Best Wine for People Who Don’t Like Wine (2023)

As hard as it is for some to believe, not everyone enjoys the taste of wine. As something of a wine aficionado, I’m always a little bewildered when one of my friends confesses that he or she cannot stand wine. In most cases, however, I find this to be because they haven’t had the right wine yet.

So what is the best wine for people who don’t like it? Generally speaking, the best wines are those that are light, sweet, and less aromatic and full of tannins. In the beginning richer wines can be too strong and off-putting.

In this guide, I’ll go over everything you need to know to successfully start drinking wine if you don’t already. Keep reading to find out how!

What Is the Best Wine for Non-Wine Drinkers?

Knowing which wines are right for beginners and which ones aren’t is crucial to turning the non-wine drinker into a wine-drinker. While the best wine for non-wine drinkers ultimately boils down to individual preference, there are some important characteristics that you can use to help you find the wine that’s right for you.

Let’s take a look at a few:

– Light

Certain wines are so heavy and full of texture that they can really overwhelm a first-time drinker. While their sophisticated tastes may be loved by more experienced drinkers, they can oftentimes be “too much” for someone who is just starting out. Drinks that are less “weighty” can go down smoother and overall be easier on first-time drinkers.

– Sweet

While wine comes in a whole range of flavors, beginners typically find sweet ones more palatable. That’s because sweet wines have less of an aromatic or “rich” flavor and are more similar to other drinks like juice.

Certain wines are so heavy and full of texture that they can really overwhelm a first-time drinker. While their sophisticated tastes may be loved by more experienced drinkers, they can oftentimes be “too much” for someone who is just starting out. Drinks that are less “weighty” can go down smoother and overall be easier on first-time drinkers.

Should You Start with White or Red Wine If You Don’t Like Wine?

Given this, should you choose red wine or white wines if you don’t like the taste of wine? The decision can seem overwhelming at first, but it gets easier if you harken back to the advice above. Because the best wine for people who don’t like wine is light and sweet, let’s compare red and white wines along those dimensions:

– Weight

Speaking generally, white wines tend to be lighter than their red counterparts, as they are made only from fruit juices (and no other parts of the fruit). Red wines, on the other hand, contain skins and other parts of the fruit that can lead to extra texture and weight.

– Flavor

White wines are the type to drink if sweetness is what you are after. While there are some sweet red wines, these drinks tend to be more bitter and less inviting to beginners than their white counterparts (which run the gauntlet from candy-type sweetness to light sweetness). Specifically, these wines have higher concentrations of tannins, biomolecular compounds that can really enhance and alter the flavor or texture of wines or other edible goods.

As you may have guessed, then, I recommend starting out with white wine if you aren’t a drinker. You’ll likely find these wines to be more palatable and easier to stomach at first. As you become acclimated to the taste of these simpler wines, you can progressively try more sophisticated flavors.

Best Red Wines for Someone Who Doesn’t Like Wine

Feel like you’re ready to tackle the world of red wines? You’re in for a treat! Still, you don’t want to start out with something too strong, as this can lead you to develop an aversion to red wine. Instead, consider starting your journey with these fine options:

– Merlot

Low on tannins, Merlot is a natural starting point for those who are looking to get into red wines. Merlot wines tend to be sweet, fruity, and light, making them easy on the tongues (and stomachs) of beginners. If you decide to make Merlot your entry point into all things red wine, I recommend eating them with poultry such as chicken, which complement the natural flavors of Merlot wines.

– Syrah

While Syrah may not be the lightest or sweetest of all the red wines, its rich array of flavors may be good for beginners with more sophisticated tongues. Syrah wines (also referred to as Shiraz wines) come in a range of flavors, with some even being spicy.

Syrah wines are best eaten with cheeses and meats and typically boast fruity flavors such as blackberry.

– Pinot Noir

One of the lightest of all red wines, Pinot Noir is a great option for beginners. Unlike other varieties, this type doesn’t offer strong flavors or weight, making it easier to get down if you’re just starting out.

Pinot Noir wines typically taste like berries and have a silky texture that goes down smoothly. For best results, make sure to eat this wine with fish—it goes very well with salmon!

