#4 How To Turn Non Wine Drinkers Into Wine Fans

I have several friends who didn’t drink wine, until I introduced them to it.  One of the most common reasons my friends gave for not drinking wine was, “It’s too expensive.”    That was closely followed by, “wine is for rich snobs.”

It is a common misconception that good wine has to be expensive.  This misconception has been fueled by mass media such as magazines, movies, and the internet.  Expensive brands of champagne and vintage wine are often mentioned in tv shows and movies.   The truth is that good wine doesn’t have to be expensive.

In order to convince my friends of this,  I  invite them to dinner at my place.    I serve several different wines. One with the appetizer, one with the entree, one with dessert.  I make sure that all the wines are perfectly paired with the food.   Also, I make it a point to spend no more than $15.00 per bottle.  This is usually enough to turn those “its too expensive” people into wine drinkers.

Some wonderful inexpensive choices include, Sutter Home Brut bubbly,  Quinta de Gomariz 2012 Avesso ,  Belle Ambiance 2012 Chardonnay ,  Oak Knoll 2011 Unoaked Chadonnay,  and  Piccini Memoro Vino Rosato.

The trick to impressing anyone with wine is in the food pairings that go with it.   Food pairings with inexpensive wine tend to be easier than pairings involving wine with more complex flavors.    Pizza calls for a Ravens Wood 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel . At around $15.00 a bottle, it a slightly more expensive choice, but well worth it.  It has a medium body and is only slightly tannic. Its packed with juicy fruit flavor.  Think fruit punch for adults.    If burgers and fries are on the menu, consider a 2006 Ravens Wood Napa Valley Zinfandel.  This choice is rich and a bit more peppery.  This, usually, can be found for under $15.00 a bottle.

Fried chicken calls for a light fresh pinot grigio.  Oak Leaf Pinot Grigio is often found at Walmart for under $5.00 a bottle and pairs exceptionally well  with crispy chicken.    Oak  Leaf wines usually do not list a vintage year.  If Mexican food such as tacos are being served, look for a Dell Emilia Bianco Lambrusco, usually priced around $5.00 a bottle.

Another common reason people give for not drinking wine is that, “it doesn’t taste good.”  This is usually the result of someone having a taste of something to harsh and sour, in the past.  The solution to  this is to invite the friend to a wine tasting at my place or an invitation out to cocktails.

I suggest starting the friend out with a  chilled sweet, fruity  pink  moscato, such as a 2011 or 2012 Barefoot Pink Moscato   paired with a spicy appetizer.    A  Gnarly Head 2012 Cabernet Sauvigon paired with spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread, next.  Then, a Red Tree  2010 Moscato paired with a chocolate dessert.

The “wine doesn’t taste good” crowd are, usually, slightly more difficult to  impress, so the previous might not work. If so, spending a bit more a bottle and going for high quality usually doesn’t  help a lot.  Expensive wines tend to have complex flavors that are usually lost on newbies.   The typical way to impress, here, is to go for easily drinkable taste. Stock up on a bunch of inexpensive Boone’s Farm flavors. This  is, usually, the go to “slurp like Kool Aid” wine beverage.   Flavors include Sangria, Snow Creek Berry, Mango Grove, Blackberry Ridge, Strawberry Hill,  Wild Raspberry, and more.   Serve over  ice, with a straw, and a piece of fruit with a pretty pic as a garnish.   By the time your friend has consumed three glasses or so, casually say, “I thought you didn’t like wine.”   Works every time.

Expanding your base of wine drinking friends never hurts, especially during the holiday season.  Gift giving then becomes easy and hassle free.  A trip to the store, grab several bottles of wine and gift bags, and you are good to go.

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