15 Best Red Wines for Casual Drinking (2024)

You are currently viewing 15 Best Red Wines for Casual Drinking (2024)

Although you can drink any alcohol casually, some are simply not as good as others for this occasion. If you like casual drinking, for example, a glass or two with lunch, or just to relax after a long day, not every alcohol can do the right job.

For casual drinkers, wine is by far the best option. Even if you are lightweight, you can drink a glass or two and get on with your day without getting drunk. 

However, the general conclusion is that wine is not for everyone, but here’s where you are wrong. If wine is not for everyone, then how come it is so popular? The thing is, to drink wine casually, you need a piece of specific knowledge. It is one thing to drink and get drunk, and an entirely different to drink casually. 

When you drink wine to get drunk, the type of wine may not be crucial for you as you are chasing the result, but casual drinking focuses on the process, and therefore the type of wine is the most critical factor here. 

So what is the best red wine for casual drinking? 

Even though this question is not as complex as “Where is the holy grail?” it is still worthy of thorough consideration. First of all, you need to decide if you are a wine drinker or not, and secondly, you need to consider your drinking experience. 

If you aren’t a wine drinker, you may want to start slowly and lightly. High-acidity wines, intense-flavored, and overly complex aren’t the best starting point for beginners. If you have some experience, it is only a matter of time until you find your groove with casual wine drinking. 

The most general wine division is red and white, which are then endlessly subdivided into numerous categories. I recommend you start with light wines that are softer in body, softer, and balanced in flavor, such as merlot or pinot noir.

If you decide to go with white, then choose something bright and crisp and adequately chilled. Depending on your chilling mode, you should go with white wine if you like to chill sitting on the porch and red if you like to chill and nibble on some cheese. 

Also check: 20 Best Wines for People Who Don’t Like Wine

Either way, choose something light, bright, balanced, and simple, as it is supposed to relax you, not make you think and cry. 

In this article, I will give you a list of 15 types of red wine for casual drinking, so next time you are in the mood for casually drinking wine, browse through it to find the one that best fits your needs. 

1. Louis Latour Château Corton Grancey

Coming from the region of Côte de Beaune, Burgundy in France, you will simply fall in love with this wine as it has so much to offer. Understated, simple, elegant, and modest, it isn’t as lavish as you might think, but you will enjoy it lavishly. 

Tasting like red currants, blood orange, dried raspberries, and baking spice, it is an excellently balanced red wine, where you can feel the flavors without getting overwhelmed.

It is a light-bodied yet rich wine, ideal for pairing with a light fruit salad, nuts, or a light chocolate dessert. 

2. Vega Sicilia Único 2009

Coming from the Ribera del Duero region in Spain, this wine depicts the light and cheerful side of the Spanish culture.

Ideal for beginners and a genuine afternoon delight, this wine will amaze you with its light body and delicious and excellently balanced tasting notes. 

It is fruity and herbal, refreshing and deeply rich, combining notes of spiced plums, forest underbrush, and cigars. It also exhibits notes of red cherries and creates a refreshing sensation in your mouth. 

However, this isn’t a cheap wine, going for about $600 per bottle, but since you will be drinking it casually, you can probably afford it. Pair it with ripe fruit or deli meats for an even greater enjoyment 

3. Achaval-Ferrer Quimera

Coming from Mendoza, Argentina, this vibrant wine encapsulates the vigor, cheer, and playfulness of the Argentinian culture combined with the temperament of the South American spirit. 

Sweet, deep, and utterly refined, this wine combines notes of cherry compote, dark chocolate, and cedar spice. These tasting notes play in perfect harmony, creating a well-rounded and amazingly well-balanced unity. 

Slightly floral and predominantly sweet and sour, this is a very refreshing wine and an excellent addition to your day. Whether you pair it with sweet or savory food, it will do its job and bring to the table its unique charm and softness. 

4. Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon

Another Californian delicacy, this time from the famous wine-producing region of Napa Valley, this ideally complex wine will stimulate your senses, tickle your taste buds and increase your curiosity. 

Its explorative but easily discoverable flavor notes feature blackberry, brown spices, and Vanilla bean. It, therefore, resembles just a tad, like a whiskey, due to the vanilla and spice tones. It is very pleasant to drink, incredibly refreshing, light, and very versatile. 

You can combine this wine with deli meats, cheese, fruits, olives, or nuts, as well as have it unpaired. If you want to relax after a long day, sleep better, or you need something to spike your lunch with, look no further. 

5. Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir

Coming from Willamette Valley, this is a slightly exotic wine, expressing whiffs of the Mediterranean, as it is very similar to French pinot from the Burgundy region. 

