New Year’s Resolutions & Lots of Great Wine

I love making New Year’s resolutions. Some I stick to and some I don’t but I always like the clean slate feeling that it gives me to start the year with goals and objectives. I always have too many but still I prefer to err on the too muchness side of life. Some of what I hope to accomplish this year has to do with wine, of course and some does not.

I also have a wish list of what I would like to see on the U.S. market in terms of wines and therefore read with interest Jancis Robinson’s wish list in the Financial Times of what she would like to see this year. I agree with much that she noted especially with her hope that wine producers use lighter bottles.

I drank a fabulous bottle of Primitivo di Manduria for Christmas with Roast beef, a great combination, but the bottle weighed about 5 pounds. It was a gift from a friend so I am not sure of the cost but I can only imagine that the price of the bottle was eventually passed on to the consumer. In addition to price issues, the carbon footprint of such a wine is quite problematic.

Dr. Vino did a very well done piece on the carbon footprint of wine a while back I recall. Lastly, transporting that wine was not as easy as it would have been if the bottle were a bit lighter.

My second wish is that wine producers maintain the recent tendency to bring down the alcohol content in their wines. I certainly understand that producers in warmer climes have trouble doing this unless they pick early and then are perhaps sacrificing phenolic ripeness for acidity and lower alcohol. I prefer this style of wine but many people do not. I also think that is because they aren’t exposed to these wines. Wines with 14% or 15% alcohol are extremely difficult to pair with foods without overwhelming them and are not easy to drink as an apertif either.

Over the long weekend I had the good fortune to drink some wines from Alsace thanks to my friends Eileen LeMonda and Rodolphe Boulanger. The wines were 12.5% alcohol and were perfect with food. Thank you!!! I can’t wait to buy a case of the Marcel Deiss Premier Cru de Bergheim Gruenspiel Vin de Terroir 2000 and of the Domaine Herring Pinot Blanc 2006

My third wish is that more Italian dessert wines are available on the U.S. market. I drank a great one at my friend Danica’s house this past week made with the indigenous grape Nasco and a hint of Malvasia. The wine was from Sardinian producer Argiolas. I love that family and all of their wines. This was the Angialis IGT Isola dei Nuraghi 2004.

My fourth wish is to drink lots of sparkling wine from countries near and dear to my heart as well as bubbly from farther a field. At Danica’s I tried my first sparkling wine made from Lugana, another indigenous variety from Italy which is traditionally from the Veneto. This wine was made using the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle, not in the tank and was very interesting. Most of the sparkling wines made using indigenous varieties are made using the charmat method where secondary fermentation takes place in the tank.

My fifth wish is that the price of wines in restaurants would come down a bit and that they would serve smaller pours. An 8 ounce glass of wine is absurd both in terms of its price but also for the customer. A 4 to 6 ounce pour is sufficient and leads to better appreciation of the wine because it has room to “breathe” in the glass.

Lastly, I wish that everyone has a very happy new year and new decade with lots of good wine, much family and friends around to share it with and, of course, world peace.

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