Hello and Seasons Greetings It’s the time of year when many of us start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. I have never been someone who spends a lot of time thinking up new ways to torture myself. Run 20 minutes a day ? Get up early and do push ups? Not gonna happen. What I will do is make Wine O’Lutions. I have a few suggestions and want to show you how to work it into your everyday life.
- Try new wines. This is a pretty simple one and quite easy to fulfill. Try a grape variety you haven’t heard of or an obscure producer from a store or off a wine list. It’s all too easy to keep trying the same genre of wines over and over as it’s not a big risk. I’m suggesting you stretch your brain a bit. Have you ever tried wine from Lebanon ? Try Chateau Musar or Kefraya . Have you tried Tokaji Azu from Hungary? Look for the Royal Tokaji Company wines.
- Try wines you drank when you first started drinking wine. Often sweeter wines are the first wines to be tried when you first get into wine . Moscato can be a classic example. When was the last time you had Asti Spumanti ? BCLDB Listing . Did you ever try Mateus when you were exploring wine ? BCLDB Listing . I can already imagine you shaking your head. Try them again and you will be surprised flavours are a powerful trigger for emotion and nostalgia. Maybe you have young adults in the house that have never tried wine before. Tasting a 61 Lafite or a lean Northern Italian wine might be too much for a first timer.
- Drink a couple of your best wines this year. There is a human tendency to procrastinate drinking your “best” wines for a special occasion. My experience tells me that that occasion rarely happens and it’s often a disappointment when it does. Collectors/wine lovers often keep wines far longer than the winemaker intended. They also have a lot of pent up hopes for those wines when the time comes to open them. How about just opening a great bottle of wine on a Tuesday night with pizza? They pressure is off for the wine to perform and you will be surprised how much more enjoyable the wine will be. In my old days at Marquis Wine Cellars I had a customer and his wife that had an amazing cellar. Blue Chip wines from all over the world, young old … everything. They used to wrap 12-24 bottles in aluminum foil and drink them randomly over the next few weeks. Generally I’m not fond of blind tasting wine. In this case it taught me a valuable lesson. They weren’t drinking wines based on the price or the emotion connected to the wine. There is a certain serendipity to this approach that simply says “I’m going to drink 26 ounces of wine just for the sheer pleasure of it”. I loved that approach. Tomorrow is a promise, not a guarantee.
- Share some great wines with friends that don’t have the opportunity to try/purchase the wines you have in your cellar. I have been the beneficiary of many friends, customers and collectors that shared amazing wines with me. No doubt you have as well. Now it’s time to pay it forward. Do you have a young clerk at the wine store you shop at that is keen to learn? Share a bottle with them. Is there a passionate wine lover that is a server at your favourite restaurant? Open something that ignites their passion. Show them how wonderful wine can be when it’s a Reserve wine or has had some time to age. It can be very satisfying to share in this way. In my mind wine is not a solitary beverage it is a social beverage and deserves the chance to be explored in this way.
Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food. Cheers David Lancelot