No matter how you feel about New Year’s resolutions, taking stock of the past and looking to the future is always a beneficial exercise, regardless of the pain brought on by insight or the regrets over opportunities lost. I tend not to regret much. I can’t change the past, but I can make an effort to do better in the future. My goal for the coming year is a simple one, and it applies to all aspects of my life: more good, less bad. But in the wine arena, there are a few specific actions I’d like to take in support of this more general goal.
1. Drink more Barbera. The wine shop I work in sells a few versions of this wine, including one from here in Northern California. Sales are brisk, and folks are always asking about them. I give customers the textbook answers I’ve memorized but I have to confess that I don’t really KNOW the darn thing. Unfortunately, this hole in my game applies to a number of other grapes I should be more familiar with. Familiar? Hell, let’s say intimate and get down to business!
2. Learn more about Champagne and other sparkling wines. I’ll accomplish this most effectively and efficiently by consuming these wines on a more global basis, and more often. I love good bubbles, but I also love knowing about the wines I drink. My Champagne/sparkling acumen isn’t where it needs to be for someone in my position. Like the banner on this blog says, “Drinking, Thinking, Cooking, Eating, Talking, Reading, Writing, and More Drinking.” Emphasis needs to be placed now on those last three items. Remedies will be pursued immediately.
3. Be a better value hunter. For somebody like me who drinks globally and encourages others to do the same, I’ve fallen into a slight rut of drinking what I know. I’ve been less exploratory lately when it comes to new grapes, regions, producers, and price points. Many of my wines, unwittingly, come in around $15-25, and there is so much more out there at different prices whose values far exceed their costs. I need to do a better job finding them. And I will encourage others to understand that “value” doesn’t necessarily mean cheap or low cost. That’s a lie which needs constant exposing.
4. Do my homework. I have a strong collection of wine resource material, from the iconic critics and writers to secondary materials gleaned from conferences and workshops. These writings are filled with essential information that wine writers and lovers needs to know and stay current with. I’ve let that slip. Time to hit the books. While I’m at it, I think I need to get to my magazines when they come in the door and not when they’ve been sitting on top of the dog’s crate in the family room for a couple of weeks.
5. Finally, I need to listen to that little voice inside my Cellartracker database that tells me when to drink certain wines. I noticed recently that there are some very nice white wines dying a slow death in the dark and cold recesses of my wine fridge. Those bottles deserve prompt attention, and, if they can’t be rescued, they need to be put out of their misery as soon as possible with a swim in the kitchen sink. Wasting wine is sinful, and I have much to confess.
What are your wine resolutions for the New Year? What about your friends? I’m committed to helping more people drink more wine. Will you join me?