I went to my local wine shop and explained my wine experience or lack thereof and was taken to the sweet reds section. There I picked up an inexpensive bottle ($11.99) of table red, Rivata Casa Rossa
and I grabbed a french wine that a friend recommended, Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 ($9.99).
I actually liked Rivata Casa Rossa. It was pretty sweet, a little too sweet for me. But if you are looking for an inexpensive table red for a mixed group I think it will do. My friends liked it too. I was with a group of people that don't normally drink wine, so I can understand why something sweeter went over so well. I was not a fan of the Beaujolais Nouveau. It was a little flat...I'm not sure if that is the proper adjective to describe it. All of the descriptions I read said it was a sweet wine. I didn't find it to be sweet at all. Maybe I had something a little too sweet prior to drinking this. I may have to give it a second try.
After telling my friend about my not so fond feelings about the Beaujolais, she suggested I try some German reds. I went back to my local wine shop and purchased Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler Red 2010, I'll let you know about this in the future.