Gateway wines for millennials

March 20, 2012

Bottles to try

Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

These wines, listed in order of preference, aren’t so much recommendations as potential gateway wines for millennials beginning their adventure into wine. For my tasting with a group of young wine drinkers ages 21 to 25, I chose wines for their wide availability, their label (supposedly so important to that age group), and their taste.

Bodegas Borsao Garnacha 2010

Campo de Borja, Spain, $7.99

This juicy, lively red, with lots of berry and gentle tannins, goes well with many types of food. Spanish reds at this price point are the perfect gateway wines for newbies.

Fine Estates from Spain: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, MacArthur Beverages, Pearson’s Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Beltway Fine Wine & Spirits in Towson, Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel, State Line Liquors in Elkton, Wells Discount Liquors and Bin 604 Sellers in Baltimore, Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More in McLean.

Bogle Petit Sirah 2009

California, $9.99

Consistently one of the best values from California, this is rich, dark, juicy, tannic. A good introduction to big, bold reds.

Republic National: Available in the District at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, MacArthur Beverages, Pearson’s Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Beltway Fine Wines in Towson, Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel, Wells Discount Liquors and Urban Cellars in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More in McLean, Wilkinson Wine Cellar in Fairfax.

Relax Riesling 2009

Mosel, Germany, $10.99

It’s fresh, lively and relatively dry for a Riesling. The blue bottle and the sans-serif font appealed to the tasting panel.

Schmitt Sohne: Available in the District at Potomac Wine & Spirits, Cairo Wine & Liquor. Available in Maryland at Beltway Fine Wine & Spirits in Towson, Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel, BK Miller Meats & Liquors in Clinton, Roland Park Wines and Liquors in Baltimore.

Cupcake Chardonnay 2010

Central Coast, California, $10.99

In surveys, millennials express a desire to try wines they’ve not seen or heard of before. In our blind tasting, they gravitated toward this one, which is zippy, not-too-buttery and easy-drinking.

Underdog Wine Merchants: Available in the District at Pearson’s Wine & Spirits, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, Cairo Wine & Liquor. Available in Maryland at Beltway Fine Wine & Spirits in Towson, Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel, State Line Liquors in Elkton. Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More in McLean.

— J.W.

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