story published in the Santa Barbara News-Press on 12/20/18
The most yelled-out-loud countdown to midnight of the year is a chance to reset, to refresh and to redo. For wine lovers, a new year is a chance to revisit their relationship with their favorite beverage and to discover even the littlest ways to enhance it. Here are five resolutions to consider, submitted humbly by a fellow budding oenophile.
|Fine Dining w/a View: Ferraro's at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea|
Drink Less: This one’s just for those of you who are letting loose this holiday season, the ones who will be counting steps, joining a gym and juicing come January 1st. Cutting back on your wine consumption will – yes, hurt – but effectively be the easiest way to trim daily caloric intake. By drinking one five-ounce glass of syrah a night instead of two, you’ll trim 125 calories. Invest a bit more on a better red, instead, in 2019. Baby steps? Switch to white – 120 calories a glass.
Drink More: When I say more, I mean more variety. My wife went through a massive pinot noir kick this year. When I was ready for a break, I began secretly opening blends or grenaches or cabernet francs to see if she’d tell the difference. Even when she did, she really liked what would have otherwise remained an unopened wine. Our communal wining opened up pretty nicely since. In 2019, buy wines you’ve never considered buying before!
|Two of my favorite wine finds of 2018|
Sip With Eyes Closed: In 2019, start tasting wine blind. That means taste the stuff in your glass, but without knowing what’s in it. You’ll know pretty quickly if that wine speaks to you – if it’s a wine you’ll want to buy again – or if this merely is a passing slurp. I used to host monthly wine tastings with friends – we’d pick a theme, wrap wines in aluminum foil, pour them at random and discuss which ones we liked and which ones we didn’t. I met the woman who’d become my wife through one of these, so the possibilities really are endless.
Cheat on Your Partner: Drinking partner, that is, who could be your spouse or roommate or friend. After a while, there’s a coiffing comfort zone, and you’re sharing nightly sips of the same rotating regulars. What if, in 2019, we mix things up a bit? Share a glass with your neighbor, that other parent from school, your parent. By changing up the people we sip with, we expand our imbibing portfolio, we’re introduced to wines and styles and labels we wouldn’t have otherwise discovered and, if nothing else, we make new friends.
Happy New Year!
Want more wine, food & travel news? Follow me on Twitter & Instagram!