Wide Appreciation: 4 Kinds of Wine to Expand Your Horizons - Wine

Don’t just stick to Cab Sauv or Merlot.

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Given the cool weather these days, we wouldn’t mind a good glass (or two) just to give us a little warmth. But staying indoors while it’s dreadful out doesn’t meant we can’t broaden our wine appetite. While there’s nothing wrong with the usual Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Chardonnay, trying out something different can heighten your drink IQ. Here are a couple of suggestions.


A good step away from the usual Cab Sauv if you want wine to go with that steak. Riojas are Tempranillo-based wines from the eponymous region in Spain. Versus other Tempranillos from around the country, the ones from Rioja are of the highest classification because they’re protected by the government and are very strict with how they’re made. Crianza refers to Rioja wines that are younger and fruitier; Reserva is when winemakers choose better grapes and age them for one to two years longer; while Gran Reservas are the Riojas that have been aged between five to 10 years for really complex, spiced fruit flavors. Try either a Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva or Beronia Crianza.

Pinot Grigio

When ordering white wine to go with their seafood, people will often point to Chardonnay or Sauv Blanc. If you prefer something even lighter or with less acidity, Pinot Grigio (also called Pinot Gris) is the way to go. Pinot Grigios are very light and delicate in comparison to many white wines. We suggest checking out Chrismont La Zona Pinot Grigio or Ferro13 The Lady Pinot Grigio.


The spicy cousin of Riesling and yet another underappreciated German wine! This one is extremely aromatic and tends to be off-dry (meaning it’s sweeter than your usual wines). A tell-tale sign of Gewurz is that it smells of lychees. Try checking out Gustave Lorentz Gewurztraminer.

Sweet Red Wine

A lot of the red wines we know and love are dry, but when done well, a sweet red can be a lot more versatile—beyond just drinking it on its own or with red meat, you can have a sweet red with even the richest of desserts. A Piccini Memoro Rosso would be a good bottle to try.

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