Beyond Shiraz: Red Wine for Beginners - Secret Bottle

Beyond Shiraz: Red Wine for Beginners

Red wine can seem a little intimidating for many new wine drinkers.
As the most popular Australian red wine, Shiraz is a great place to start. Contrary to popular belief, red wine does not belong to an exclusive or elite club of Italian or Sonoma County aficionados with ultra-refined palettes and years of wine knowledge under their belts.
From Grenache to a Chilean Carménère (sounds fancy doesn't it?) everyone can — and should — experiment with and enjoy red wine.

New to Red Wine or Looking to Broaden Your Horizons? Give These a Try

There are a number of delicious red wines in every price range for the novice palette.A wine-tasting is the best place to experiment with new flavours and to develop a sense of whether you're more of a fruit-forward or earthy type of red drinker.
Treat your taste buds and stretch your collection beyond Shiraz and Syrah with one (or all) of the following red superstars:

Old Vine Zinfandel

Also sold as Primitivo. If you are partial to fruit-forward varietals with bigger complexity (or in layman's terms, sweeter, fruitier-tasting wines with a higher alcohol content), give red zinfandel a try.
If you're looking to go big and bold (sweet and boozy), look to California.


A native of the Bordeaux region of France, the Carménère grape had little to no success thriving in its home soil.
Fate and chance delivered it to a more hospitable climate on Chilean soil, where it has thrived. Typical Carménère grapes produce cherry and blackberry flavours with subtle notes of spice. IPA-loving beer fans may find Carménère the ideal wine for them, as they share a similar composition and aftertaste (finish).


Think of Garnacha, as it is known in its native Spain, as the Christopher Columbus of red grapes. From its origins in the Spanish region of Aragon, it made its way across the Pyrenees to France and to the New World as far as California.
Grenache may not exactly be the grape that comes to mind when thinking of a "go to" red wine, but it is one of the most popular and important grapes in the wine world.
And the best part? It's also delicious. If you like sweet berry flavours with medium acidity and alcohol contents in the double digits, Garnacha is your blend — it has been referred to as a liquid fruit roll-up.
Ready to give red wine a try or increase your knowledge? Unsure where to start? Try our Red Wine Club and taste samples of wine every month.