Best White Wines for Someone Who Doesn’t Like Wine

Though white wines don’t have quite the scary reputation that red wines do amongst beginners or those who simply dislike wine in general, you’ll still want to make sure you’re choosing the best option when starting out. Simply put, there’s an incredible variety of flavors when it comes to white wines, and you’ll want to make sure you’re starting with the right type in order to get the best first impression.

– Moscato

Often sweet enough to be drank as dessert, Moscato wines are known for their fruity flavors. The overt sweetness of these wines makes them a natural starting point for those who don’t fancy the typical flavors of wine. Generally, these wines have grapefruit-like flavors and fruity aromas that make them in some ways like juice (and therefore one of the best wines for people who don’t like wine).

– Chardonnay

Even if you’re not too familiar with wines, you’ve probably still heard of Chardonnay. There’s a reason for this: despite being heavier and more velvety than other types of white wines, Chardonnay is made in a variety of flavors and isn’t as dry as most red wines.

Chardonnay can be creamy, citrusy, or even hint at vanilla. This range of tastes may make Chardonnay a good entry point for someone looking for a wine that boasts flavors even beginners can appreciate.

– Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc wines are good for beginners because they offer relatively mild fruity and herbal flavors that won’t overpower the palette. Apples, gooseberries, mango, and pear flavors are common, with many varieties also boasting bright smells that aren’t off-putting to those who are just starting out drinking wine.

What Is a Good Sweet Wine for Beginners?

Looking for something sweet, tasty, and not-altogether too “wine-y” to test the waters? I recommend the Wild Vines, Blackberry Merlot. Boasting almost a juice-like consistency and a good-tasting sweetness, this popular wine won’t bombard you with a heavy weightiness or with unwanted aftertastes. 

The sweetness of this option also means that it’s less bitter, increasing the likelihood that a non-wine drinker will find it appealing. With that being said, however, it’s not so sweet that the sweetness itself is off-putting.

How Can I Drink Wine If I Don’t Like It?

Still not sure how to get started drinking wine? Make sure to follow these easy tips! While they won’t guarantee you’ll become a wine drinker overnight, they will help you get acclimated to the unique flavors and textures that come with drinking wine:

– Drink it with fruit

The sweetness of fruit serves both to enhance the flavors of wine and offset some of its richness. Fruits such as cherries or strawberries, for instance, are great at removing some of the bitter aftertaste that is associated with wines—especially heavy ones. Either have these fruits on hand and eat them as you drink or put them in your glass and drink and eat as you go. 

This second method is especially helpful if you want to surreptitiously lower the amount of alcohol you are drinking.

– Drink it with cheese

Don’t have any fruit on hand or not a big fan of it in the first place? You can’t go wrong with cheese. Like fruit, cheese can help you eliminate some of the bitterness of your wine and overpower any aftertastes that you may not be fond of.

– Add ice

If a wine is too heavy for you, consider adding ice. This can help take away some of the weight and also remove some of the stronger flavors that come with wine.


Finding the best wine for people who don’t like wine is simpler than you think. If you’ve tried wine before and weren’t a big fan but find yourself wanting to try again, make sure to follow the advice in this guide.

Overall, I’d recommend starting with a lighter or sweeter white wine for best long-term success. Over time, you’ll start to figure out what you like and can progress into a serious wine drinker. Be sure to consider the white and red wines on this list to help you with your progression!

About HomeBrewAdvice

Hello, my name is Simon. Together with a group of writers I write about brewing beer and making wine. We all share a passion for the great things in life, such as making stuff from scratch.

The business of HomeBrewAdvice is to bring you great information, stories and product reviews from brewing at home, and making wine

Brewing your own beer can be an incredibly rewarding experience. But before you begin...
Brewing homemade wine allows you to create an aromatic and flavorful wine based on your...
If you have taken up making your wine, do you know how soon you can drink it after...
There’s nothing worse than opening up a bottle of wine and realizing it tastes sour....
The wine fermentation process takes a lot of time and effort, and when it’s in...
Dealing with cloudy wine can be challenging, and I often experiment with natural...