It is very natural-tasting, earthy, and slightly fruity, exhibiting notes of black cherries combined with dried roses and pure Earth tones.

Light and open, easily combinable and refreshing, this wine are ideal for you if you like understated yet refined flavors enveloped in silkiness. 

Great to pair with nuts and cheese, this wine will deliver just what you want if what you want is complete relaxation and restart, even if your day is more than halfway through. 

6. Felton Road “Cornish Point” Pinot Noir

Edgy wine from the edge of the world, this New Zealand delicacy coming from the Central Otago region in New Zealand brings an abundance of flavors exhibiting notes of red berries, dried cherries, and Mocha all wrapped up in a perfectly tampered balance without overwhelming you, but still excite you. 

Light, colorful, fun, easy to drink, cheerful, and highly combinable, this wine will conquer you with its charm and versatility.

Not overly complex so as to overstimulate you, but not too simple to bore you, this wine may be just what you want when you feel a little down, and you want something to brighten up your day. 

7. Barbaresco 

Coming from the Barbaresco region in Italy, this wine is excellently balanced and is an excellent wine for casual drinking. I combine tasting notes of violet, tar, cherry, and baking spice. It is floral, light, fruity, and just a tad spicy. 

This red wine is perfect for some afternoon snacks, as it goes great with cheese, deli meats, as well as light fruit salads containing berries.

It is very light, so it won’t get you drunk, and it is very easy to drink. If you are a beginner in the wine department, this is an excellent wine for you, as it isn’t overly complex, yet it is teasing and exciting. 

8. Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Washington is where this wine comes from, which in itself says volumes about it. Unlike most on this list, this is a very serious-tasting wine, which isn’t to say that it is overwhelming, but it isn’t as bright and cheerful. 

With notes combining black cherry, menthol, and baking spices, many would call this a winter wine, and indeed it is a winter wine.

Not that you cannot have it during the sunny season, but winter is somehow the season for this wine. It goes excellent with sweets, such as dry cookies, biscotti, nuts, dried fruits, or dark chocolate. 

If you are a beginner in the red wine department, you will call this wine refreshing and sweet; if you are more experienced, you will call it vibrant. In each case, one thing is for sure; you will thoroughly enjoy it. 

9. Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Another Italian delicacy, coming from the Abruzzo region this wine will amaze you with its unusual, yet simple and very enjoyable overall flavor.

Exhibiting tasting notes of blackcurrant, raw meat, and black olives, this wine should be your choice if you have some experience in the wine department. 

Perfect to drink on a summer afternoon paired with cheese, nuts, and olives, be careful not to drown in it as it is very delicious.

Light and cheerful, it will brighten up your day with the first sip and keep improving it with each following try. The best thing about this wine is that it is explorative but not overwhelming. It will tickle your curiosity and make you want to discover it with each new sip.

10. J. Bouchon País Salvaje

Temperamental, vibrant, dynamic, and colorful, this wine comes from the Central Valley region in Chile. Combining tasting notes of red fruits, cherry, and wild strawberry, wrapped up in a distinct floral dimension, this wine is as delicious as it is refreshing and playful.

Not overly complex, but not too single-minded, this is your wine if you like to experiment safely with flavors and aromas. Each new sip unravels new realms of flavor, so don’t be surprised if this fruity and floral wine reveals its earthy and herbal side on the fourth or fifth sip. 

You can pair it with a light fruit salad, coffee, or sweets, or make yourself a cold plate and enjoy your time spent in its company. 

11. Prats & Symington Prazo de Roriz

This Portuguese delicacy comes from the Douro region, bringing the colorful essence of the Portuguese culture. Expressively fruity, this wine is the perfect first lesson into your casual wine-drinking curriculum. 

Tasting like cranberry, raspberry, blood orange, and cedar, it is very refreshing, sweet, aromatic, flavorful, and delightfully light and cheerful. Since it is so fruity, you don’t even need to pair it with food, but if you want to, you can pair it with cherries and berries. 

If you want to combine it with cheese, choose yellow hard cheese; the smellier, the better and enjoy an afternoon devoted to yourself. The best of all is that you can have this wine for a very affordable price of around $16, so cheap thrills indeed. 

12. Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

This Napa Valley delicacy is yet another Californian specialty intended for the slightly more experienced wine drinkers and the more curious beginners.

With flavors of dark fruit, tobacco, and dark chocolate, it is sweet and gentle but slightly more complex than most wines on this list. 

Although it is a little bit dark and just a tad deeper-flavored than most wines in its category, it is nevertheless cheerful and an excellent idea to spend an afternoon. 

