It’s that time of year again. When everybody makes a list of the changes that they want to make it their lives. According to the website USA.gov some of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to:
Volunteer to Help Others
Get a Better Job
Save Money Get Fit
Eat Healthy Food
Take a Trip
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think all of those resolutions are great; however I wanted to put together something a little more fun. So after some brainstorming, and asking around the office, I came up with FIVE New Year’s resolutions for wine lovers.
1. Build and/or organize your cellar
If you don’t already have a spot to store your wine, find one. It can be as simple as a closet, space under the stairs, wine fridge, or kitchen cabinet (DO NOT STORE ON TOP OF YOUR FRIDGE). Or, if you have the space and the means, you can do a full basement conversion. The important thing is that organizing your collection no matter the size, in one or two locations, can help you become a better collector. It will help you identify the holes in your collection and will allow you to build a more well rounded cellar. With a more well rounded cellar comes a more well rounded palate.
If you already have a storage system, get organized. Those that know me, know how important organization is to me. All my movies are alphabetized, my books are organized by author, and my wine is in individually labeled cubbies. Now I understand that not everybody is as crazy as I am, and that’s ok. Actually that’s probably a good thing and their spouses are probably happier for it. But being an organized collector will make you a happy collector. You can make it as inexpensive (www.cellartracker.com), or as technologically savvy as you want (http://www.uncork.biz/).
Being organized will allow you to:
- Create a database of wines you own and wines you would like to own
- Know exactly where your bottles are stored
- Know the many brands and flavors of wine you have in stock and what you don’t
- Know which bottles have been consumed and which wines need to be re-stocked
- Keep your own personal tasting notes
2. Try more International wines
Let me start by saying that I LOVE domestic wines, and so does Wine Spectrum. We are, after all, right in the heart of Wine Country. All I’m saying is that the world is vast, experience as much of it, and its wines, as you can. There are so many amazing wines made by dynamic winemakers from all over the world. PLEASE do not limit yourself to just one region. If you are staying away from places such as France (Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhone, etc.) or Italy (Barolo, Brunello, Barbaresco, etc.) because it seems confusing, I understand. It can be confusing…at first. But like anything else in life as you learn more (in wine, learning can be done by consuming) things become easier and more enjoyable. Wine is all about variety. Why do you think they call them varietals? If you are looking for some remarkable wines to start you off (that won’t break the bank) then I highly recommend:
- Germany: 2014 Dr. H. Thanisch Riesling, Kabinett Bernkasteler Badstube, Mosel
- Italy (White): 2014 Valle Isarco Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige
- Italy (Red): 2012 Collosorbo Brunello Rosso di Montalcino
- France (Champagne): NV Michel Turgy ‘Blanc de Blancs’ Grand Cru Reserve Selection Brut, Champagne
- France (Rhone): 2012 Clos du Mont Olivet Rhone Blend, Côtes du Rhône
- France (Burgundy): 2012 Philippe Gavignet Burgundy ‘Nuits St. Georges’, Bousselots’ 1er Cru
3. Give sweet a shot
When we close ourselves off to a style of wine, we close ourselves off to the possibility of exciting experiences. The styles of wine that I hear people say they are staying away from the most are Chardonnay (More on this in another post) and sweet wines. Over the last several decades producers of “sweet wines” have understandably received a bad rap. You know who you are. But by closing yourself off to an entire style of wine, you’re only going to hurt yourself and your palate. Some of the most sought after, highly rated, and ageable wines in the world are considered “sweet wines”. The wines listed below can be complex, stunning, and amazing.
- Late Harvest bottlings
Now like any other wine, there are good and bad of every style. Make sure that if you are trying out a style you aren’t familiar with, you don’t go blindly searching online or pick a random bottle off the shelf at your local retailer. Get some help and soon you will be enjoying these wines more than you ever thought possible. A great wine to start you off would be the 2012 Russian Hill Estate ‘Late Harvest’ Viognier from the Russian River Valley. Our advisors call it the “Nectar of the Gods”.
Like money, wine is not something that we can take with us when we go. Wine is meant to be consumed and enjoyed. Besides, it’s a perishable item. Sure some can go a really long time without going bad, but eventually its day will come.
“But Rollie, I am waiting for that perfect moment to open this really special bottle.” – You
I understand that, but know that although some wine does get better with age (depending on the style you enjoy), not all wine does. On top of that I have known plenty of people that have let wine go past it’s peak waiting for that “perfect time”. When, you may ask, should you open a great bottle. Well, I have made a list for you:
- Completing Goals
- Dinner with Friends
- Date Night
- Any day ending in “y”
5. Buy wine in greater quantities
This is a resolution that I hope you, and I, follow above any of the others. You have no idea how many times that I have consumed a bottle at home and then been utterly dismayed that it was my only bottle. In addition to that, if you were to take a look at my cellar you would see a bunch of single bottles that I am afraid to open because I know it is my only one. For this reason, and others, I encourage every to buy wine in larger quantities. There is a reason that wine ships by the case after all. Some of the best reasons for buying larger quantities are:
- You will enjoy the wine more because it won’t be “your last bottle”
- You can see how your wine ages. Buy a case and open a bottle every 6 months or year to see how it changes
- If you open a bottle and it’s tasting great you don’t have to stress out about finding it for sale somewhere
- Makes it easier on you to give wine as gifts when you know you have more at home
- When you are having a great time with friends and/or family and everyone loves a wine, you will have more of it to open.
“Wine is bottled poetry.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
New Year’s is a time of resolutions, promises, pacts, and new beginnings. Whether you hope to expand your collection or you palate in 2015, make wine a part of your life. Wine is more than just fermented grapes. It is the history of everything and everyone that contributes to it. From the terroir to the vineyard workers. From the winemaker to you. Everything and everyone plays a part. That my friends is what make wine great.