Wine 101 Tasting Kit For Beginners

WELCOME TO the ARGAUX WINE 101 TASTING KIT FOR BEGINNERS

New to wine and not sure where to start? It can be overwhelming, but we’re here to simplify things. Our team of sommeliers has curated “starter kits” focused on 4 major grape varieties – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Each kit includes 3 bottles of wine: 2 classic examples of the grape variety selected, plus a “wild card” chosen by an Argaux sommelier. The wild card is our recommendation, something different and unique, but similar in body and style to the said grape variety.

$85.00

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Aside from the wine, each kit will also include a Wine 101 Tasting Guide created by our team of Sommeliers. It is meant to be a resource as you taste. Something to help make the world of wine fun and easy to understand as you begin this journey.

We can’t wait to open your eyes, hearts, and tastebuds to the wonderful world of wine.

SAUVIGNON BLANC
Sauvignon Blanc, a very recognizable white wine that is popularly dry, refreshingly zesty, and has strong, fruity and herbal characteristics. Ever hear of the term “pyrazines?” It’s a term noting the strong herbaceous flavors that are derived from compounds called Methoxypyrazines. These compounds are also found in bell peppers!

A flagship varietal to the Loire Valley in France (Sancerre) and New Zealand, the Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand tend to be more aromatic and have tropical fruit notes than those from the Bordeaux or Loire Valley regions in France. Usually fermented in stainless steel vats, Sauvignon Blanc gives a clean, crisp flavor with occasional mineral notes, but no characteristics from oak, like you would normally see in a grape varietal like Chardonnay. However, look out for Fumé Blanc, this style of wine is an oaked-version of Sauvignon Blanc.

CHARDONNAY
As one of the most popular grapes for growing and consuming, Chardonnay can be made in a wide range of styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. These styles can vary from a sparkling Blanc de Blanc, or fresh fermented in stainless steel, to rich and creamy white wine aged in oak barrels. While Chardonnay can flourish in many environments, in its homeland of Burgundy it can produce some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. Whereas from California it can produce both oaky, buttery styles as well as leaner, European-inspired wines. A Somm secret: the Burguny subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style with high levels of acidity. Most people who do not like oaky/buttery Chardonnay may likely enjoy Chablis.

Notable regions for this grape include Burgundy (and Chablis) in France, Central Coast, Napa, and Sonoma in CA, and Western Australia.

When pairing with meals, consider the characteristics, flavors, and acidity of your food first. You always want to try to match the same characteristics and intensities with your wine. No brainer pairing options include seafood, salads, and white meat. Chardonnay, with its vast versatility, is everyone’s best friend.

PINOT NOIR
This elusive and delicate light-bodied grape is a winegrowers dream, but can be difficult to achieve. Stubborn, yet flirtatious, Pinot Noir is tantalizing creating a beautiful dance between the grape and the winemaker. The resulting light red wine can be nothing short of spectacular. Loved for its red fruit and spicy characteristics, its also a great food partner.

Look for notable regions including Burgundy, France, Central Coast or Sonoma in CA, Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Pfalz or Baden in Germany as well as many other regions around the world in New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and Argentina.

CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Known inherently as the best red grape variety in the world, Cabernet Sauvignon is the epitome of a perfect international traveller. Boasting strong black fruit flavors, It can give distinct characteristics varying by the region and soil it comes from. These bold, concentrated, and age-worthy wines can lay down roots and thrive all around the world.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc originating from Bordeaux, France. The rich flavor and high tannin make a perfect pair to flavorsome red meats or simply elegant on their own.