Safe Wine Choices

Safe Wine Choices

If you are a beginner in the world of wine appreciation, the huge range of wine choices may seem bewildering at first. There are so many different wine-buying options and wine-making parameters that buying wine can be confusing.

If you buy wines with labels printed in English where the grape variety or varieties are denoted, you will at least know a few things about your potential purchase. Not only will you have some idea of what you are buying, but after you drink the wine you can look at the bottle and know what type of wine you did, or didn't, enjoy.

Some basic suggestions on where to start when buying wine are as follows:

Australian and Chilean Wines

Both Australia and Chile have good grape-growing weather year after year, leading to very consistent wines; accessible without being overly simple. They export many good, easy-to-drink, inexpensive red and white wines, rarely exporting anything bad. The wines from both countries are labelled in English, and as such, are a good place for wine beginners to start.

The white wines from Australia, especially the blends of Semillon and Chardonnay, tend to be enjoyed by most people. Straight Chardonnay is also a good choice, although some versions are perhaps a little too fruity to drink with many foods.


Chardonnays from large New World producers that sell in the £7 to £10 range are a very safe choice. Chardonnay is an easy grape to grow in the New World climate, and the producers have a great deal of experience in creating good quality, consistent wine.

Pinot Grigio

Known as Pinot Gris in France, this is a white wine that is very easy to drink and to match with food. Although highly spiced foods can overpower this somewhat neutral wine, it does goes well with a wide variety of pastas, seafood and lighter chicken dishes.


If you're looking for an easy red wine to buy, then Beaujolais is good choice. Made entirely from the Gamay grape, this wine is usually designed to be drunk within a few months of its bottling. Basic Beaujolais is made in a light, simple, fruity, style, which goes well with almost any food. They are also relatively cheap: usually less than £7.