01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

Advice/Recommendations please

Hello all, first time on here, so please excuse my ignorance.
Having recently been bought membership to The Wine Society, I am keen to learn about how to pick the most appropriate wines for me.
I like reds, deep, soft and smooth. (I know those might mean the same thing on here, as I say, I’m learning). My taste buds can’t handle tannins well. The term “like over stewed tea” as I have seen on this site to describe them fits perfectly with my taste. I’m not a tea drinker, much prefer coffee. This might give some indication of how my taste buds work?
Really not a fan of what I call “see through reds”, they need to be black like Guinness for me.
Never met a Rioja that I like.
Budget below the twenty pound mark unless it’s for a really special occasion.
I look forward to your recommendations.


welcome, welcome, welcome! there is more friendly advice and expertise on this Community than you could possibly wish for.

My tuppence is that, if you want to start exploring a wine style or region, then the mixed cases are always a good start. Be prepared to find some stuff you don’t like, and to be surprised at the stuff you love. The latter will outweigh the former.

Oh, and Beaujolais might be worth a look for your tastes.


Welcome! I’d start making up mixed cases of reds in your price range, see what you like and don’t like (regions, grapes etc) and take it from there. The printed list makes it quite easy to see and compare so if you enjoy an Aussie Shriaz you can look at all the others etc.

Under the wine characteristics you’re probably looking for medium to full bodied, based on what you said.

If you can get yourself along to one of the TWS informal tastings, or if your local merchant or Majestic does them try and go even if you’re buying mostly from here. Taste taste taste!


Just a thought but have you tried zinfandel wines? Lots of forest fruit flavours: blackberry, cherry, plums. Deep colour, and tend to be more fruity than tannic in my experience. There are a few in stock at the moment…


Sounds like old style Cahors! Some of the southern Rhone and Languedoc wines should fit that bill too. Across to Spain and some of the Catalonian reds might tick the boxes too.
Just as well you don’t like ‘see through’ reds like Burgundy and Barolo as your budget may not go very far there!
Make sure that you give them a decent decant too, which will often smooth off any harsher edges.


Hi Mike, I reckon you’d have fun with Portuguese reds - Dao and Douro in particular would be worth a go. There are plenty of options in the list from about £8 up and they’re almost all good.


Hello Mike, welcome
Have you considered the two M’s: Merlot or Malbec? Merlot generally not high tannin and quite plummy and round. Lots of it around, Chile may be a starting point. Lots of Under £20 Malbec available from Argentina.
Happy hunting.


I don’t think I’m going to be much use on this thread, but considering the criteria is mostly wines I don’t like, I could list a few that I don’t particularly get on with…

  • Southern Rhone (Including Chateauneuf du Pape)

  • Languedoc and Roussillon red wines - particularly the ex-Banyuls areas around Collioure, and pretty much everything Gerard Bertrand knocks out

  • Modern styled Cahors

  • New World (very generally) Bordeaux blends

  • New World (ditto) Rhone blends

  • Portuguese reds (thrice ditto)

  • Modern Spanish wines - particularly Ribera del Duero and Rioja (I would strongly advise swerving old-style Rioja)


I’d agree with the Merlot/Malbec suggestion, also Zinfandel and Shiraz. From what you are saying I’d generally go for reds from warmish climates. Possibly start with new world wines.
The way I’d start is think of two or three wines you like, then search for wines made from the same grape variety/blend, try a few different producers and see if spending a little more seems worth it to you. Try the same type of wine from the other side of the world as well.

Also if you enjoy a wine try a few more from the same producer, or maybe others nearby. Do try as others have suggested a few mixed cases. There’s a lot of variety from the W/S at all price levels. The more types of wine you try, the more you will begin to enjoy a wider variety of styles.


I’d be tempted to go out on a limb and suggest the Mantler Zweigelt. No oak and low tannin, but full of fruit flavour with a little complexity on top. It won’t be thick inky black in the glass, but otherwise sounds like it could be a good fit.



Zinfandel / Primitivo I think would be up your street for sure


I think that’s a good shout too…it is generally a fruity and smooth wine with little tannin.

1 Like

Actually, the smoothest darkest and fruitiest wine I have had recently was the gnarly head Zinfandel. Try that for starters.

Places with sunshine as mentioned above so Southern Hemisphere, California, and the southern areas of Portugal, Spain, France & Italy.

A few Aussie <£20 recommendations from me:


Let us know how you get on


If you don’t like tannins try white wines.

You could try the wine selector on the web site?

Also a shout out for South Africa - a good source of the kind of wine style you prefer with Shiraz and merlot on offer. There’s a Touriga National (Portuguese grape) and Shiraz blend that I think may be right up your street.


I imagine you’d like Australian Shiraz. But my advice would be to look for wines that should match what you’re eating, and use that as a voyage of discovery. E.g. you may find you like more tannic wines with food, which is generally what they’re for (indeed, the reason Australian red wines became popular in pubs is arguably because they are dark and fruity, and you don’t need food with them — I’m over simplifying here but it’s worth bearing in mind).


Had to come in on this. Aussie Shiraz and preferably Barossa would be my ten penorth.

Anyway, you will get tons of well informed advice here and welcome.


Wow this is like a duplicate of my very first post on here around a year ago. Almost word for word :joy:

Don’t worry, you’re in good hands. Actually scrub that, do worry, but primarily about your bank balance! :scream::joy: