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Dear Dr. Vinny,
I love pink Moscato because of the lightness. I’ve tried a few reds but don’t have luck with my taste. What should I try to bridge over to red?
—Janelle, Harleysville, Penn.
Great question, and I’m glad that you want to branch out with wine. I suggest starting with rosé. You might get a kick out of some of the sweeter, white Zinfandel styles, but also look toward some of the drier styles from Provence, Languedoc and the Rhône, as well as other versions from around the world.
Here’s my thinking. Many rosés from traditional red-wine grapes share similar fruit flavors with their Moscato counterparts—strawberries, watermelon, peach and the like. Still rosés will show you a less fizzy, less sweet example of this style of wine before you jump into the more intense, tannic world of reds. Rosés are lighter, served chilled, and wonderfully refreshing and versatile with foods.
If you find some rosés that work for you, start paying attention to the grapes that they are made from. For example, you might find that you like Grenache-based rosés, and then you can take the next step to trying red versions of Grenache, which will be more concentrated. Good luck!
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