Best Wines for New Wine Drinkers – Red and White Wines to Start Drinking

If you’ve never tasted wine before, don’t get discouraged if you dislike the first wine you taste. For whatever reason, the best wines for new wine drinkers aren’t always the ones they end up trying first. There are also other delicious wines out there beginners will love at first taste. Ultimately, the best red and white wines to start drinking will be a matter of opinion, but here are a few good options to consider.

Best Red Wines to Begin With

You will decide whether you want to start off with a red or white wine. But when it comes to any wine, you will want to start off with something simple. Merlot is a red wine that is usually classed as easy-to-drink and not too complex. Although depending on the winery and vintage, some Merlots can be quite developed.

Syrah is another variety that many go for if they enjoy strong flavors. You might have also heard of the Australian Shiraz—they are one and the same, just different spellings for this grape variety. But you will notice that the Australian Shiraz is a bit peppery while Syrah is fruity.

Pinot Noir is the another simple wine that’s easy to love. This is one that gets white wine drinkers to fall back to red wines. For Pinot Noir, why don’t you try the McMurray Ranch Pinot Noir?

But just like Pinot Noir, Beaujolais Nouveau will also make your Christmas merry as it releases in November every year. It is a fruity wine and light too for beginners. If you don’t want a wine with heavy tannins then this is just the wine for you.




best wines for new wine drinkers

White Wines You Should Start With

To start off your white wine drinking journey, why don’t you start with some Moscato d’Asti. This white wine from Italy is slightly frizzy and off-dry. The flavors of almonds and apricots are what makes this wine offer the best crispy, sweet, and juicy sip all the time.

But your wine journey is not complete until you have a taste of Riesling. Beginners prefer this wine because it ranges from dry to very sweet. Just like the Moscato d’Asti, you will also love the crisp citrus and minerals flavors.

Finally a Pinot Grigio white wine will be one of the friendliest wines as compared to other white wines on the market. They are crisp and light bodied too, in flavor and finish characteristics.




Best Wine Coolers at 18 Inches Wide

Many people in the market to buy a new wine cooler already have a specific spot in the kitchen in mind where they want to put it. They are often looking for a wine cooler with an exact size to match the space available in their home. Often they’re interested in finding a mini wine fridge that will fit in a space no more than 18 inches wide. Several companies have models meeting this specification, so let’s compare a few of the best wine coolers of 18 inches wide size in this review.

The three models we’ll look at today are the Danby DWC032A2BDB 36 Bottle Wine Cooler, the Whynter WC28S SNO 28 Bottle Wine Cooler, and the Kalamera KR-28AJP 28 Bottle Wine Cooler.

Danby DWC032A2BDB 36 Bottle Wine Cooler

Danby DWC032A2BDB 36 Bottle Wine Cooler

The Danby DWC032A2BDB model has the largest capacity of the three wine coolers that we’re going to compare. It has 8 shelves stacked up vertically, with each one able to hold 4 standard-sized Bordeaux wine bottles. Obviously this also makes it slightly taller than the other two models, so if your vertical space is restricted, this might not be the one to consider.

As could be expected with the slightly larger size, this wine cooler is also the most expensive of the three. (Check the current selling price on Amazon)

As for looks, this one comes in a choice of black or stainless steel. I’m a bit partial to the black color version. I think it looks a little more slick. It’s lit inside by a cool blue LED light and has a darkened glass door. The door has handles on both the left and right sides, which allows you to fix the hinge to the side of your choice. This is kind of a handy feature when you consider that fitting the wine cooler into a tight area might require either a door that swings either to the left or the right.

This Danby wine fridge is a compressor cooling unit. This means it will be able to cool down as low as 43°F (6°C) with no trouble. The highest temperature it will allow while running is going to be around 55°F (13°C). As a compressor model, it’s also going to be able to hold a steady temperature, without fluctuations. On the downside, the temperature control is a simple dial. So it will require a little extra work on your part to find the exact dial setting needed for the temperature you desire. This will also require you to use your own thermometer. On the bright side, once you find the temp you want, this little wine fridge will hold it reliably.

