questionsany wine tips for a non wine drinker?

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I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I've heard it is a lot like beer. If you dived right in with a heavy Porter, you would probably determine that you don't like beer (hops and malt in dark beers can be quite strong). If you drink lighter beers you can sort of graduate into the heavier styles as you get used to the flavor of hops and malt.

The compound in wine that turns most people off is called Tannin. It leave a dry, bitter taste in ones mouth and with many reds, it can be quite strong (especially for somebody who doesn't drink wine often). It is found in the skins of grapes. The ammount and length of time that the skins sit with the wine determines the tannin content (as well as flavor profiles). So dark reds typically have more than others. White wines typically have little tannin, and a lot of wine drinkers recommend starting with white wine with a decent residual sugar content to build up a tolerance and lower sugar content over time, eventually to reds.

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You may end up trying a lot of wines before you find one that you like. I hated wine until I moved to Germany and then only through trial and error did I find one that I could order and like wherever I went. I recommend going to tastings whenever possible. Then you can try a little bit and see if you like it and aren't shelling out for a whole bottle of some crap you hate.

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Have you already done the obvious and gone to local wine tastings? It can be intimidating especially when the vendors start telling you in depth details about the wine but it's the best way to find something you will really like and/or try something new.

If you are a social person this is a great opportunity to learn about them as well. Most of the time vendors are knowledgeable and more than happy to explain wines in simpler terms (Like I have asked them to do many times).

Make sure to check if you have any specially liquor stores or cheese shops who in my town are the ones that host very frequent wine tastings. Sometimes they cost and sometimes they are even free.

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Go to local wine places that may have some free tastings. Try some. Find something you like, and drink it. When I hear oenophiles start blah blah blahing about bouquets, tones and whatever I get annoyed. If it tastes good, drink it and enjoy.

I have had good luck at the tastings. I can just say things like "it's too dry" or "too fruity" and other simple terms to be steered to wines I enjoy.

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Although you will be tempted. Don't eat cheese with it.

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@robey21: I agree why not.
I started with beringer white zinfandel free samples.

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Try a bunch of wines, find what you like, and drink it. Don't let anybody tell you that what you like is immature, trash, etc. Your taste is your taste. I like well balanced reds, can't stand sweet whites. (If it comes in a tall green bottle you can bet I won't be buying).

If you have time, head over to wine.woot.com every day and read the comments. The wine.woot community is both very friendly and very well informed. Read the comments (don't be afraid to look up terms) and see why people like (or not) a given offering. You may also buy some bottles there: WineDavid rarely makes a bad pick, and the deals range from OK to a screaming steal, with the median being pretty good. Today is a good example: two bottles of pinot noir. It's expensive ($54.99 for two bottles) but apparently a good deal. More telling is that of the two people who have had it, one loves it and one hates it. See, matter of personal taste.

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A less spendy way to go about things is to find a couple wines you like, and also start a thread over on wine.woot that lists what you like, and have them help you pick more out. :) The community has a wide range of tastes and styles and you are likely to find someone with similar taste, but more experience. :)

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@robey21: Good news I already don't eat cheese so I won't be tempted.

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@gideonfrost - I too have tried to become a wine drinker. I've tried a lot of different wines of all colors and flavors and different attributes. I've had friends who have tried to make it their life's mission (or so they say) to find a wine that I like and will drink. And we've all failed miserably. I've come to the conclusion that I don't like wine, or beer, or anything with alcohol in it (I don't even like most foods cooked with cooking wine or other alcoholic liquids. Rumballs are just a very cruel joke to me). And I'm okay with that. I have my half ounce or so of wine when I take communion at church and that's it and I'm good with it. I might be missing out on some of the health benefits, but I'll get by. And, fortunately, most of my friends have stopped trying to find something that I like and accepted the fact that Mountain Dew is the strongest beverage I regularly indulge in.