Finding a wine for a non-wine drinker
You might think that as wine professionals and wine lovers, we'd take offense when we meet someone who states “I don’t like wine.” Instead of dismay, see that statement as a challenge and not a rejection. With a little research and maybe some trial and error, we'll find a wine that this non-wine drinker will enjoy, and maybe even start them on a path toward a future love and understanding of wine.
Wine Basics - Types of Wine
When considering beverages, there is not one group that has the variety and diversity of wine. Wine changes every year, depending on the growing cycle (vintage). It’s produced from over 1,000 different grape varieties, and within a single variety from various clones. Once a winemaker begins working with the grapes, he/she can have a tremendous influence to what style of wine will be produced. This means that even within the 5 major styles of wine (Red, White, Rosé, Sparkling, Fortified) there will be so many different tastes, that no one will like them all, but there will be something for everyone.
Think of the old saying “white wine with fish, red wine with meat.” While that may have been a good rule-of-thumb 25 years ago, with today’s evolution of food preparation and variety of wines available, that’s not an adage that can be trusted any longer. Fish that is fattier or garnished with something like mushrooms would easily pair with a lighter bodied red wine; while a steak tartar, meat carpaccio or a steak with béarnaise sauce could handle a white wine like a white Burgundy. It’s the wide variety of wines that makes this possible.
A Wine Varietal For Every Taste
This brings us back to the challenge of finding a wine for a non-wine drinker. Two recent instances come to mind. The first was a person who felt wine was a dry beverage and didn’t enjoy the parched feeling they experienced from drinking red wine. We introduced them to less-tannic wines, ones that weren’t sweet, but very fruity, like a Beaujolais. They discovered that these wines actually refreshed their mouth and left them wanting more.