I'm new to wines but can only handle sweet red or white wines like Stella Rosa. I would like to branch out and try better wines. Does anyone have any recommendation?
If you live in So Cal you might consider doing some research into these areas and maybe find it worth your time to check out some of the vineyards that have wine tasting and see what you might like.
Also if you look at red wines, make sure they sit at least 20-30 min after opening to breath and balance, it improves the flavor and cuts down on bitter elements.
Best of luck with your quest, it can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment - there is always more to learn.
Attended the Zinfandel tasting at The Wine Country this past Saturday and couldn't get out of the place without buying a bottle of the Brown 2009 Zinfandel.
If you're into zins and get a chance to try it, do yourself a favor.
Back from the world of whites it seems that the unfiltered chardonnay's are all the rage up here in Napa right now. Lots of people are enjoying them and to be honest the one's I've had so far are pretty decent although expensive considering the premium that you already pay for being in Napa. Basically been seeing $30-50 a bottle depending on how many you want to buy and what club you are a member of.
Got a few bottles of this last weekend up in Paso Robles. Fantastic wine.
All I drink is Pinot Noir and I am totally into anything from around Santa Rita Hills. Also love Sonoma wines, especially Russian River Valley. The further north you go, the more earthy the wine seems to be. I like the Santa Barbara/Santa Rita wines because they are very "fruit forward".
ALL are Pinot Noir. I have done LOTS of research!
Under $10 - Mark West
$10-20 - La Crema or Byron
$20-30 - Fess Parker or Sobriquet
$30 - $35 - Gary Farrell or Sonoma-Cutrer
Wine tastings are great because you get a nice sample of 6-10 wines and can weigh them against each other. The Wine Crush in Long Beach is within spitting distance from my house and see plenty of my money. (Since I'm in their Pinor Noir club I get the tastings for $15 instead of $20!)