Wine Blogging Wednesday #67: Seeing Red For The First Time

Vinted on March 24, 2010 binned in wine blogging wednesday, wine review

Today marks the 67th (!) edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday, and I’m honored to be hosting the event again. 

For those playing along at home, the gist of WBW is that it brings together multiple people across the wine blog-o-world to review wines on the same date based on a unifying theme.  For #67, we chose “Seeing Red For The First Time” as the clarion call of united wine geekiness (a.k.a., “the theme”).  Here’s how this shin-dig goes down:

To participate, you’ll need to pick a red wine that you would use to introduce a white wine drinker to red wines for the first time.  Think of a person that only ever drinks white wine, and answer the question: What Red Wine would I use to convince that white-wine-only person that they should also drink reds?

Include a review of the wine, and be sure to tell us why you chose that style of wine, or that wine in particular (or both).

A potentially challenging but fun theme, I hope – and I can’t wait to see what you’ve all come up with to try to tempt white-only drinkers over to the Darker Side, so to speak.

My choice, of course, was picked out quite some time ago since I had some advanced notice of the theme, but I had a trickier time than I’d expected in fulfilling my WBW duties.  In fact, while I wouldn’t call my attempt a total failure, I’m pretty sure it ain’t a total success, either

But before we get into the wine itself (which was not a media sample this time), let me unravel for you the tapestry of my logic on this puppy…

A red to pair with a white-only wine drinker… I really felt that the wine chosen needed to be high quality but really approachable.  My guess is that most people who say they dislike red wines simply haven’t had the right red wine to start them off, and that it’s very likely those misfortunate souls are still reeling from heartache (and possible heartburn) of an ill-timed rendezvous with an unbalanced, overly-astringent, tannic monster.

So… we need something balanced, high quality, approachable, short on astringent tannins, and probably food-friendly (it never hurts to ply people with food when you’re trying to win them over, right?)…

We’ve covered this ground before, methinks.  In fact, we covered it for a previous WBW!

For my  money, this assignment has Cru Beaujolais written all over it.  Let’s think about this for a second:

  • Approachable – check
  • Smooth on the tannins – awwww yeeeah
  • Balanced – there’s a reason those areas have the highest-level Cru designation, baby
  • Food-friendly – acids to spare!

Cru Beaujolais provides the added bonus of being easy on the wallet (great examples are to be had at the $15 range), so it won’t break the bank which is a major factor when you’re taking on an experiment like this.  Hell, you could buy examples from two different Cru areas and still only be out $30.

I’m partial to the Cru Beaujolais wines form the neighboring departments of Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, and Morgon.  But for this WBW, I thought I’d branch out and go for Fleurie’s slightly more northerly neighbor, Chenas.  That’s where things went a bit southerly…

Not that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy my selection (a 2008 Domaine Georges Trichard Chenas) – I did.  It was like sniffing a red berry cobbler that had some white & black pepper spilled on it, and it went down smooth as silk – not to mention that it paired really well with Cornish game hen.

The problem was that the 2008 Domaine Georges Trichard Chenas might actually be too complex for a first-time Darker Sider.  I could see someone in that state of affairs trying this and thinking, Smells great, but who put the f—king pepper on my strawberries?!??”

So,  we live and, as ever, we learn.  If we could do it all over again, I’d stick with a Fleurie, which is less berry-cobbler-with-spilled-pepper, and more wearing-some-kind-of-tasty-satin-underoos-for-your-tongue.

Cheers!

(image: snooth.com)

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    Comments

  • Constance C


    I posted this on the last post, but figured I'd post it again.

    I chose a Bonarda Lombardy – red wine made from Lombardy Italy – slightly sweet, frizzante, lots of fruit — and I tested it out and got a seal of approval on actually guinea pigs ;) in fact, last night one was asking me for recommendations on something that might be similar off of a wine list at a restaurant (of course, there weren't any, but I think that's a step in the right direction!)

    http://wineconnoisseur101.blogspot.com/2010/03/wi

  • Scott


    Ah, we went the same route Joe, but I purposely went a little complex. Look, I'm giving them the fruit and low tannins typical of the Beaujolais. I went with a Morgon to introduce them to some of the earthy, gamy wonders that a red can offer. I could have avoided this and gone Beaujolais Nouveau, but I wanted to challenge the drinker just a touch. And I came away thinking it would be a success (especially if this white drinker ever drank some more complicated, Old World whites). Thanks for hosting, this was a fun theme. Here is my post http://bit.ly/9BVFFk.

  • amy


    I took the easy way out and went for a rose. http://winebookgirl.blogspot.com/2010/03/wbw-seei
    But there is a story.