It should be noted, though, that there can be a difference of about 5 degrees F from the top shelf to the bottom shelf, with the bottom getting cooler than the top. Therefore, if you’re storing both red and white wines, you might want to keep the whites on the lowest shelves.

Another potential issue with this wine fridge is that the highest temperature setting may be too cool for some wine collectors. Although it can be a good temperature for wine storage and aging, it’s going to be slightly cooler than an ideal red wine serving temperature. So if you decide to buy this unit, keep in mind that you might want to remove a bottle of red wine 20 minutes or so before you plan on serving it depending on the variety.

Pros

  • Powerful compressor cooling ability
  • 36 bottle storage
  • Looks good
  • Good value for this size and performance
  • Consistent temperature once set

Cons

  • Basic temperature dial
  • Top shelf to bottom shelf temperature difference
  • Highest temperature might be too cool for some

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Whynter WC28S SNO 28 Bottle Wine Cooler

Whynter WC28S SNO 28 Bottle Wine Cooler

Next, let’s look at the Whynter WC28S SNO Wine Cooler with 28 bottle capacity. This one is a solid-state thermoelectric cooling model. It has precise digital temperature control shown with an LCD display. The available temperature range is going to be warmer than the Danby compressor fridge model. In this case, 52°F to 65°F will be possible. This makes it a good wine cooler for anyone who wants to keep bottles of red wine at drinking temperature.

This Whynter wine cooler features a platinum finish and towel-bar door handle, although it’s actually a platinum colored plastic. Depending on your personal taste, you may prefer the appearance of this model over a black one.

As a freestanding thermoelectric cooler, some clearance will be required. In particular, you’d want to make sure it has several inches of empty space in back in order for the cooling to work effectively. You might have to actually keep it a full foot from the wall to get the best results. The depth without the handle is 20.5 inches, however, the interior depth may not be adequate for tall bottles such as Riesling.

Thermoelectric coolers are always going to be limited in their cooling ability due to the ambient temperature of the room. They’re usually limited to cooling no more than 25 degrees F below room temp. So if you live in a hot climate or don’t have air conditioning in your home, keep this in mind.

Pros

  • Digital temperature setting
  • 52°F – 65°F range
  • Affordable price
  • Door lock with 2 keys

Cons

  • Limited low range of thermoelectric cooling
  • Plastic door handle can look cheap

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Kalamera KR-28AJP 28 Bottle Wine Cooler

Kalamera Wine Cooler KR-28AJP 28 Bottle

The Kalamera KR-28AJP 28 Bottle Wine Cooler is another thermoelectric model. The digital temperature control can be set to a range of 54°F to 66°F. As with all thermo-coolers, your environment may limit the actual lowest temp that is achievable.

As for appearances, this model has a simple black exterior. It should look good in anyone’s home.

Although it has identical capacity and similar features to the Whynter model, this Kalamera cooler is the less-expensive of the two. (Check the current selling price on Amazon)

Pros

  • Good value
  • Simple, clean styling
  • Digital temperature control

Cons

  • Limited low range of thermoelectric cooling

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Buying Recommendation

My recommendation for the best 18-inch wide wine cooler to buy is going to depend on your needs and intended use. If you want strong cooling power that is pretty much guaranteed to never fluctuate, then by all means go with the Danby compressor model. However, if your goal is to simply keep red wine stored at a good temperature, ready for drinking at a moment’s notice, and if you’ll be keeping the unit in an area without wide temperature swings (such as an air-conditioned apartment), then I’d recommend a thermoelectric model. Of these two, I like the Kalamera cooler the best. Not only does it look more sharp (in my opinion), but it is also the better value.




Best Red Wine for Beginners – Easiest Red Wine to Drink

Wine is one of the most popular beverages that has been around since the dawn of history. Red wine, in particular, is quite tasty and includes many health benefits when drunk in moderation. Those new to wine may be looking for the easiest red wine to drink. So for anyone out there who wants to experiment with red wine, here is a list of the best red wines that a beginner can start out with.

