New Years resolutions

Happy New Year. May your 2020 be filled with health, happiness, and quality wine.

If you are reading this column, you survived “amateur drunk night.” Good for you. Well played.

Wine stores are closed, and today drinking likely is not your first priority. This is the time for plotting improvements as we begin another orbit around our sun. New Year’s wine resolutions for 2020—and these are some you might actually achieve:

• Do new. The wine world is almost infinite. You will never be able to taste all the different wines, but you can try. That is not to knock the Argentine malbec that causes you to salivate just reading the words, but pull cork—or twist cap—on something unknown every now and then. That probably is how you got hooked on that malbec in the first place.

• Up your game. The wine world’s tectonic shift is to higher quality wine. Spend a few more dollars and find out why this is happening.

• Ask directions. In a quality restaurant, rely on the sommelier. If you are in a wine store, ask for help. Now, I know there are restaurants and stores where the help is clueless. There are wine apps for your cell phone, wine magazines, and websites. Shoot, you are reading this column, and it usually has advice. There is deluge of resources you can turn to beyond “I like the label.”

• Have fun. Wine is the liquid part of your meal, the lubricant at a social event, the delicious reward for an eventful day. Do not take wine too seriously. Have fun. If the bottle you bought is terrible, pour it out, laugh, and open another. The reason those grapes gave up their lives for you was to make you feel better.

• Screw tops and boxed wine are not déclassé. Studies are in—screw tops are superb closures. The hottest category in wine stores today is premium boxed wines. We are not talking about low-end swill they pour at charity fundraisers. If you like a quality winery’s bottled wine, the wine they put in their bag-in-a-box is the same wine. You can’t age wine in a bag, but you can drink it for six weeks after the first draw from the spigot.

Last round: New Year’s: you survived every bad day in your life so far. Let’s sip wine, celebrate survival, and get ourselves busy working to overcome again in 2020.