I freely confess that I am a white wine drinker. Given the choice between a white wine and a red wine, I am going to pick the white every time. I enjoy whites because I like to feel refreshed when I drink. I enjoy the generally lighter body, refreshing acid, and clean texture of white wines.
I also like the fact that they are almost always devoid of mouth-drying tannins. Most of my friends however, are lovers of red wines. They enjoy the depth of flavour, the heavier mouthfeel, and the grittier texture that reds can offer. Given that my friends and I enjoy different styles of wine, how do I go about bringing a wine to their house that we will all enjoy? Please find here a listing of some of my favourite “red wines for white wine drinkers!”
Between the Lines Family Estate Winery’s 2017 Pinot Noir – $19.95
Between the Lines Family Estate Winery has earned a reputation for making wines that are bright, refreshing, and fruit-forward. Their philosophy with many of their wines is to mature them in steel tanks as opposed to using oak barrels. This allows the fruit flavours in the wine to speak for themselves without the interference of flavours from the barrel. Pinot Noir is a varietal that is well known for being light in body and featuring a hallmark flavour of red cherry. This wine is dry, refreshing, and lively. The fruit-forward nature and unoaked character of their 2017 Pinot Noir make this a great red wine for white wine lovers.
Di Profio Estate Wines’ 2016 Gamay Noir – $21.95
Di Profio Estate Wines’ 2016 Gamay Noir is a great example of a red wine that is light in body but full in flavour. This wine has a very low tannin level, keeping away that sticky, mouth-drying feeling that appeals to lovers of big reds. Fresh fruit flavours of strawberry and cherry dance on the palate followed by a strong dose of black pepper spice on the finish. The spiciness makes me think this would be a great red for lovers of Gewurztraminer, a white wine that is known for its spicy element.
PondView Estate Winery’s 2017 Cabernet Merlot – $16.95
I am guilty of buying more than one case of PondView Estate Winery’s 2017 Cabernet Merlot last year. In fact, I would go as far as to call this wine my “house wine” for 2018, in spite of the fact that I usually enjoy whites more than reds. This wine is a Bordeaux style, meaning that it is made from several grape varietals that have been fermented and matured separately and then blended together before bottling. These varietals include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. What makes it a great red wine for white wine lovers is its juiciness. The fruit flavours are fresh and full, like berries picked at the height of their ripeness. There is no hint of the dried, dusty, jammy, or cooked fruit flavours that often appear in other red wines. This wine was matured in steel tanks as opposed to being matured in oak barrels, meaning it has held on to its freshness and possesses no vanilla or oak flavours. Medium in body with medium tannins, this is a fantastic pick for a cheese and charcuterie platter. As the proteins in the meats and cheeses bind to the tannins on your palate, it makes this wine only more quaffable. Be careful not to glug! It won’t be easy to drink this one slowly.
One of my favourite things about wine is its versatility. Just when you think you have a handle on a particular wine style or a certain grape varietal you will find a new wine that throws you an unexpected curve ball in regards to its flavour or texture. Enjoying wine is a lifelong journey with no destination. There is a red wine out there for every lover of whites. Try a few of my recommendations or join a tour of Niagara’s wine country with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours to expand your palate even further. You will meet tasting room hosts and be led by a knowledgeable Wine Smart Guide who will help you hone in on the wines you are certain to love. Call our guest services agents today at 1-866-628-5428.
Michael Twyman – Sommelier and Niagara Wine Country Guide for Niagara Vintage Wine Tours and Bootleggers
* The opinions and recommendations in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect Niagara Vintage Wine Tours.