1. Cabernet Sauvignon

This red wine is recognized world-wide as one of the most popular red wines. This wine is made from the Cabernet Sauvignon red wine grape originally grown in France. It is now widely cultivated in other countries such as Chile and the US. It has medium level of acidity and is highly recommended for drinking with food. This fantastic wine has a dark red color and usually projects a flavor profile of red fruits. On top of that it is dry and has an acceptable level of tannin.




2. Merlot

This red wine ranks as the second most popular in America. You can drink Merlot alone or as an accompaniment with your food. This red wine is highly recommended for any beginner. Its alcohol content usually ranges from 13.5% to 14.5% depending on where it is grown. This wine often has plummy tastes and also has notes of chocolate. In addition to that, it is smooth and easy to drink.

3. Malbec

Malbec is another one of the most popular red wines. It is easy to drink and has tastes of juicy fruit flavors, such as cherry. In addition to that it can be drank alone or as an accompaniment with food. It has an alcohol content of 13-14.5%.

best red wine for beginners

4. Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah (also spelled “Shiraz”) is one of best red wines in the market. It has the distinguishing characteristic of being darker than other types of red wine. It is regarded as a great accompaniment to food especially meat. This wine has a high level of tannin which also gives it antioxidants which are health benefiting.

These are a few of the best red wines for beginners.




Can Drinking Old Wine Make You Sick?

It is said that wine can still taste OK 3-5 days after opening the bottle if kept refrigerated. But is it bad for your health? Can drinking old wine make you sick?

Well, you aren’t the only one asking this.

It’s one of the first questions that come from people who don’t really know the finer aspects of wine making, the storage of wine, and preservation. It is very often that people come across an opened bottle of wine that has not been consumed in some days and the natural question arises: is it safe to consume old wine?

The straight answer is yes, it is considerably safe to consume wine that has been unused. The first logic behind this answer is that wine is a preservative itself and some wines like port taste better as they age. However, there are a few pointers you can keep in mind to check before consuming old wine.

can drinking old wine make you sick




How to check if old wine is still OK to drink

It is really easy to check if the old wine you’ve been slow to finish is actually OK for drinking. Here is what you can do.

Firstly, check the smell of the wine. If an old wine has gone bad and is no longer fit for consumption, it will have a peculiar, funny smell to it. This rancid odor, akin to what you would expect to come off a wet cardboard, is easily detectable and if you do not smell any of the odd smells from your wine, you are good to go and the wine is really fine.

Another pointer to check before consuming old wine is to anylize the wine in a clear glass. An uncharacteristic coloring of the wine indicates that it has been exposed to too much air for too much time and as such, you should refrain from consuming it. In particular, red wine will turn more of a brownish color.

Additionally, check for bubbles in the wine. If the wine is not meant to be a bubbly wine, the presence of bubbles as you pour out the wine is a cause for concern and you should not consume that wine.

Consuming old wine does not necessarily make you sick. Oxidized wine might taste off and have too much of a sour character, but it shouldn’t actually make you sick unless it’s very old. Still, you’ll want to test your wine on these pointers before consuming old wine.




Why You Shouldn’t Store Wine in a Regular Refrigerator

Is there anything wrong with storing wine in your refrigerator next to your milk, eggs, the rest of your food? This is one question most people will always ask, both new and experienced drinkers. So should you keep your wine in your regular refrigerator? The simple answer is no. Although it only sounds logical to have your bottles stored in a refrigerator, as you might with beer or coke, it is important to understand that a typical fridge at home doesn’t offer the optimum condition that are best for storing wine. Here is all you need to know.

What’s Wrong With a Regular Refrigerator for Storing Wine?

You need to understand that a fridge will maintain a chilly 35 to 38 F temperature. This is just a tiny bit above freezing, and is great for preserving most food without damaging it. But this is far too cool to store wine for any length of time.

What also makes it unsuitable is because it only maintains relatively low level of humidity, mostly in a range of 30%.




don't store wine in a regular refrigerator

What are Ideal Wine Storage Conditions?

