25 Best Wines You Should Enjoy in 2021
For the past year, the whole world has been turned upside down with all the restrictions for travel and severe lockdowns in almost every country. So, what better way to travel the world without actually leaving the comfort of your home than through a nice bottle of wine?
Wine is one of the most versatile and easily accessible alcoholic beverages in the world. From a nice chilled white to a robust rich red, not to mention a light rose and some bubbly, wine is as diverse as it can get. Different regions of the world grow a wide selection of grapes, and their tastes are affected by climate and temperature.
Depending on what you pair it with, wine is the perfect complement to any meal, and in moderation it can be consumed with either lunch or dinner. But since most of us are working from home anyway, at least we don’t need to worry about work imposed restrictions concerning alcohol consumption. I know some offices frown upon having a glass of wine with lunch, so at least we have some freedom in that sense.
If you’re a novice, you might wonder where to start when choosing a bottle. What goes better with seafood or chicken? Which red is better with Steak? What about pasta or a light lunch?
The possibilities are literally endless, and although not a sommelier myself, I know the basics between red and white, port or champagne. Wine has been produced for more than 4000 years, and its rich history is something we might tackle at a different time.
- Wine 101: Types of Wines
- 25. Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling 2019
- 24. Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Ultra Brut 2015
- 23. Bodegas Avancia Godello 2019
- 22. Gundlach-Bundschu Estate Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2019
- 21. Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque – Fleur de Champagne Millesime Brut 2012
- 20. Adelaida Rose 2019
- 19. Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir 2017
- 18. Vega Sicilia Unico 2009
- 17. Dow’s 2017 Port
- 16. Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey
- 15. Carlisle Papera Ranch 2017
- 14. Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2016
- 13. Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
- 12. Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 2016
- 11. Robert Weil Kiedrich Grafenberg Riesling Spätlese 2018
- 10. Terlato Family Vineyards Friuli Pinot Grigio 2018
- 9. Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019
- 8. Ramey Rochioli Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
- 7. Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
- 6. Wayfarer Golden Mean Pinot Noir 2014
- 5. Masseto 2016 Merlot
- 4. Château Latour 2000
- 3. Château d’Yquem Sauternes 2005
- 2. Sine Qua Non a Shot in the Dark 2006
- 1. Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2016
Wine 101: Types of Wines
Let’s do a quick wine guide just to get you started without going into too much detail because we have quite a list to look at that we compiled for you.
White wine is made from white grapes in most cases but it can also be made from different color grapes. That is possible because white wine is fermented without skin contact, meaning the alcoholic fermentation comes from the non-colored pulp of the grape, therefore the skin color is irrelevant.
There are a number of varieties of white wine, some of the most popular ones being Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling. Sparkling wines tend to be considered white as well. The difference between the types has to do with the fermentation process and the region the grapes come from.
Red wine, in contrast, is made mostly from dark-colored grape varieties. All the different types of grapes that exist would take a long time to write down, and, let’s be honest, not everyone would be interested in that. In case you are curious, feel free to google it, there’s tons of information available, but that is not our purpose with this article.
In comparison to the white variety, red wine is fermented by using the skin of the grapes. The anthocyanin is the pigment that gives the red wine its color and depending on the type of grape can be a little irritating to some people. That is the reason many people start drinking white wine rather than red. When they learn a little more about the regions and their fermentation techniques, some people become converted to the red side and never look back. Speaking from experience!
Red wine is even more versatile than white wine, and there are literally hundreds of varieties. Some of the more common are Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. We will not enumerate them all, you can look them up if interested. Red wine also has health benefits, so a great excuse to enjoy a glass a day!
Rose wine gets some coloring from the grape skins, but not quite enough to be considered a red. It has been around for longer, and its method of contact is the most straightforward.
And champagne we described in a previous article, so you can refer to it if you’re interested.
Now let’s take a closer look at the 25 best wines you should try this year.
25. Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling 2019
The fruity depth of this wine is balanced out with a frothy acidity, and it smells of flowers, honey, and lime. Your senses are awakened by the slight punch it offers, and it’s 12% alcohol content make it an acceptable drink to enjoy with your lunch or a quick afternoon snack.
Pairs well with any type of baked fish seasoned with spices such as curry, cumin, and coriander.
24. Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Ultra Brut 2015
When in the mood to celebrate but a little short on cash, this sparkling white from the Napa Valley is a great compromise. With a welcoming nose of earthy fruits, you can detect a hint of flaky pastry, which is a nice surprise.
