Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions that won’t last more than a few weeks, I thought it would more fun and interesting to make my New Year’s Resolutions about drinking more wine!
Here are my Top 10 2015 Wine Resloutions:
- Drink More Bubbles. Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Cava, Prosecco… Drinking bubbles does not have to be reserved for special occasions; it’s a special occasion when you pop the top! Right now I am in love with the producer Raventos i Blanc. They’ve been making wine since 1497. Their great, great, great grandfather, invented the word Cava. The family has had a devotion to the indigenous grapes from their region in Spain ever since. Amazing quality, vintage wine from Conca de Anoia – a very special place, and a approachable price, gets these bottles on my resolution list.
- Turn a friend into a Wino! I think we all have that friend who “doesn’t like wine.” It is my belief that these friends just haven’t tried the right wine for them. Start them out with a light, fruity wine like a quality Riesling or un-oaked Chardonnay for whites; or a light red like Pinot Noir or Gamay (Cru Beaujolais). Then, move them up in baby steps to the big style wines, like Cabernet, Malbec and Syrah.
- Go to wine tastings. Attending wine tastings is a great way to meet other wine lovers, and also great for those friends who are new to wine (see #2 above). Wine tastings typically present wines from many different regions or a focused theme. This gives you the opportunity to learn about new wines and “test drive the car before you buy it.”
- Start a Monthly Tasting Group with Friends. Starting a monthly tasting group is a lot of fun. In the wine industry we like to “blind taste” the wines, usually picking a theme. For example… ask your friends to bring a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from a wine region in a brown paper bag. Number the bags as they arrive, and have everyone taste them and write down where they think the wine comes from. You can also add vintage guesses as well. 2012 Argentina? 2008 South Africa? 2010 Napa Valley? Once everyone has tasted the wines, reveal them and see who got the most correct. Then discuss regions and look up vintage reports and see what the weather conditions were like, comparing how different weather conditions and soils affect the Cabernet varietal. It’s really wine geeky, but we love it!
- Drink Pink. I am NOT talking about White Zinfandel either (although Turley Wine Cellars did start making a dry White Zinfandel that is actually quite good). Dry rose wines can be exceptional, especially in the summer. When it is too hot for red wine, dry rose is a refreshing choice. Dry rose pairs well with just about any type of food. Dry rose can range from more fruity styles, with hints of fresh raspberries and strawberries, to more intense styles, with dark cherry flavors and full of body.
- Drink Real Wine. “Real Wine”, is made by real, caring people and not marketing companies who are only interested in their bottom line. Be wary of wines with catchy, sometimes childish labels (remember Yellow Tail?). Initially it may seem like a fun wine, but in most cases, you should judge the book by its cover. Know who the producer is and the methods they use to make the wine. If no one at the store can tell you, find a good, well respected, local wine shop.
- Explore New Varietals. There are many different grape varietals of wine in the world. Some are better known, however, there are many wineries that have found varietals that were thought extinct. For example, Maturana in Rioja, and Sauvignon Gris in Chile were both found in the back rows of old vineyards, hidden for years. In addition, Tempranillo Blanco is Tempranillo that just mutated itself into a white grape. It is fun to explore these wines and taste something that has been untouched for ages or completely new.
- Visit a Wine Producing region. If you can’t make it to the Pacific North West, France, Spain, or any other wine producing region, check out a local winery. Every state in the USA has at least one, and although the wines may not be as good as the traditional wine making regions, the beauty is you get to have a winery experience that is original.
- Join a Wine Club. Wine Clubs are a good way to try new wines as well. There are many out there, but the best will give you facts, information and a lot of diversity. Every month is a surprise, how fun is that?
- Support Local Wine Shops. The benefits of “Shopping Small” are much greater than shopping at the large, big box, chain stores. You will find knowledgeable employees, higher quality wines, made by caring people.