Every year, I write a blog article about New Year’s wine resolutions. They’re all about enjoying wine more, expanding our horizons and giving up any intimidation you feel about wine. This year, I thought I would check in with some experts to see what they have to say about a wine resolution or two.
Decanter starts out by saying that less is more. This recommendation ties into Dry January. Decanter says that Dry January is not a good idea but that people who want to go in that direction should aim to spend the same amount they spent last year on wine but buy better wine. So you might have a few fewer bottles, but they are amazing.
Their next recommendation is to try more wine. Find some varieties (grapes) that you’ve never tried before, and enjoy them. Perhaps you’ve never had an Albariño or a Grenache Blanc. What a great way to start your new year.
Recommendations from Bright Cellars
Bright Cellars has three WINEderful recommendations:
- Discover Old World vs. New World wines.
- Improve your blind wine tasting skills – it can stimulate your brain more than algebra!
- Sound like a wine pro with these weird wine words people use to describe wine!
My favorite of these is the first one. It’s so much fun to do side-by-side tastings of old-world and new-world wines. Compare a Cabernet from California to a Cabernet from France. How about a sparkling from California, a sparkling from France and a sparkling from Spain? And then there’s a true Rhone red (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre) vs. a U.S. Rhone red.
Fine Cooking’s Recommendations
Fine Cooking is all about exploration. Reading their article gets me really excited. Their first recommendation is to visit the “Ancient World.” They say that the old world of Europe has nothing on the ancient world of Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, and Israel, among others, where grapes have been fermented for 6,000 years. They talk about Kolorko from Turkey and Obaideh from Lebanon, two grapes I’ve never heard of.
Their next resolution is to “escape from California.” Try some Pinots from OR’s WIllamette Valley. This region is aligned horizontally with the Burgundy region of France. Or how about some big, bad red wines from Red Mountain Washington?
Ready to go crazy? Try an orange wine. “Obscure as can be and definitely the province of serious wine geeks, orange wines are some of the most fascinating, food-friendly, and delicious wines on the planet. Put simply, orange wines are white wines that are treated like red wines during the winemaking process. Just as red wines get their color when the red grape juice is left in contact with the pigment-filled skins, orange wines get their iced-tea coloring from leaving the skins of the white grapes in contact with the juice, sometimes for months on end. This imparts not only stunning color but also remarkable aromatics and tannins, which make these wines a good match for all kinds of foods.”
Finishing Off with a Fantastic Resolution from a Wine Judge
Let me finish this article with a wonderful quote from Eduardo Dingler, international wine, saké, and spirits judge. His 2020 New Year’s resolution was to explore Sicily’s volcanic slopes. Here’s what he said: “For my 2020 resolution, I would like to further explore Sicily, a region that has come a long way refining quality and recognizing “cult” status vineyards and producers. This is such an exciting region because its soils are dominated by Mount Etna’s smoking slopes, which give the wines an incredible tension and complexity. The wines here really speak of their origins. Recently, winemakers here have identified the best sites and are finally attracting top winemaking talent. The result is absolutely delicious, especially from top producers like Benanti and Caruso. I’d point any drinker in the direction of wines made from Perricone, Nerello Mascalese, and Grillo, three of the island’s most unique grape varieties.”
Happy New Year!