Your palate is then gripped by the vibrant bubbles and the acidic perception. Clean and crisp, goes great with some ribs on the BBQ, or even just a treat, no reason needed.
23. Bodegas Avancia Godello 2019
Since Spain is famous for its red wines, their white varieties are often overlooked. We stumbled upon this one, and it does not disappoint. Sliced pear and white flowers are the prominent flavors of this wine and the slight acidic fizziness makes this a wonderful wine.
Try this with something consistent like a paella due to its 14.2% alcohol content. Great find!
22. Gundlach-Bundschu Estate Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2019
If you prefer a dry Riesling, this Sonoma Coast Gewurztraminer is your best bet. Well balanced and very drinkable, it makes a nice accompaniment to dishes such as vindaloo, a spicy Pad Thai, or hot wings.
The bright pear, honey, and white flowers aromas blended with white pepper make this wine vibrant on your palate.
21. Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque – Fleur de Champagne Millesime Brut 2012
If the gorgeous bottle is not a good enough reason to impress your guests, splurging always is. Your palate will appreciate the lychee, crusty sourdough, and creamy lemon curd hints predominant in this champagne.
The creamy and citrus notes blend in perfect harmony and will make your wine and cheese event a sure hit.
20. Adelaida Rose 2019
This complex rose from Paso Robles, California drinks like a red. Its deep flavor is offset by layers of dried herbs and its fruity aromas tone down its depth. It gives you the impression of smelling a cheese board accompanied by fresh fruit.
A very nice take on rose, it goes very well with duck breast, roast chicken, or even a steak dinner.
19. Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir 2017
Elegant yet powerful, this Russian River Pinot Noir is perfectly balanced without being too acidic. Cherry and cinnamon aromas are paired in harmony with white pepper and fall leaves.
A refreshing red wine you probably don’t know yet, it accompanies a lighter and even vegetarian cuisine. Its light texture is a great counterpoint to dairy, mushrooms, beans, and nuts.
18. Vega Sicilia Unico 2009
This decade vintage is a blend of tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon. One of the best Spanish wines on the market, this is for wine aficionados. Aged for six years in oak caskets, another four in the bottle give it a gorgeous ripe flavored that is meant to be savored.
Blueberries, red cherries, and spiced plums are the predominant flavors, and they give a deep forest and cigar box dense finish.
17. Dow’s 2017 Port
A Symington family vintage, this dessert wine is one of the best we’ve tried. Violet florals, blueberries, and herbs are the main accords in this delicious wine. An intense and full-bodied flavor, it is slightly drier than your typical port.
Serve slightly chilled, it is best accompanied by different cheeses, nuts, or chocolate.
16. Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey
From Burgundy comes this amazing Louis Latour pinot noir. One of the best in its category, this wine is flavored with black and red currants, blackberries, citrus, and dried raspberries.
Full of different textures, it is underscored by earthy notes, blended with oak and vanilla hints. A great wine to enjoy with any venison meat or even poultry.
15. Carlisle Papera Ranch 2017
This Zinfandel has lots of character and depth. Fruity notes typical of zinfandel are noticeable, alongside an earthy, herbal texture. The deep ruby red color surely comes from the red berries and plums which can be detected in this full-bodied wine.
The dry finish is nice on the palate, and its layers make this vintage a real gem. Goes great with lamb, beef, or poultry.
14. Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2016
Known for its distinctive wines, this chardonnay from the Grgich estates is fresh and well balanced. Fruity, with notes of pear, pineapple, and peach, make this well-rounded wine a flavorful option.
Aged in stainless steel barrels, it creates a crisp acidity that is not too intense. This classic vintage pairs well with lobster, turkey, and roasted chicken.
13. Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
One of the better quality wines on the market, this Cabernet Sauvignon is very sought after. The brand only sells between 400 to 600 cases of it each year, so if you are lucky enough to get a hold of a bottle, savor every drop of it.
A full-bodied wine, it is aged in 65% new French oak barrels for almost two years. Rich flavours of liquorice, kirsch, creme de cassis and spring flowers will surely awaken your palate. Any hearty meal will be well paired with this rare wine.
12. Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz 2016
Appreciated by customers for its bold flavors and dry palate it is a powerful blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The prominent notes are black fruit, with hints of star anise and savoury spices.
Fruitiness with every mouthful, it ends on your palate with creaminess for a long finish. Can be enjoyed every day, as it pairs well with lamb, duck or tournedos.
