Wine Resolutions

This is the time of year for many to make resolutions. Whether to quit smoking, lose some weight or become more organized, most New Year’s Resolutions involve breaking old habits, and therefore, they are usually not successful! I would love to lose a bit of weight, but making that happen does not involve a whole lot of fun. Not all resolutions; however, need to be based on changing bad or unhealthy behavior. In fact, some can be informative, transformative and even fun.

Instead I propose a list of resolutions that revolve around wine. There is no need to adopt all of the following, although that would be great. Just pick a couple, and I can guarantee that your year will be memorable.


Try new varieties. We all can get stuck in the familiar, reaching for the same varieties, even the same wines, time and again. There are literally over 10,000 wine grape varieties in the world, yet most of the wine consumed in this country is made from about a dozen different grapes. Like Sauvignon Blanc? Try an Albariño from Spain, a Grüner Veltliner from Austria, or a Furmint from Hungary. Instead of Cabernet Sauvignon, opt for a Chilean Carmenère, a Bandol (Mourvèdre) from Southern France, or a Lagrein from Northern Italy.


Drink locally. Most people with at least a cursory knowledge of American wine would be able to name the top wine producing states in this country (California, Washington, New York and Oregon), but would many be able to cite which state comes next? Yup, Texas. According to the National Association of American Wineries, the Lone Star State is fifth in both annual production (in gallons) and number of wineries, but the state is third when it comes to wine’s economic impact. Some brands to try: Pedernales Cellars, Reddy Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery.


Explore the world. I realize that based on the previous resolution, my suggestion to “explore the world” might come off as hypocritical. Why? It’s wine, not war. There are countless regions producing fabulous wines, and there has never been a better time to be a wine consumer. Haven’t been able to travel much as of late? Why not grab some Nerello Mascalese from Sicily, a bottle of Cap Classique from South Africa, or even further off the path, some Saperavi from Georgia (the country, not the state)?


Splurge once in a while. Life, for the most part, is hard. We deserve to treat ourselves every once in a while. Just as we might dig a little deeper for a nice ribeye or even some lobster tail, it is important to reach up to the higher shelves when it comes to wine, too. Why not grab a bottle of Silver Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) for that ribeye, some Jordan Chardonnay ($35) for the lobster, or a bottle of Bruno Paillard Champagne ($50) because, well, it’s Tuesday.


Open that bottle. Similarly, don’t keep waiting for the “perfect” occasion to open that “special” bottle of wine you have been holding onto for far too long. Make the end of a hard day that special occasion. There will always be more great wine to open when a really momentous event comes along.


Break some rules. Who says you have to have white wine with fish or red wine with meat? There are no grades being doled out that last time I checked, so if you love both Sauvignon Blanc and porterhouse steak, why not have them together? Wine enjoyment is all about that: enjoyment! Drink what you want, when you want.


Join a wine club or mailing list. There is a ton of great wine being made that you will never find in Spec’s, Total Wine, or H-E-B. A ton. Why not join a mailing list or a wine club? It has never been easier to get wine shipped to Texas, so take advantage of it! Some of my favorites: Tongue Dancer Wines (CA), Purple Star (WA), Brooks Wine (OR), just to name a few.


Host a wine tasting or dinner. Every winemaker on the planet will tell you that wine is meant to be shared. There are few products produced that will bring people together like a bottle of wine.

Hosting a wine tasting or a wine-themed dinner for friends, neighbors or co-workers is easy and informative, and if you need any help in the planning or execution (warning: shameless plug coming), drop me a line: