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Red wine for white wine drinkers

I always seem to be the only one in a group who doesn't prefer red wine. I know the experts say red wine is better in the fall and winter while whites should be reserved for warmer weather, and white goes well with fish, and red goes well with steak, but in my very humble opinion, I just drink it when I want to drink it. If I'm eating steak in January, and I want white wine, I'm going to drink white wine. However, I do enjoy sharing and tasting different wines with my husband, so I've been learning to enjoy red wines over the past few years, and I think I'm making some serious headway.

I still love a good Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc (like the one below from Alpha Omega Winery in Napa), but certain reds are seriously growing on me, like Pinot Noir and Merlot.

We visited Napa on New Year's Eve with five of our friends who visited from Texas, and many of the wines we tasted at Duckhorn Vineyards and Alpha Omega Winery were reds. Both wineries were wonderful about giving us detailed descriptions of each wine and the differences among them. At Duckhorn Vineyards, we got an extra tasting of a 2012 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. A friend of mine described Pinot Noir as a gateway red for those who do not typically enjoy red wines, so if you're a white wine drinker, a solid Pinot Noir is a good start for you.

Duckhorn Vineyards gave us description cards for each wine, and it was fun to try to determine what we could taste before flipping the card over to read the details of the wine. I was very proud when I guessed that a 2012 Merlot had hints of plum. #progress

The scenery at both wineries was incredible, and luckily we were able to sit outside and truly enjoy the views. There's nothing quite like having some of your best friends visit you, all while trying new things yourself.

Although it was a bit chilly, the outdoor seating was equipped with heaters, so we were able to enjoy our wine and the scenery without freezing. I chose to don my favorite cardigan with plaid and my navy booties.

Cardigan: Cupshe // Shirt: Sold out, similar // Jeans: Sold out, similar // Booties: Nine West // Necklace: Stella & Dot

And in case you're interested in these wineries and their wines, here are the reds and whites we tried at both wineries.

Duckhorn Vineyards

The Discussion (red)

2013 Tayan Vineyard Chardonnay

2012 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (LOVED this one)

2012 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Carneros Merlot (favorite Merlot)

2012 Three Palms Vineyard Merlot

Alpha Omega Winery

2013 Sauvignon Blanc (one of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs I've had in a while)

2013 Chardonnay

2012 Proprietary Red (I learned that you make up a name if is a blend that is less than 75 percent of a single wine.)

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Red wine lovers, what are some of your favorite reds? Any Napa must-haves? Let me know!

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