Wine Resolutions

01Jan08

One summer, my friend’s mom and her neighbor vowed to drink champagne every day until Labor Day, which I think is a pretty kick-ass resolution. Alas, much as I’d love to pull off something similar, that kind of endeavor is not a great fit with my current lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean I can’t set some ambitious goals for myself in 2008. So here goes:

1. Buy (Latin) American. Chile and Argentina make a lot of good wine, so why they don’t figure more prominently in my cellar? (And by “cellar” I mean a Cuisinart mini-unit for the really good stuff and a 24-bottle rack shoved into our non-working fireplace for the everyday wines.) I think there are a few reasons. At the more sophisticated parties I attended in college — i.e., the ones that didn’t involve keg stands in the DKE basement –you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a $6 Chilean Merlot whose name I have repressed because it was so monumentally bad. I’m pleased to say that I’ve moved on in many ways since college, but it’s been tough for me to shake that sense memory. Second, many of the wine stores and restaurants I go to have a pretty limited selection of Latin American wines. But I think the biggest obstacle is the fact that I have yet to try a truly compelling wine from Latin America. Everything I’ve had to date tastes like it was made by committee. I know there are some fascinating Chilean and Argentine bottles out there.* I just need to work a little harder to track them down.

2. Drink more sherry. A glass of manzanilla, some olives, a handful of marcona almonds, and back-to-back episodes of “The Family Guy” – I can’t think of a better way to spend the 7-8 pm cocktail hour. Sherry goes perfectly with several of our nation’s favorite food groups. Finos are great with any variety of snacky, salty, crispy treats, while on the opposite end of the spectrum, super-sweet and concentrated PX is delicious drizzled on ice cream. And dollar-for-dollar, sherry is a terrific value. Hey, people at the sherry promotion council, give me a call – I’ve got a great campaign for you: “Drink sherry – it’s cheap and goes great with junk food!”

3. Think before I drink. In my WSET advanced certificate class, we had a fascinating lecture on German wine. The instructor explained how hard and expensive viticulture is for the family-owned wineries along the Mosel river because the vineyards are located on such steep slopes and must be harvested by hand. He also told us that it was a major cause for celebration when members of the younger generation decide to stick with the family business instead of abandoning the vineyard for the city and an easier, more lucrative life. Winemaking is incredibly hard work, and keeping in mind all the effort that went into the bottle will help me appreciate and understand what I’m tasting even more.

4. Relax. I’m going to be working my butt off for the diploma, but I don’t want to forget that at the end of the day, wine is supposed to fun.

*And no doubt Uruguayan and Mexican and Brazilian ones too, but I almost never see wines from these countries at wine stores.

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One Response to “Wine Resolutions”

  1. 1 Paul C. Urcioli

    nice. i bet the producers of family guy are excited about sherry manufacturers buying ad time on the show. stewie and brian are the best pitch duo i can imagine.


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