Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Year's Wine Resolutions

With the arrivial of 2009, it’s time to look at old habits, see what’s working in one’s life, and which aspects need fresh thinking. When the subject turns to wine, several bloggers have already weighed in with their own resolutions for 2009. Hopefully I can keep all of these fairly simple promises to myself, and if not, you readers will not feel the need to remind me!

First is to continue to try new varietals, especially ones from countries not considered the "Usual Suspects" when it comes to fine wine. If you go to the website of the Wine Century Club, you can download their application form, which lists more winemaking grapes then even many sommeliers know about.

The next resolution is to truly understand my palate, and its likes and dislikes both for wine and for different food and wine combinations. Don't feel you have to like everything a wine server or friend suggests you try (even if I am your friend!)

In order to clarify my wine tastes, I need to take more notes when I drink. This is a hard one for me. I have a wine log on CellarTracker, and most of my wine purchases are entered there, but my notes are limited. Even a few words will provide a permanent record of a particular experience (and if I can remember to write what I ate with the wine, that provides more of a context).

Fourth is to comment frequently on other blogs and wine bulletin boards. The best learning experience for wine, of course, is regular tasting with friends: laughing, flirting, telling jokes, talking politics, and oh yes, discussing the wines in question. But online forums are aplenty; most of the Wine Porn mags have one, along with CellarTracker, Robert Parker and Wine Library. And there are hundreds of blogs, much more professional than this one, where I can share my notes, and get suggestions for future bottles to try.

The last resolution can help my career, my cultural awareness, and my wine knowledge, and that is to learn a foreign language. Especially when tasting wines from outside the states, with those intimidating labels, a familiarity with the language can help me understand and appreciate what's in my glass more intimately.

Have you made any resolutions relating to wine in 2009? Please share in the comments or send me an email!

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