  • VA Wine Diva


    We were indecisive and went with a few different chambourcin wines from VA to combat what we see as the 3 major red wine complaints among our white wine drinking friends: http://swirlsipsnark.com/?p=1845

  • Wine Monologues


    Thanks for hosting Joe. . . went the Pinot route. . . http://www.thewinemonologues.com

    Mike

  • 1WineDude


    Great articles so far! Keep 'em comin'! :-)

  • Mary Cressler


    Thanks for hosting! I went with a big fruit bomb Zinfandel and experimented on my visiting mother. Fun stuff. http://bit.ly/dulF6m

  • jpkaminga


    I chose a Negroamaro from Puglia. It is a peculiar Negroamaro in my experience because it is so approachable. All the other picks sound great and thanks to Joe the host. http://bacchism.wordpress.com

  • jpkaminga


    I chose a Negroamaro from Puglia. It is a peculiar Negroamaro in my experience because it is so approachable. All the other picks sound great and thanks to Joe the host. http://bacchism.wordpress.com

    • Jill


      Excellent Choice – next to Grignolino I love a Negroamaro! Just make sure it is chilled to 62-64 for the white lovers – that way fruit comes through!

  • @suburbanwino


    Thus, Beaujolais-Villages. I thought Cru as well for a minute, but many Crus have a bit of complexity that likens them more to Burgundy, according to my tongue and nose situation. I thought Beaujolais would be a popular choice, which is why I hoped Aussie Grenache would score big (it didn't). Fun theme and experiment!

  • @wes_mcallister


    My choice was a Beaugolais Villages. This is my first WBW let me know what you think.
    http://calgarywineschool.com/blog/

  • @nectarwine


    Here is my contribution to the WBW world. First entry – I hope ya'll like it. Went the fiction, short story route. http://drinknectar.com/2010/03/24/the-affair-seei

  • Alleigh


    Thanks hosting WBW! I picked an Australian Grenache, although mine wasn't quiet as successful as I'd hoped it would be.

    http://aglassafterwork.com/blog/?p=448

  • Daniel


    I'd go with a Sangue di Giuda…

  • @vinotology


    Thanks for hosting us lowly bloggers on your porch here Joe. My post is up at –

    http://www.vinotology.com/2010/03/is-it-a-zin-to-

  • Tim


    Hey Joe, thanks for hosting WBW.

    I went with a Spanish Garnacha for a fruit-forward and approachable red.

    http://cheapwineratings.com/2010/03/24/tapena-gar

    Cheers!

  • Sip with Me


    Really, am I the only one? I went with f**cking Merlot, and just in the nick of time! http://sipwithme.blogspot.com/2010/03/men-are-red

  • 1WineDude


    Oh man, these are sounding intriguing! I've got a lot of work ahead of me to summarize all of these – but it's a labor of love! Thanks all!!

  • Richard


    Great post Joe. My only complaint? I totally missed WBW this month and it was a great topic! Some of my earliest red wine experiences were, in fact, Beaujolais. If I had to pick a wine for some one to see red for the first time, I would also choose a Beaujolais. I, however, would go with Beaujolais Villages or just Beaujolais AOC, but NOT from one of the Big Guys. (I find Duboeuf, Jadot, Latour, etc. quite dull.) I find that Cru Beaujolais, when young, can have a hefty grip that might deter a wannabe red drinker. They also may have a complexity or three that they would find off putting, which is something you allude to in your post.
    Again, great post and I look forward to checking out the other submissions. Cheers!

  • Frank


    Hi Joe – great theme for the month.

    Not only am I a day late posting this, looks like I'm a copy cat too… I went with a Cru Beaujolais (from Regnie) as well.
    http://drinkwhatyoulike.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/

    WBW #68 theme… will be… 'Got Gamay?'

  • jason


    Hi Joe,

    First time to the WBW. I would have to go with a Tempranillo. Nice fruity nose with fresh berries on the palate. Generally have manageable tannins and acidity. Thanks for hosting. My post is at

    • Beth Mort


      My choice would have been a Tempranillo as well. Just one of my favorite reds certainly made quite an impression on me when I first began exploring red wines.

  • jason


    My post is at http://www.corkedwine.blogspot.com/.

  • @ArtPredator


    Thanks for hosting, Joe! I look forward to reading the round up and some of the posts too to see what people chose! I was leaning toward a gamay but went 4 others with the big winners being a WA merlot and a Santa Barbara grenache.

    http://winepredator.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/wine

  • Beth Mort


    These are great! Got my comment on the right post this time – sheesh. Anyhow, I hope we can get in on the next WBW.

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