To start 2011, we targeted 5 resolutions for any wine lover to achieve including ourselves. They were as follows:
- Drink sparkling wine other than just for special events
- Slow down and enjoy wine more
- Venture out of your comfort zone
- Learn more about wine
- Open that special bottle
So, how did you do? And what are you looking forward to in 2012?
We did a pretty good job with focusing on more sparkling this year and frequented many of the awesome sparkling producers in Sonoma and surrounding areas including Domaine Carneros, Schramsburg (Calistoga), Roederer Estate (Anderson Valley) and even some Champagne, which can only come from the Champagne region in France. One thing we learned is that there are initials on the labels of Champagne that give you an indication of who made the wine. For Champagne developed by winegrowers and are generally considered of higher quality (though of smaller volume) look for an “RM” for “Récoltant Manipulant.” Bubbles are definitely not just for special occasions anymore. We are happy to note that we have Blanc de Noirs as well as Brut style sparklers that are made in the traditional method, or Methode Champenoise, but at much more affordable price points than some of the houses mentioned above.
Well, we didn’t do a great job here in terms of slowing down, though a lot wine did flow. It’s tough to slow down when there is so much to do and so much wine to share. It’s good to see the economy showing some positive signs in the industry and we did our best to keep up. As we shared on our blog throughout the year, we celebrated different styles of wine with our friends and fans from Syrah to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We look forward to trying many more wines with you in 2012… any suggestions?
It is tough to ask anyone to venture outside of their norms and what they like, especially when it comes to wine. Folks just know what they want and what they like and refuse to try something new. It’s like trying those nasty green vegetables as a kid, but then learn to love as an adult. Over time the palate does change and with the versatility of wine grapes and winemaking styles, no two wines taste alike. For example, have you ever tried Carignane? This grape historically has been used as a blending grape but many more producers are making 100% varietals these days.
Bright cherry candy, raspberry jam and wild blackberry aromas combine with rich vanilla and cinnamon-cedar spice. Soft and inviting tannins support the structure of this medium-bodied wine. Earthy and lively on the palate and displays warm berry pie and caramelized cherry cola flavors, its finish lingers with rich fruity finish
We brought this funky (as in awesomely cool) wine on the Wine Wednesday show on the local KSRO radio last week and everyone was blown away with this rich, luscious, approachable, medium-bodied freak show. Boom! Your comfort zone has just been blown.
Man, we finished school so many years ago, why do we always have to be learning something? With wine you can end up learning something without even trying. With our work with local Chef Dan Lucia of DL Catering we learned quite a bit about how food can be paired with wine. Check out some of his videos on our YouTube channel. Ultimately, just enjoy the ride and look at resolution #2 for slowing down and enjoying the wine. But, just try not to learn something… however, resistance is futile.
Ok, this is going to sound cheesy but every wine we opened this year was “special.” The point here is to remove the notion that there is a perfect pairing, a perfect bottle for the perfect occasion and forget about saving that bottle in the cellar for 20 years. Life is short and meant to be enjoyed. Enjoy it with wine. If you want a special occasion, personalize it and share it with friends and people you love. If you must have an occasion, this year’s Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) is on February 25, 2012.
Tell us how you did with your resolutions and what you are looking forward to most in 2012. Cheers!