I have never been one for resolutions ( they clash with my anti-conformity sentiments. Says the woman who was in the military…) But this year is different. For 2014, I have uncovered a resolution that anarchists and dignitaries alike can embrace: Drink more wine!
How to Make This Year’s Resolution A Wine-Filled Wonder:
1. Don’t settle, drink the good stuff. Life really is too short to drink bad wine and you might even live longer if you avoid the cheap stuff! Low quality wines are sincerely bad for you. All of the additives that you are avoiding in processed foods in an effort to eat “clean” also apply in the wine world. Mass-produced, bottom shelf, grocery store wines have additives like tannin powder, sugar and pesticides (no wonder you get a headache!) The better the wine, the better you feel!
2. Don’t just plan your meals ahead, plan your wine pairings. We are all trying to eat healthier after the gluttony that was November and December. I myself am making an effort to prep food and prevent overeating. And although limiting your alcohol intake will certainly help cut back the calories, just like with food, eliminating your cravings completely can lead to overdoing it down the road. Worse: you could uncork a bottle in a moment of weakness that pairs poorly with your kale and spinach salad! Plan ahead, have a little at each meal and feel satisfied. Plus, you will avoid that awful metallic taste of Chianti with Cod!
3. Travel. …In a bottle! Experiencing new cultures, histories and lands can sometimes be done in your own home. Plus, it’s often cheaper than a plane ticket! So open your mind to exploring new vineyards, embrace its terroir and appreciate the rich history of wine making.
4. Join a
gym wine club. Take it from someone who works from home a lot of the time: being social is key to being healthy. So don’t just join the local health club, join (or found) your own club that includes your hobbies. Even if you just want to start a book club, you can always incorporate vino!
PS: Traditional wine clubs run by wineries can be fun, too. Exclusive events and discounts on wines that you love mean VIP treatment!
5. Get outside. Maybe wine combined with training for a half-marathon isn’t viewed as ideal (challenge accepted!) but you can certainly take a bottle of wine with your picnic lunch to enjoy at the end of a hike. Or explore Wine Country by bicycle or horseback. Wine evokes so many great memories; why should physical activity be excluded?
6. Never stop learning. Maybe this year you want to read more? Take a class? Learn a new skill? All of these ambitions can be accomplished with wine and I completely encourage it! The more I learn about wine – be it the vinification techniques, grape growing or discovering a new varietal – the more I love and appreciate it.
7. Open your mind to new experiences. Deciding that you know every wine that you like is a declaration that, quite frankly, limits you. Turning up your nose to wines that you have never experienced is like deciding that you will only travel within the United States. There are so many regions, varieties, and wineries out there that WILL surprise you and please you. So get messy and kiss a few frogs. Discovering the hidden gems makes it all worth it.
8. Break the rules. A good friend taught me about the joys of sneaking a bottle of wine into a movie theater. Maybe this isn’t your style, but I encourage rebellion in small forms from time-to-time. After all, part of the excitement is getting caught (meow!) So be it in a theater, public park or at the drive-in – we are still talking about wine, right? Add some excitement to your wine life.
9. Bring back date night. Keep the sparks flying and show your luhva that you put some thought into making them happy. Make a night on the town extra special with a nice bottle of wine. BONUS: Don’t forget about yourself! Just because you aren’t on a date doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a little TLC. So be sure to treat yourself once and a while!
10. Make new (wine) friends. My favorite way to enhance a good bottle is by drinking it with friends that share my enthusiasm. Being able to talk about the nuances or simply express my enjoyment with others that echo my passion is why wine was originally meant to be shared.
11. Come from a place of yes. Going to bed early on a work night or staying within your comfort zone has its place, but occasionally, don’t let your responsible side overwhelm your sense of adventure. So if you find yourself invited to a Wednesday night, six course meal, complete with five star wine pairings, Carpe diem!
12. Invest in years to come. Having a good bottle of wine on hand can sometimes take self control (I know, I hate it, too.) Some wines require years in the bottle before they are truly magical, so patience and planning are essential. This New Year, spend a little time and money on laying down some good wines to enjoy on future special occasions. Be sure to catalog them correctly to ensure you drink them before they expire and during their peak.