Your wine should always be stored under temperatures that range from 45 to 60 F, with 55 F said to be the most ideal for long-term storage and aging of wine. The ideal humidity to improve your wine is around 70 to 90%. This is much more humid than your regular fridge in the kitchen.

Other than just humidity, it is also advisable to always keep your wines free from excessive vibration. Understand that the cooling apparatus in your fridge consists of moving parts and runs around the clock. This normally causes constant micro vibrations and this will affect your wine. Tiny solid particles won’t be allowed to settle to the bottom. Instead, they will continue mixing freely with the liquid portion of wine and upset it’s delicate flavor balance.

Can You Ever Keep Wine in the Fridge?

There are really only 2 cases where you want to use a regular kitchen refrigerator for keeping your wine. First, you might want to put a bottle in the fridge for a brief period before serving. Mostly this will be the case when you have white wine stored at 55 F and you want to cool it down to a more ideal 45 F or so before serving. For this purpose, it’s fine to put the bottle in your fridge for about 1 hour before serving.

The second case is on those rare occasions when you’ve opened a bottle but aren’t able to finish it in one evening. When this happens, you should re-cork the bottle to minimize oxygen exposure and then store it in your fridge so that the cool temperature will help slow down the wine’s degradation. It is best to finish a bottle stored this way in 2-3 days.

When keeping an opened bottle in the fridge remember that it will cool down to below its ideal serving temperature. Red wines should then be taken out of the fridge an hour before serving on the second night, while white wines should be taken out 15-20 minutes before serving.

For long-term storage, and for keeping a number of red wine bottles at ready serving temperature, it is highly recommended to invest in a small to medium sized wine cooler fridge.

To help you find a good wine fridge, you can read all of our reviews HERE.




Compressor vs. Thermoelectric Wine Coolers

For wine to have a good taste it needs to be stored under stable conditions. This is because wine is made of different chemicals which continuously react with each other in order to give the wine a better taste. If the wine is not stored under the correct temperature there will be an unbalanced reaction of the chemicals and this may ruin the taste of the wine. There are various ways of storing wine. However, most people are increasingly turning to wine coolers as a means of storing wine. This is because the wine cooler creates a perfect temperature which improves the taste of the wine and also the aroma. There are two types of wine coolers based on the technology used: thermoelectric wine coolers and compressor wine coolers. They both preserve wine but using different methods. As they both have their advantages and disadvantages, a common question when comparing compressor vs thermoelectric wine coolers is “which is better?”

Thermoelectric Wine Coolers

Thermoelectric wine coolers preserve wine using a peltier plate. The plate has two sides. One is hot and the other is cold, resulting in a heat transfer. The plate works in such a way that it absorbs warm air from the wine cabinets and disperses it out into the surrounding air.




Advantages of a Thermoelectric Wine Cooler

1. It is Energy Efficient – A thermoelectric wine cooler uses a peltier plate which uses little amount of electricity. The fact that it also has less moving parts also makes it use less energy. This benefits the user as well as the environment.
2. Quiet Operation – The fact that it has less moving parts makes it generate little noise when it is operating. This is convenient especially if the user is irritated by noise.
3. Vibration Free – Thermoelectric wine coolers do not vibrate at all. This helps them create a favorable environment for wine, especially if one intends to store wine for long.

Read Thermoelectric Wine Cooler Reviews HERE

Disadvantages of Thermoelectric Wine Coolers

1. Weak Cooling Levels – The peltier plate has weak levels of cooling. The peltier plate is often only able to store and chill wine at temperatures ranging from 55-65 °F and it can’t cool wine down more than 20°F below the ambient room temperature. This makes it inappropriate to use in a room which has higher temperatures because it will be overwhelmed in terms of cooling the wine.
2. Expensive Operation – Although they use less energy, thermoelectric wine coolers need to be on all the time and thus they increase the cost of operation.
3. Small Capacity – They are only convenient to use with wine refrigerators that have small capacity. This makes it expensive to use if you have a large amount of bottles that you want to cool.

