Wines for People that Think They Don’t Like Wine

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

If you are a beer drinker or have just not ever explored drinking wine, there is a good chance you think you don’t like it. The one time you tried it, someone probably handed you a dry red wine, your lips puckered, and your tongue felt like the Sahara Desert. It’s a terrible place to start, but usually where more sophisticated wine drinkers end up.

Start with a Sweeter White Wine

The best place to start for non-wine drinkers is with your sweeter white wines. Search for a Gewurztraminer, Moscato, Malvasia Bianca, an Ice Wine (Eiswein) or a sweet Riesling. Be warned about Rieslings though, as they aren’t all sweet. Read the description. Hopefully, it will say sweet, off dry, or semi-sweet on it somewhere. If it’s a German variety, where most originate, look for one of these words: auslese, beerenauslese (including eiswein) and trockenbeerenauslese (or TBA for short). Note: “beer” is in two of those descriptive words making them easy to remember! Another important thing to note is that Moscato comes two ways, flat or sparkling. The bubbly version will have “d’Asti” after Moscato, or you may also see “spumante” as a descriptor.


Look for a Wine Not Made with Grapes

Another option is to search out wines that aren’t made from grapes or are a mix of flavors. There are many boutique wines made from other fruits such as apples, cherries, blackberries, peach, raspberry, and any other number of fruits. Fruit wines are almost always sweet. A fun one to try that almost every beer drinker likes, is Heart of the Desert’s Pistachio Rosé. It’s not so sweet and it’s often described as tasting like a cream soda with a nutty finish.


Sweet Red Wines Do Exist

In more recent years, sweet red wines have become popular. Most of them are a blend of a red wine and a sweet white wine. But if you are looking for a pure sweeter red wine, look to Italy where they have been producing them for many years. Classic examples would be Brachetto or Lambruso which is slightly effervescent. You can also look for Germany’s Dornfelder, as it is often made into a lighter-styled, slightly sweet wine. Otherwise read the label. Again, you are looking for sweet, off dry, or semi-sweet. Co-owner of Heart of the Desert, Marianne Schweers, is a fan of their label Viva La Roja. She makes sure to have a glass every night for its heart health benefits.


How about Fortified Wines?

Fortified wines often have Brandy added to them. Port is a classic example. When it comes to Port, there are two categories: ruby and tawny. Ashley Malinowski, general manager and beverage director at Crawford and Sons and Jolie in Raleigh, North Carolina explains that the primary difference is the aging requirements. Ruby Ports are bottled when the wine is quite young, allowing it to retain its fruit characteristics, whereas tawny Ports are aged in wood longer, allowing the wines to settle and glean more spice-forward characteristics from the wood.

Typically, residual sugar is comparable between ruby and tawny, so, technically speaking, neither is sweeter,” says Malinowski. “But from a flavor perspective, ruby Ports can come across sweeter based on the amount of fruit flavors that show through the wine versus in a tawny Port.”

Ports are made to be sipped at the conclusion of a meal, perhaps with dessert. Try them with a taste of premium dark chocolate and some blue cheese. You’ll be amazed at what happens on your palate.

Hopefully, this gives you a chart on where to start on your wine journey. Once you have mastered these, step into trying a Pinot Grigio (white) and a Pinot Noir (red). Both are smooth and very drinkable but less sweet. Make sure to make notes in your phone, that you can access while wine shopping or in a restaurant, on wines that you like. There is nothing worse than finding a wine you love and having no idea what it was!





Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico.  They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines.  Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings.  They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts.  The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.