Whether you're a wino or just someone who likes a glass of the grape stuff every once in awhile, a good majority of wine drinkers all have one thing in common: There's one type of wine they scoff at, would never drink, makes them clutch their pearls, gag, etc. (We see you, zinfandel haters 👀.)
Friends, really, don't you know there's always an exception to the rule? Here, a look at the vino that will make you rethink everything you ever held to be true, wine-wise.
Chardonnay is considered the #1 avoided wine (maybe tied with merlot, more on that later). "The ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) movement gained momentum in the 2000s, as consumers got tired of the buttery, oaky, and often sweet style of California Chardonnay that gained popularity in the 1990s," says Lisa Mattson, wine expert and director of marketing and communications at Jordan Vineyard and Winery. But don't give up yet—there are tons of other options than the heavy stuff.
Game Changers: Mattson recommends Jordan Winery Chardonnay Russian River Valley (opens in new tab) ($32) because it's "refreshing but won't fatigue your palate like those oaky-butterball Chardonnays," or HdV Chardonnay Carneros (opens in new tab) ($65), which is "bright and fresh with stone fruits."
Poor merlot. Sideways really worked against the red wine ("I am not drinking any f*cking merlot!"), casting it as, uh, basic. But really, it's anything but, says Susan Lueker, SIMI winery's director of winemaking. "Merlot is a crowd pleaser. It's easy to drink, nicely textured, and food-friendly. An extreme value. In fact, most red blends that you might enjoy also have a large percentage of Merlot—and look at how well they drink."
Game Changer: SIMI's Sonoma County Merlot (opens in new tab) ($14). "It's soft,easy bright cherry, blackberry fruit with a bit of spice is fun, supple and approachable," says Lueker. "You can enjoy at a dinner party or while reading your favorite magazine. It pairs well with anything and everything."
White Wine (in General)
"Some people hate ordering white wine at a restaurant," says Charles Ford, Ribera y Rueda (opens in new tab) ambassador and wine director of The Bristol. "They think it has to be a big, bold red. But that's obviously not the case."
Game Changers: Verdejo, specifically Bodegas Shaya "Habis" (opens in new tab) ($22). "It's mind-boggling when you let it warm up," says Ford. "Leave this wine out after you open it and do *not* put it back in the cooler. This wine tells an evolving story from the second you open the bottle to the last glass that you have." Ford also recommends Riesling, specifically Maison Trimbach et Fils Cuvee Frederick Emile (opens in new tab) ($55). "This wine has a unique ability to take people outside of their comfort zone. It's not sweet, it's not *that* acidic. It's a perfectly paved road of wine enjoyment that explains why Riesling is easily the most popular wine amongst sommeliers."
Things sure have changed for rosé. The once-looked-down-upon wine is now having it's heyday, and if you haven't gotten on board, it's time to.
Game Changer: Start with the *very* sippable Summer Water x Yes Way Rosé & Club W (opens in new tab) ($18) since it "goes with anything." Then try these (opens in new tab).
Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
The Ending of 'The Umbrella Academy' Season 3, Explained
The Netflix hit's finale resets its universe yet again.
By Quinci LeGardye
Lorde Is Now Blonde and It’s the All the Happiness We Need Right Now
By Deena Campbell
The Jeans Brands Fashion Editors Swear By
Your search for the perfect pair of jeans is over.
By Sara Holzman
23 Easy Mocktail Recipes to Try In 2022
Even better than the real thing.
By Michelle Stansbury
New Year's Eve Cocktails to Ring in 2023 With
Toast to better days ahead.
By Bianca Rodriguez
4 Big Ideas for Small Holiday Get-Togethers
Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent on how to level-up your scaled-down celebration.
By Betsy Goldberg
Natural Wines That Taste as Good as They Look
If you haven't gone au natural yet, it's time to start.
By Taylore Glynn
Cocktail Books to Help Upgrade Your At-Home Happy Hours
Five o'clock, where ya at?
By Rachel Epstein
39 Super Easy Fourth of July Cocktails to Try
Forget the fireworks. The real show is what you can make with your bar cart.
By Bianca Rodriguez
Why You Should Be Drinking Soju
The Korean spirit deserves a front-row spot on your bar cart.
By Taylore Glynn
48 Tequila Cocktail Recipes for Your At-Home Happy Hours
1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila...my couch.
By Taylor Ayers