Master of Wine Emma Jenkins suggests some easy-to-achieve, enjoyable resolutions to make at the start of 2017.
Decided on any New Year’s resolutions yet? Many of us focus on things not to do, but I can’t help but wonder if focusing instead on things we actually want to do might be more satisfying – and achievable. So I’ve thought of some vinous New Year’s resolutions, if you will. More fun than the usual monastic variety and with a much better chance of being resolved!
Drink more wine. New Zealanders drink around 19 litres each per annum, which really is quite low, compared to France’s 58 litres or even Argentina’s 42 litres… and who knows what great parties are going on in Luxembourg with 64 litres per person! No wonder we all dress in black and are obsessed with house prices. Now please do not make 19 litres a weekly target, but do make wine a regular part of your week. Not just for special occasions, or worse, half a cask at once and then nothing for six months. Instead, discover the joy of a good glass or two several nights a week. With food, of course. Which leads to…
Think European. Not necessarily the actual wines you drink (that’s another resolution altogether), but how you drink them. Those consumption figures come from cultures that consume wine in moderation with food and friends. At its most basic, it’s how wine is meant to be enjoyed and it makes Resolution Number 1 very simple.
Visit a winery. Get to know the birthplace of your favourite wine. You can try “cellar door only” wines and, by and large, winery people are a friendly bunch who just love to share their enthusiasm and knowledge.
Go to a wine tasting. You can do this on your winery visit, but there are also many local wine stores and social clubs who hold wine tastings, often hosted by a winemaker or industry person. Be brave, go along with a friend and an open mind and have some fun – it’s an excellent way to try all sorts of wine without having to purchase an entire bottle. You may also get to taste rare and expensive wines at a fraction of the usual cost.
Make friends with a good wine shop. There’s nothing wrong with buying all your wine from the supermarket, but if you really want to experience all that the wine world has to offer, it pays to visit a speciality store. If they’re worth their salt they’ll help you with everything from trying a new variety/region/country to seeking out something for a special dinner, to recommending wineries to visit for Resolution Number 3.
So if you’ve lost interest in your usual resolutions, try those above. I’ll bet you find them easier to do than carrot sticks and swear jars!