best order to taste varieties of wines - Printable Version

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- runabout - 12-28-2011 12:08 AM

I am starting a wine group for beginner drinkers. There will be a maximum of 10 people in the group - initially just 2 or 3 of us, but growing over a few months.

The format will be a monthly tasting, focusing on a specific variety each month.

each member will contribute one bottle ($10 to $20) per tasting.

We are starting in January, so I am thinking of starting with reds then switching to whites in May - we are in Ohio... gonna get cold cold cold... very soon.

i need help in a very gradual progression through the reds...

i am thinking that the easiest or most palatable to start with are
january - bejoulais
feb - pinot noir

but after that I don't know where to progress to
march - ??
april - ??

in May i want to switch to the whites and stay there through sept or maybe Oct

can anyone suggest a great beginner progression for these months


during the summer I would like to work in a month of "local wines' we are in the dayton area, and there are several wineries within an easy drive, so perhaps doing a tasting event and then also taking a 'field trip'

before the holidays I would like to work in the 'special event type wines' like champagnes, etc, of which I know absolutely nothing of what is even available.

i am thinking this tasting should be in oct or nov so we'll have some frame of reference before the holiday party season arrives. after that we can revisit some more easy on the palate varieties of red.

oct --- ????

nov --- ?

dec ??

any and all suggestions on the variety rotation is appreciated.

i am also planning to divide the wines up by geo area, so when we do merlot, we'd break it up so we have some from europe, ca, australia, south america etc... sorry cat is really begging for attention now....

- Brom - 12-28-2011 05:06 PM

With the sort of tasting schedule you propose, I can't see any need for any sort of "progression" through varietals - just move from one to another.

"i am thinking that the easiest or most palatable to start with are ...Beaujolais and Pinot Noir"

Oddly enough I disagree with you in both ways here. One is just personal - I don't care for Gamay based (like Beaujolais) wines particularly, I don't find them all that "palatable". on the other hand I do agree that this is one of the 'easier' wines to taste having a very singular and distinctive taste in almost all examples.

Contrariwise, I find Pinot Noir to be a 'difficult' wine for tasting, hard to find good examples that showcase the characteristics of the grape, particularly at your price point.

Then only two more months of reds? barely enough to get in the remaining 'noble' grapes. Plainly you can't do wine tasting as a novice and not include Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a major grape on four continents. After that it's anybody's guess: Malbec is hot in the market, Merlot has never really gone away (altho' "Sideways" dulled its luster), Zinfandel is the American natural, Syrah does the same for Oz...