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Recommendations to help broaden a beginner's tastes

Hi folks! Recently joined up and I’m pleased to see that you all seem like a very friendly bunch! When I parted with my membership fee it didn’t occur to me that there might be such a substantial community forum etc. Just reading through the posts on here has been very informative.

So, I’ve been a wine fan for a number of years but have never really ventured much past the £10-15 price point and even then my purchases are normally based on the look of the label or limited notes on the back. Aside from a few bottles here and there that I’ve tried and really enjoyed (Bodegas Caro is one I remember specifically), I’m kind of struggling to work out what to buy.

One thing I’m guilty of is sticking to what I know and playing it safe.
I know that I like fruity full bodied reds, generally new world, especially Argentine Malbec/blends and I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that I really don’t like overly tannic wine. It’s probably the single most off-putting trait in a wine for me.

So with this in mind, I’ve decided to try to broaden my tastes with the motto “don’t knock it if you’ve never tried it” (hey, it’s what I say to my kids when we’re trying new food so why not say it to myself eh?!).
I’m thinking that the best way to achieve this, whilst not bankrupting myself, would be to taste lots of reasonably priced, good solid examples of various different styles, regions, old & new world etc.

Do you think this is a reasonable approach and if so please, hit me with your suggestions. Any style, any country, any price (ok, lets say £10-£50).

Thanks in advance

Chris

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Welcome Chris, hope you enjoy the community, everyone here can introduce you to different styles and regions of wine however I do warn you now that this place can seriously damage your wealth!!!

Rather than giving loads of individual suggestions and such a wide price point can I make a couple of suggestions.

  1. The society and exhibition wines are great, relatively inexpensive, way of trying different wines. There are some good mixed cases available now so you can try a good range to decide what you like
  2. Read the midweek and weekend drinking threads, as well as some of the region threads (Rioja, South African, Italian, North American, Greek). Just reading the tasting notes and suggestions from others has introduced me to new wines. The weekend thread in particular continues to be dangerous for me due to the amazing wines so many people here are drinking.

Enjoy and please share what you find and what you love.

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Right now I’d be tempted to suggest one of the Society’s mystery cases - a good option to get some well valued bottles that you may well not have bought otherwise.

Caro is good stuff!

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Chris good advice already but make sure you buy some Xinomavro. It was a real “discovery” for me when joining the society

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Good advice so far, I would definitely narrow your price point. In my view spending £50 on a bottle that you have no idea if you would like is a bit daft. I suggest up to £20. There are plenty wines on here that will fall into that bracket. Good luck.

Here is a search for you:-

Here

And a link to the wine selector

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Yes to the cases. Not just the mystery ones, but the various ‘discovery’ mixed cases

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Welcome @Chris_Gilbert,

I’d echo both of @Winestwit’s suggestions above.

The Society’s own label and Exhibition wines I’ve tried have been good examples of their type, perfect to help you broaden your tastes.

As for recommendations from the week and weekend drinking threads, this has been very interesting, enlightening and expensive for me. So much good wine is drunk and described the only difficulty is affording and drinking it all.

From your description of your tastes, I think you might enjoy some of the better wines from Beaujolais. So many good ones on TWS website, but here are two to get you started



Also, as @Mike mentions, Xinomavro from TWS has been a great discovery, this one particularly, but definitely get stuck into the Jeunes Vignes from the same winemaker.

And this one just might float your boat with a little time to breathe.
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I’d second @Nfrost00’s Mystery Cases (there’s a whole thread about them and their comings and goings here). They’re great fun roulette of wine buying, while there are better and worse ones within what you get, the extensive discussions and postings on here, I don’t think anyone has ever gotten a bad one.

My other recommendation that I’ve used, on top of the general society mixed cases is that a couple of times a year they do “curiosity” and “off the beaten track” type cases, where you get weird and wonderful new stuff.

Is the current one, which I am really enjoying. (the one I’ve enjoyed the least sold out in bottle and has been replaced by something different, too).

The other Society specific thing to watch out for are the Bin Series releases. There’s a huge amount of hype around them and they sell out in days (if not hours) but I’ve never been let down by them ever. Tying this in to @Mike’s recommendation, there’s currently some magnums of the ultra delicious Bin #005 Xinomavro in for Christmas.

Outside that, once we’re out of this current mess, go to your local indie wine shop and see what they have open to taste/what tastings they’re running. See what’s on the tasting table at your local Majestic. Go to the Wine Society walk around tastings. Enjoy!

(also RUN AWAY! RUN FAST! This community will have a serious negative impact on your bank balance as there’s always amazing suggestions and a huge wealth of knowledge from some really lovely people!).

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The Society website has some features on how to get started, exploration wines and (I think) “if you like xxx try yyy”.
I’d suggest you could also try wines from regions that are not “popular” but which certainly have a following on this forum: Northern Rhone, Alsace, Southern Italy, Germany, for example.

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Wow its only 9.05 and you’ve already seen me add £130 worth of wine to my basket! I’ve had to add in a few bottles of white to placate the missus but I’m sure she’ll allow me to help out with those!

All of the above is very, very helpful, thank you. I think @japcraw makes a great point about reducing my price point. Absolutely no point wasting money on 1 bottle of something that is supposed to be good but just not to my taste when I can have the education of 5 different types for the same spend.

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Wait until 9:30, you’ll be on the phone to your bank manager :rofl:

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And when they start again, get to as many tastings as you can!

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While it was implicit in the reply to your original post, now you’ve made this one I feel it’s very apt to say “welcome to the community”!

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Thanks @strawpig though I’m beginning to think “cult” might be more accurate :scream::joy:

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One of us, one of us!

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What an excellent idea to broaden your wine horizons and secondly to have the bravery to do it. The excellent thing is that if you find a grape or area that is “under loved” or not talked about by the wider masses (outwith this clued up forum) you will find less purchasing competition, different flavours and I would say some really good VFM. We have enjoyed our forays into Hungary, Greece, Georgia, Czech Republic and less headline areas of New Zealand, Italy and Spain. Not forgetting Scotland and Estonia for awsome fruit wines

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I kinda came to the conclusion that limited preferences are “my problem, not the wine industry”.
Fortunately the 50% of me that’s not “budding wine aficionado” is in actual fact simply “hardcore drinker” :joy:!

So even if I don’t like a bottle, I’ll begrudgingly finish it, learn a lesson and move on :+1:

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The WSET courses (level 2 and then 3) are good too for expanding knowledge - plus you’ll get to taste a whole of lot of wine (and that’s never bad).

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Also, be prepare to be wrong. It’s OK to buy something and think it tastes awful, or not to your tastes. In which case, there are two options:
-use this information to help guide your future choices
-post a negative, disappointed, possibly outraged review of said wine, so that it can be picked up by aficionados of the 'He Didn’t Like It" thread

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Welcome @Chris_Gilbert - I think you’ve pretty much defined this community in that one sentence :rofl:

Looking forward to hearing more about the discoveries you make.

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