Compressor vs. Thermoelectric Wine Coolers

Compressor Wine Coolers

These use a vapor compression cycle to eliminate heat from the wine cabinet. It has four parts; compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. The compressor pressurizes gas, while the condenser releases heat into the environment. The expansion valve reduces air pressure, while the evaporator absorbs heat from the air which cools the wine.

Advantages of Compressor Wine Coolers

1. Powerful Operation – It has a powerful cooling capacity when compared to thermoelectric wine coolers. This makes it convenient to use with many built-in units. Many large capacity units also make use of compressors.
2. Handles High Capacities – The fact that they have a powerful cooling system makes it possible for them to be used with a large number of wine bottles. This is of great benefit to people who have a large collection of wine.
3. Adapt to the Environment – The compressor wine cooler is able to adapt to changing temperatures of the environment, and is able to maintain a stable internal temperature. If one intends to store their wine in the basement or in a place which isn’t  insulated, then the compressor wine cooler is the best option.

Read Compressor Wine Cooler Reviews HERE

Disadvantages of Compressor Wine Coolers

1. Small Vibrations – They have many moving parts and as a result they vibrate slightly. This necessitates one to use rubber brushing in order to absorb the movements.
2. Slight Noise Output – The moving parts of the compressor cooler result in the production of some noise. It usually produces the same noise as that of a normal refrigerator. If you live in a small studio apartment, this extra noise may be enough to make you favor a thermoelectric cooling model instead.




How Long Can You Store Wine After Opening a Bottle?

Wine drinkers world wide thoroughly enjoy their daily glass of wine, and not wasting a drop. But how long can a bottle of wine really last once it has been opened? There are so many different types of wine, that the question must be split up.

The types of wine that stay fresh for the least amount of time are usually sparkling wines, like champagne. Sparkling wines last an average of 2 days. This is if you have a sparkling wine stopper and have placed the bottle in a refrigerator.

White wines, such as Rosé or Moscato, will usually last an average of 6 days with a cork in it and placed in a refrigerator. A fuller bodied white wine, like Chardonnay or Riesling, will stay fresh for a shorter period of time, usually around 4 days with a cork in it and placed in a refrigerator as well.

Red wines, such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, have a similar expiration date to full bodied white wines, where they usually stay fresh up until about 4 days. The difference with red wine, is that it needs to be stored in dark yet cool place, and it must have a cork in it.

how-long-can-you-store-wine-once-opened

If you fancy a fortified wine, such as Sherry, your time of freshness is greatly extended, compared to other wines. You can make a fortified wine last around 28 days stored in a cool dark area with a cork in it.

Similar to fortified wines, bag-in-a-box wine can also last somewhere around 28 days. The difference in these two, is that the boxed wine needs to be stored in a refrigerator, as opposed to a cool dark place.

Wine doesn’t necessarily harm you when it has passed its expiration. It just won’t taste very good, and you’ll feel that you’ve wasted money on a fine bottle by letting it go bad before enjoying it.

What is the Best Red Wine to Drink?

New wine drinkers often feel overwhelmed by the sheer variety of wines available. There are many opinions on which is the best red wine to drink. Some swear by Cabernet Sauvignon, while others prefer Merlot, Zinfandel, or Sangiovese. Ultimately, you’ll have to try out different wines on your own to see which matches your tastes and personality the best. A popular red wine variety that you may want to put at the top of your list is Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir has gained in popularity over the past decade largely due to the effect of a positive portrayal in the hit film ‘Sideways’. It’s not all hype, though. Pinot’s good reputation is well-deserved.




If you are looking for one of the world’s finest wines, Pinot Noir is an excellent choice. Pinot Noir is made from the Pinot Noir grapes that are grown in some parts of France, Burgundy to be precise. These vines produce somewhat delicate grapes that, however, make excellent wine. Pinot Noir grapes are also cultivated in other countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the US (particularly California and Oregon).

what is the best red wine to drinkPinot Noir can come in different colors such as cherry red to purple red. Though usually it has a brighter red color when compared to other red wine varieties such as Merlot.

