In this article, we are going to discuss the 16 best red wines for beginners and casual drinking. You can skip our detailed analysis of the global wine market, the largest winery in the world, the new acquisition in the wine industry, and wine tourism in the United States, and go directly to 5 Best Red Wines for Beginners and Casual Drinking.
The production and consumption of wine has accompanied civilization for thousands of years. Since the early sign of its production in the Fertile Crescent region, approximately 6000-8000 years ago, the culture of wine has spread out through the Middle East, the Nile Valley, and the Mediterranean basin. Wine became part of recorded history in ancient Egypt where it was used as part of religious ceremonies and by the Pharaohs and the elite.
Years later, the ancient Romans played an important role in the development of methods for the production and storage of the tipple, its classification, and for the development of wine production throughout Europe, including areas that are still recognized today as the primary wine producing areas – France, Italy, Spain etc.
Global Wine Market:
As reported by Vantage Market Research, the global wine market size was valued at $441.6 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach a value of $698.54 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period.
The increasing adaptation of wine among all age groups, from youngsters to the old age population around the globe is a major factor driving the growth of the industry. Moreover, the health benefits and the premiumization of wine products, together with the innovations in the flavor and the more progressive distribution networks, are also prime factors boosting the global wine market growth.
The United States was the world leader in the wine market in 2022 in terms of revenue, with $52.7 billion. Here are the U.S. States that Produce the Most Wine.
Largest Winery in the World:
Established in 1933 by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo in Modesto, CA, E & J Gallo is the largest winery in the world by volume. With an annual production of over 80 million cases, it is responsible for approximately 25% of all wine sales in the United States. The family-owned winery’s expansive portfolio includes popular brands such as Barefoot, Apothic, and Dark Horse, as well as more premium labels like Louis M. Martini and MacMurray Estate Vineyards.
The winery’s commitment to sustainability and innovation is also evident, with initiatives such as water conservation, renewable energy use, and precision viticulture shaping its operations. According to Beverage Industry, the E & J Gallo Winery boasted a revenue of around $8.4 billion in 2022.
New Acquisition in the Wine Industry:
Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) is a leading premium wine company, with a widely admired portfolio that includes Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Blackstone, Estancia, Ravenswood etc. The company has followed its divestment of the Funky Buddha Brewery with the acquisition of a Californian wine brand in June.
Domaine Curry, described by the group as a ‘luxury Napa Valley wine brand’ joined the portfolio this summer. The brand, which has been purchased for an undisclosed amount from Coup de Foudre, will join Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ)’s The Prisoner Wine Co unit.
Constellation Brands also made headlines this summer when its Mexican beer brand, Modelo Especial, became the Top-Selling Beer in America after dethroning Bud Light. The company will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. According to Zacks Investment Research, based on 9 analysts’ forecasts, the consensus EPS forecast for Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) for the quarter ending August 2023 is $3.37. The reported EPS for the same quarter last year was $3.17.
Stocks of STZ were held by 48 out of 910 hedge funds in the Insider Monkey database at the end of Q2, with Holocene Advisors holding the largest stake of 796,935 shares, valued at $196.15 million.
Wine Tourism in the United States:
People travel around the world for different reasons. Some travel to explore new cultures, learn new languages, admire unique locations, and some to drink wine. Among several types of tourism, wine tourism is a new concept with a focus on exploring wine cultures around the world.
The U.S. wine industry is a major magnet for tourists and tourism-driven expenses. According to WineAmerica, the country’s ‘wine country’ regions generated 49.18 million tourist visits and $16.69 billion in tourism expenditures in 2022, benefiting local economies and tax bases.
Based in California, The Duckhorn Portfolio, Inc. (NYSE:NAPA) makes wines and calls itself a manufacturing company, agricultural company, and marketing company all rolled into one. In addition to its wineries or brands, the company owns approximately 1,100 vineyard acres (15+ unique sites ranging in size from 5 acre parcels up to 75 acres) with a total production of over 900,000 cases. For those who love great Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, a trip to Duckhorn Vineyards has long been recognized as one of the preeminent Napa Valley tasting experiences. With vibrant gardens and sophisticated tableside wine service, Duckhorn’s classically beautiful Estate House sets the standard for attentiveness and refinement.
With a portfolio of 10 high-quality brands, The Duckhorn Portfolio, Inc. (NYSE:NAPA) is a ‘one-stop luxury wine shop’ and the largest pure-play luxury wine company in the U.S. The company announced gross profit of $50.5 million in its Q3 Earnings Call Transcript, an increase of $6.5 million or 14.9% compared to the prior year period.
Stocks of The Duckhorn Portfolio, Inc. (NYSE:NAPA) were held by 20 out of 910 hedge funds in the Insider Monkey database at the end of Q2 2023, with Select Equity Group holding the largest stake of over 6.4 million shares, valued at $83.12 million.
With that said, here are the Best Red Wines in the World for Beginners and Casual Drinking.
