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Best Wines for Beginners


Thinking about entering into the wonderful world of wine? For many, this can be an overwhelming proposition. First of all, there are so many wines…which ones should you choose? Also, wine is an acquired taste. So, as a beginner, you might want to start with lighter vintages to learn how to appreciate the various flavors before moving forward. Fortunately, some wines are great "break-in" wines that can start a lifelong appreciation of this wonderful beverage. Here are some of the most popular wines, with special selections gleaned from ONEHOPE's very own vault of vino.

wine bottles in ice buckets


White Wine

Look to Sauvignon Blanc—a flexible white that goes well with everything from salads to seafood. Try ONEHOPE's intensely flavored 2014 Rutherford Estate Sauvignon Blanc or the citrusy California Sauvignon Blanc. Or go with a crowd-pleasing Chardonnay. Delicious choices include our 2011 Santa Barbara Reserve Chardonnay, with apricot and apple flavors, and the 2014 Carneros Reserve Chardonnay, boasting crisp tropical fruit, apple, and pear flavors with light floral elements and hints of vanilla. For a special treat, check out ONEHOPE’s Pink Glitter Edition California Chardonnay, with a taste of warm butterscotch, vanilla, toffee, and green apple.


Red Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine in America. The ONEHOPE X Trefethen Family Cabernet Sauvignon is vibrant and deep ruby red, and has enticing aromas of blackberries, black cherries, and currants; while the oak adds clove, cedar and toffee notes. Our broody California Cabernet Sauvignon is a tremendous value full of baked blackberry and deep cassis aromas, and Merlot lovers need look no further than our huckleberry- and loganberry-flavored California Merlot.

Silky, earthy Pinot Noir can be pricey, but first-rate value can be found in our California Pinot Noir, an inviting entry with bright cherries and strawberries with hints of violet pastille and cola, and our Edna Valley Reserve Pinot Noir in a festive red glitter bottle. For something a little more exotic, consider any of ONEHOPE's Zinfandels, particularly our California Zinfandel, stuffed with juicy vine-ripened berries sure to please most red-wine lovers. The 2012 California Red Wine Blend also is a fine choice.



Dry rosé is crisp and fruity, and it doesn't have the sweetness of white Zinfandel. Rosé also hits the spot in both warm and cool weather, and both day and night. Our affordable Lodi Rosé is a superbly shippable vintage bursting with candied watermelon, sandalwood, and raspberry sorbet.



For a Champagne-like bubbly, try ONEHOPE's California Brut Sparkling Wine, with a light color and aromas of fresh green apple, nectarine, and fresh baked bread. Crisp, intriguing fresh fruit reminiscent of succulent peach, sweet berries and pear linger on the palate, finishing with creamy and refreshing bubbles. And don't forget our Glitter Edition Brut Sparkling Wines, a beautiful selection in special gold, silver, and rainbow bottles.


Of special note: While determining what you like is important, learning how to understand and evaluate wine also is a vital component for beginners. Whenever you have a glass of wine in your hand, take a minute to focus your attention on the wine’s appearance, scents, flavors, and finish. You even might try holding your nose while swallowing a mouthful of wine; you will find that most of the flavor is muted. Your nose is the key to your palate. Once you learn how to give wine a good sniff, you’ll begin to develop the ability to isolate flavors—to notice the way they unfold and interact—and, to some degree, assign language to describe their main flavor and scent components.


Whether you begin your wine journey by taking some of our suggestions or opt to venture out on your own, try tasting a few different bottles of a certain type of red or white wine to really get a feel for it. Use the resources available to you, as well. Our ONEHOPE representatives always are available to offer plenty of suggestions you’re sure to love!

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