Does your New Year’s resolution involve trying new things in 2019? While we can’t knock skydiving off your bucket list, the wine specialists at D&W can help you shake up your routine with new choices and perspectives. Keep reading to learn about some easy and enjoyable ways to broaden your wine habits.
Discover a New Wine Region
Many wine lovers have a collection of favorite wine regions, such as Napa, Piedmont, or Champagne. While many of these regions offer a diverse range of varietals and winemaking techniques, it’s easy to get comfortable and stick with a wine region you know. Before you know it, you’re in a wine rut.
Rather than stick with your old standbys, next time you’re in the wine aisles, grab a bottle from somewhere else. It might open your eyes to a new varietal or even an entirely new style of winemaking.
For example, consider exploring these wines:
- Beaujolais: There’s much more to Beaujolais than the highly popular Beaujolais Nouveau. Look for bottles of Beaujolais Villages and elegant crus from Moulin à Vent, Morgon, and Fleurie. Many of these bottles are surprisingly affordable.
- Chianti Classico: You may be surprised if you’re expecting only wicker-wrapped jugs. Modern winemakers in Chianti are making polished, terroir-driven Sangiovese.
- New Zealand Pinot Noir: New Zealand’s climate is perfect for growing notoriously challenging Pinot Noir grapes. You’ll be surprised by the complexity and intensity of these dark, juicy wines.
- Portuguese Wine: There are more than 250 indigenous grape varietals in Portugal. The country offers a wide array of delicious red, white, and fortified wines.
- Côtes du Ventoux: This region of the Rhone Valley was relatively unheralded until recently. Red wines from Côtes du Ventoux typically exhibit notes of berries, spices, and vanilla.
- Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon: Many wine experts think the Cabernet Sauvignon coming out of Washington state is some of the most interesting and affordable in the country.
Explore Terroir and Vintage with Serial Tastings
When you talk to a winemaker, they’ll often emphasize the effect that the local soil and geography have on a wine’s final flavor profile. Sometimes called terroir, this combination of climate, soil composition, and other factors has a profound impact on the flavor and aromas of a wine.
To explore the concept of terroir, consider buying two (or more) bottles of the same varietal from different locations or vineyards. For example, you might choose Chardonnay from Sonoma, Burgundy, and Australia. How do their flavors, aromas, and structures differ?
You can also do the same experiment with different vintages of the same wine. You might be surprised how the same grapes grown on the same land and fermented by the same winemaker can vary due to the weather and growing conditions in any given year.
Experiment With Wine-Based Cocktails
Cocktails don’t immediately come to everyone’s mind when they think about wine. However, there’s a fantastic global culture of wine-based cocktails that you can explore. In addition to a classic sangria or mimosa, consider trying out a mulled wine, Aperol spritz, or Kir Royale.
Don’t Be Afraid to Break Traditions
We all get stuck in our preconceptions of how we should drink and enjoy wine: Rosé is for the summer, and sparkling wines come out on special occasions. You want a full-bodied red wine with your steak dinner. So on.
Don’t forget that rules are made to be broken. You might be surprised to discover that dry rosés pair wonderfully with winter-time meals like roast turkey. Many modern wine drinkers crack a bottle of Prosecco as a mid-week treat. And your steak could also pair brilliantly with a white Burgundy, Riesling, or Chenin Blanc.
Consult Your Local Wine Specialist
Our stores’ wine specialists can help you identify the newest and most exciting trends in our wine aisle. If you’re looking for fresh ideas and new wine experiences in 2019, don’t hesitate to ask them for help.
On Sale This Week: Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon
Joel Gott’s California Cabernet Sauvignon offers concentrated flavors of red fruits and cherries along with well-structured tannins, all with a soft and mellow finish. The wine includes Cabernet Sauvignon grapes sourced from some of California’s best appellations, including Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, and Lodi.