Copyright: viperfzk / 123RF Stock Photo
To collect data for this article, we have referred to a number of sources, such as VinePair, Reddit, My Bartender etc., looking for the Best Red Wines for Beginners and Casual Drinking. We picked wines that appeared at least twice in these sources, assigned them a score based on their number of appearances, and ranked them accordingly.
If you enjoy the finer things in life and indulge in a glass of bubbly every now and then, here are the 16 Best-Selling Champagne Brands in the World.
Insider Monkey Score: 2
The Barbera grape makes wines that are juicy and relatively light-bodied despite its bold, deep purple color. Barbera is extremely drinkable due to its refreshingly high acidity, low tannins, and moderate alcohol.
Since Barbera is a grape variety, as opposed to a particular place, Barbera wine is produced around the world. Still, the vast majority of this red wine that you’ll find at restaurants and wine shops comes from the Piedmont region of Italy. Barbera is a great red wine to drink casually.
15. Bordeaux Rouge
Insider Monkey Score: 2
Red Bordeaux wine is made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes. It is a versatile wine that pairs well with a variety of foods and can be enjoyed on its own or aged for years to come. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual drinker, a bottle of Bordeaux is always a great choice.
Insider Monkey Score: 2
One of the famed ‘Killer B’s’ of Italy, Barbaresco is a stunning demonstration of the Nebbiolo grape’s potential, offering an expression that is both captivating and sophisticated. A perfect companion to rich meat dishes, aged cheeses, or simply a cozy fireside conversation, Barbaresco’s timeless appeal is truly captivating.
13. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Insider Monkey Score: 2
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is generally an easy-drinking, lightly fruity wine that goes with a wide variety of dishes, including lighter pasta dishes and pizza. Montepulciano is the second-most planted red grape in Italy.
Produced in the central Italian region of Abruzzo, a good Montepulciano d’Abruzzo can cost as little as $9, though many cost more and tend to be, correspondingly, more complex.
12. Cabernet Franc
Insider Monkey Score: 3
Cabernet Franc is generally a smooth wine to drink with low levels of tannin, making it easy to drink young and when aged. The wine has medium-to-high acidity that makes it refreshingly easy-to-drink.
CabFranc makes an excellent wine for day-to-day casual drinking and is a perfect food partner with various cheeses, roast meats and stronger fish dishes.
Insider Monkey Score: 4
This red wine grape is relatively new, bred in 1956. Dornfelder is usually easygoing and meant for everyday enjoyment. The wine is light bodied with low tannins and crisp acidity, making it an excellent sipping wine and a happy companion to most midweek meals.
Dornfelder is one of the easiest red wines to drink for beginners.
Insider Monkey Score: 4
Rioja wine is made from grapes grown in the autonomous communities of La Rioja and Navarre, and the Basque province of Álava. This red wine is recognisable, affordable, easy to purchase, delicious to drink, and great with foods all year round.
The U.K. is one of the top export markets for Rioja and buyers consider it a must-have in any supermarket wine aisle or restaurant wine list. Indeed, according to the Consejo Regulador, Rioja performed well in 2020 despite the pandemic, and in the U.K., sales were up 18%.
Insider Monkey Score: 5
Grenache wine is one smooth operator, elegant, and easy-drinking. It has a long history in Australia and now a new wave of creative winemakers is shining the international spotlight on this ever-evolving wine.
While it shares some qualities with other reds, Grenache also stands out due to its unique characteristics. For instance, Grenache wines are renowned for their versatility and adaptability to a range of food pairings – a quality that makes them an excellent choice for both casual dinners and special occasions.
Grenace ranks among the top 10 red wines for casual drinking in our list.
Insider Monkey Score: 6
Hailing from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, Lambrusco is a wine that effortlessly embodies the spirit of conviviality and refreshment. Driven by its pleasurable appeal, this fresh, fruity bubbly wine, low in alcohol, with an excellent price-quality ratio, is one of Italy’s top sellers.
Lambrusco is still one of Italy’s most exported wines, not only to traditional markets, but also to new markets in the former countries of the Soviet Union – Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, and Kazakhstan.
Insider Monkey Score: 7
Zinfandel gave California its claim to wine fame, and was the most popular grape planted in the Sunshine State until Cabernet took over in the 90s. Zinfandel is easy to love – it’s fruity, spicy, bold and assertive, and easy to drink!
Zinfandel is among the best red wines for first timers.
Insider Monkey Score: 8
No casual red wine drinking list is complete without Malbec. Malbec is considered one of the best red wines for any crowd because of its approachability. As the signature red grape of Argentina, Malbec soared in popularity over the past 20 years, and for good reason.
Today, there are more than 134 million liters of this easy-to-drink red wine sold in the international market annually. Malbec has become a brand with which consumers recognize reliable wines at a good price.
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Disclosure: 16 Best Red Wines for Beginners and Casual Drinking is originally published on Insider Monkey.