The structure of Pinot Noir is fresh and delicate, with soft tannins. Pinot Noir comes with fruity aromatics such as strawberry, cherry, and plum. Pinot Noir’s red skins have polyphenolic compounds like polyphenols and flavonoids. These bind free radicals in the body to prevent oxidized lipids from being generated.

Pinot Noir is rich in resveratrol that acts as an anti-oxidant in your body. Resveratrol prevents genetic mutation due to oxidative stress, thus protecting your body from cancer. Resveratrol also protects nerve cells from oxidative damage and prevents nerve cells from dying. Drinking a glass of Pinot Noir daily, therefore, benefits your nervous system and might help you live longer.

Resveratrol also helps the blood vessels to remain flexible and unclogged. It also decreases the chances of blood clots. This prevents you from developing coronary heart disease.

So as you can see, there are plenty of health benefits to drinking Pinot Noir in moderation. The bright, fruity flavor profile of Pinot Noir wines is also exceptional. Moreover, it pairs easily with many foods.

I’d encourage you to try many styles of wine, to be adventurous, and not always stick to the same variety. But definitely give Pinot Noir a try if you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting some yet. It’s one of the best red wines you can drink.




How Long Can You Keep Red Wine Once Opened?

Red wine can be stored for a long time in bottles, and often gets better with age. But how long can you keep red wine once opened?

Red wines range from delicate Pinot Noirs and Beaujolais to powerhouse Amarone and Malbecs. Regardless of the variety, red wines have a place on our dinner table and wine list. It’s amazing to share a glass of wine with your friend over dinner or during a special occasion. Don’t feel guilty; red wine is rich in the antioxidant polyphenol which is healthy for your heart and prevents memory loss associated with old age. If you have ever wondered how long you can keep your red wine after opening it, read more to find the answers you have been looking for.

Before specifying the exact time your red wine can last before spoiling, it is worth to understand that wine spoils due to oxygen and light. The ultraviolet rays from the sun degrade your wine. For that reason, most of the red wines bottles are dark in color to protect the wine from the sun. When you pull the cork of your red wine, you expose its content to the oxygen. Oxygen spoils your red wine because it turns it into vinegar due to oxidation. Oxidized red wines lack flavor and turn from bright red to brown.

how-long-can-keep-red-wine-once-opened
The expected time your red wine can last once opened is 3-5 days. Red wine contains tannins which stave off the process of oxygenation. With more tannins, your red wine can last for up to five days. Pinot Noir, for instance, has little tannins and sensitive to light, and can only last for at most three days. Beaujolais lasts for four days and five days for the Rhône.

Always Re-Cork Your Opened Wine Bottle

vacu-vin-wine-saverYour red wine can last less than the stated time depending on how you store it. It is advisable to re-cork your red wine after every glass pour. Keep the red wine bottle out of light. Storing your red wine in the refrigerator keeps it fresh for a longer time. If you intend to keep your red wine for a week after opening it, you may consider having a wine preserving tool like Vacu Vin Wine Saver. This tool is a little pump with a bottle stopper. After opening your wine, you can put the stopper and create a vacuum by sucking out air using Vacu Vin Wine Saver.

Wine drinking is a beautiful experience. If you and your company can finish a bottle of red wine in an evening, that’s great. But if you want to enjoy for a few days, understand how long you can keep red wine once opened, and maintain its quality, taste, and color, for even better experiences.

How Long is it Recommended to Keep Opened Red Wine?

Please note that the information given here represents the maximum amount of time that your opened wine would still be reasonably drinkable. I don’t particularly recommend allowing any opened bottle to go over 3 days. I do, however, find that an opened bottle of red wine often tastes even better on the second day. Provided that you re-corked it, kept it refrigerated, and then gave it about an hour to warm up again (still re-corked) before drinking on the second evening.

I know sometimes the wine is just too tasty and you want to finish the bottle. But other times you just want to enjoy a glass or 2, get the health benefits, and yet still be able to wake up early for work the next day. In that case, it’s perfectly fine to stretch a bottle of red wine out over a couple days.