11. Robert Weil Kiedrich Grafenberg Riesling Spätlese 2018
If you want a great quality Riesling, the best ones are from Germany for sure. Strong floral aromas are predominant, and get its sweetness from the mandarin orange, papaya and mango.
Enjoy it sparingly, so you can experience its intense richness and creaminess. Fermented in stainless-steel tanks, the acidity combined with clean flavors give it a lasting intensity. Great with spicy foods and cured meats.
10. Terlato Family Vineyards Friuli Pinot Grigio 2018
Originally from the Terlato Family vineyard of Northeastern italy, this tangy white wine offers great complexity which is rare in its price range. Floral flavors of peach and pear, blended with hints of stone fruit and honeysuckle give this wine its medium-bodied character.
Perfect to be enjoyed on the terrace on a cool evening while savoring a light dinner of seafood or chicken.
9. Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019
This 2019 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a fresh take on the wine market. Complex layers of guava, gooseberry, along with tropical fruits and fresh herbs give this fruity white a vibrant bright aroma.
A refreshing summer palate, it is a smooth drink to enjoy chilled on a summer day. Great with seafood or light salads.
8. Ramey Rochioli Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
Beautiful flavors and classic notes of citrus, white flowers, as well as orchard fruits are crafted into this elegant wine. Powerful yet classic, its crisp acidity blends well for a one of a kind texture.
Spicy hints of buttery oak are noticeable due to the 20 months aging process in21% New French oak barrels. This medium bodied wine is best enjoyed with pork or rich fish.
7. Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Aged for three years in French oak barrels, one year in neutral oak barrels and another year in the bottle before making it to the shelves, the ripeness of this wine is evident.
A distinctive palate due to bay leaf, mint, anise and dark chocolate makes this a smooth classic red. The sweet black fruit and red plum is enhanced by a hint of vanilla and a crispness from the orange peel. Lovely to pair with fried lamb.
6. Wayfarer Golden Mean Pinot Noir 2014
Elegant with its fruity and perfumed hints of raspberry, peach, violet and red cherries, Wayfarer 2014 is a light and medium-bodied Pinot Noir.
The longer you let it sit the more spicy accords it develops, and the cinnamon toast and pomegranate notes become more noticeable. Venison game, veal or beef are the best pairings to enjoy with this wine.
5. Masseto 2016 Merlot
Dark and sumptuous, this merlot is by far the best we’ve tasted. For those of you who enjoy intense flavors, notes of dark fruit, spice, sweet tobacco and black cherry give it its rich taste.
Aged in oak barrels for two years, its vibrant acidity is polished with a delightful finish. Veal, lamb or any type of steak will go very well with this aromatic wine.
4. Château Latour 2000
This deep red wine is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, !6% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Savoury and rich, if you can get yourself a bottle you will surely enjoy it to its last sip.
One of those wines that taste better the longer you wait to open it. Aromas of black truffles, currants, raspberry and dried flowers will mid-blow your palate. Pair it with any grilled or braised meats and you’ve got yourself a feast for the senses.
3. Château d’Yquem Sauternes 2005
Château d’Yquem is known for making some of the world’s most expensive wines. The Bordeaux region is where the grapes used for this appellation get their unique character. A brilliant, golden color, a distinct taste of honeycomb, orange blossoms and saffron make this a well-rounded medium sweet wine.
A concentrated nose of apricot and marzipan is evident in this Sauternes bottle. Try it with ripe peaches and nectarines or simple french tarts for an out of this world experience.
2. Sine Qua Non a Shot in the Dark 2006
One of the best rated wines in the world, this Syrahis extremely sought after because of its velvety tannins and layered, dense flavors. The character of this wine is 96.5% Syrah and 3,5% Viognier, and since only 442 cases of this vintage were produced you should consider yourself lucky indeed to be able to get your hands on a bottle.
Blueberry pie and blackberry aromas, along with hints of chocolate and Asian spices are best savoured after a few years of aging. Enjoy it with lamb, game of deer or venison for a real treat.
1. Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2016
We end this list with the best overall wine, at least in our opinion. Not easy to pick just one, this nuanced and detailed wine features aromas of roses and pine needles.
Hints of spice and tobacco make this a bold full-bodied wine. Delight your company over a dinner of beef or lamb over a bottle of this 2016 aromatic Malbec, and they will come back for more!
It was an absolute pleasure compiling this list, we hope you enjoyed the journey. Cheers!