options is key to finding your perfect sweet sip.

How much wine should a beginner drink?

For beginners, moderation is essential when it comes to alcohol consumption, including wine.

The general recommendation for adults is to consume wine in moderation, which typically translates to up to one standard glass per day for women and up to two standard glasses per day for men. A standard glass of wine is considered to be around 5 ounces.

However, it’s crucial to note that individual tolerance levels vary, so it’s wise to start with smaller servings and gauge how your body reacts. Additionally, it’s advisable to accompany wine with food and to stay hydrated by drinking water alongside alcoholic beverages.

As you explore the world of wine, remember to prioritize enjoyment and responsible consumption.

What is the best sweet red wine?

Determining the “best” sweet red wine is subjective and largely depends on personal taste preferences. However, several options consistently receive praise from wine enthusiasts.

One popular choice is a late-harvest Zinfandel, which offers a luscious sweetness complemented by bold fruit flavors, such as blackberry and raspberry.

Another contender is Brachetto d’Acqui, a sparkling red wine from Italy known for its delightful sweetness and aromatic profile, featuring notes of strawberries and rose petals.

Lambrusco Reggiano, particularly the Dolce variety, is also celebrated for its sweetness and effervescence, making it a refreshing choice for those with a sweet tooth.

Ultimately, the best sweet red wine for you is the one that aligns with your taste preferences and pairs well with your favorite dishes or desserts. Experimenting with different varietals and styles will help you discover your ideal sweet red wine match.

Final Verdict: Best Wine for Beginners

Every wine drinker has their own wine preference. So, the best wine for beginners may also depend on their style and preferences.  

But if you want an easy way to choose the best of the best among the vast options, this list is your reliable guide.

Whether you want white or red, there’s something for you to look into. 


  1. Wine Arts & Culture
  2. Red Wine
  3. 5 things to know about chardonnay, the world’s most popular white wine
  4. White Wines
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