13. Penfolds Bin 389 South Australia Cabernet/Shiraz

Made in the Land Down Under, where women glow, and man plunder, this South Australian wine brings the taste of this natural and wildland right to your doorstep.

Just like the essence of the continent, warm and tame, and at the same time wild and alluring, this wine combines flavors and sensations that will both excite and relax you at the same time. 

Tasting like black cherries, grapes, leather, and cake, this cheerful and playful wine combines very simple tasting notes only to wrap them up and box them in a uniquely-flavored package resulting in an explorative yet simple final flavor. 

This wine is the little black dress on this list, as it fits with every snack on every occasion. Therefore, you can pair it with sweet and savory, meaty and cheesy, as well as fruity snacks, or just have a glass with no other additions. 

14. Tyler Winery Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir

Native to Santa Rita Hills, California, this wine will delight you with its creaminess, lightness, and cheerful nature. Exhibiting notes of black cherries, redcurrant, and Mocha, you can pair it with a cup of black coffee and enjoy an evening by yourself or with your favorite people. 

Known as very natural-tasting, refreshing, and sweet, with a slightly sour note, this is the perfect spring wine, combining perfectly with the essence of nature waking up.

Ideal for beginners but also well-suited for the more experienced ones, this wine delivers aroma and flavor without overwhelming the senses. 

15. Barons de Rothschild Legende Bordeaux Rouge

Coming from the Bordeaux region in, this mellow and fruity wine is one step away from fruit juice. If you want to avoid the alcoholic-tasting component as much as possible, this is the wine for you. 

With tasting notes of berries, earth, and oak spice, this is an extraordinarily natural-tasting and refreshing wine, creating magic with each sip.

Not too flavorful, yet expressively sweet, and not too dull, yet delightfully understated, this is one of those wines that can quickly become your favorite, even from the first sip.

Best combined with dry snacks, this wine goes excellent with biscotti, nuts, or dried fruits. 

What Is Kind Of Wine Good For Casual Drinking?

When it comes to wine for casual drinking, the lighter, the better. This doesn’t mean that more complex wines are bad, but the word itself –“casual” states that something should be easy and pleasant. 

The best casual-drinking wines are sweet, low in acidity, and light-bodied. The flavor is always welcome, so fruity, sweet, and floral wines are, of course, excellent choices.

The alcohol amount should be low, as you are drinking casually without intending to get drunk, and the body should be light, easily drinkable, and pleasant. 

It is always a good idea to choose a wine that is easy to pair and goes with many everyday ingredients you certainly have at home.

The price is very subjective, as cheap and expensive are very variable depending on who is defining them, but generally, the wine you drink at home in your pajamas doesn’t have to set you back too much. 

What Is The Best Easy Drinking Red Wine?

Considering that there are countless types of red wines, there is not only one type of red wine that is best suited for casual drinking.

The standard rule of thumb says that a casual drinking wine should be light and easy, flavorful, low in acidity, and not so strong in tannins. 

Therefore, ascertain what flavors you like, and go a degree or two lighter. In general, you can never go wrong with Cabernet, Pinot Noir, or sparkling red wines. 

Is Red Or White Wine Better For Beginners?

Both red and white wine have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to choosing one to begin your journey with. Some prefer starting with white wine as the one that is lighter, and others prefer red as the one that is sweeter. 

However, it mostly depends on the wine and your flavor preference. 

Is It OK To Drink Non-Alcoholic Wine?

The simple answer to this question is yes; it is absolutely OK to drink non-alcoholic wine. In general, alcohol is harmful, and drinking frequently and a lot can cause some health problems. Therefore some people decide to switch to non-alcoholic wine. 

Still, there is no reason to drink non-alcoholic wine if you don’t drink it frequently and in large amounts. 

Is It Better To Drink Red Or White Wine First?

Whether you drink red or white wine first depends on your personal preference. However, it is not recommendable to switch wines in a single sitting, especially if you are just starting to learn.


  • https://goodstuffdrinks.com/blogs/the-good-stuff/is-non-alcoholic-wine-good-or-bad-for-you-10-health-benefits
  • https://www.mcclaincellars.com/best-wine-tasting-order-wine-types/
  • https://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-red-wine-to-drink-while-eating-on-the-couch-254182

Chad Smith

Meet Chad Smith, a seasoned bartender with a passion for mixology. He's the founder of Tin Roof Drink Community, a blog where he shares expert tips, creative recipes, and fosters a vibrant community of cocktail enthusiasts and aspiring bartenders. Join Chad as he takes you on a flavorful journey through the world of drinks. Cheers!

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