Ray Isle devises a 50-bottle introduction to the world's great wines.

By Ray Isle
Updated June 16, 2017

What is a classic wine? It’s a wine that gives a definitive sense of a region or a style; it’s exemplary, a model of the form, even iconic—a standard-bearer. That doesn’t mean the wine is expensive (though some certainly are), nor that it’s made in extraordinarily limited amounts (though that’s sometimes true). In fact, among the 50 classics on these pages is a $12 cava from a producer that sells millions of cases a year.

Tasting through a bunch of the classics here would constitute a fairly affordable and comprehensive introduction to the world’s landmark wine regions. To look at the future as well as the past, I’ve included a section on the wines I expect to become new classics.

50 Wine Classics You Must Try:

Wine Advice & Pairings:

Photo © Quentin Bacon