Five ‘I-dare-you’ wine resolutions for 2013

The Wine Experience, Wine — By KF Louis on November 26, 2012 at 9:54 am

In the spirit of New Year resolutions, and in the purpose of this blog, I’ve got some radical wine resolutions for you which are all intended to help you expand your current wine horizon, and keep more bucks in the bank.  Which of these will you take on?

Kick local, go global. Greenies and carbon footprinters, please don’t shoot me, but I’ve got a bone to pick with this current Local Movement.  For all of its graces, it can lead to some bad choices, like insipid $40 bottles of Texas (or California, or Virginia) chardonnay, $70/lb cheese and misfit wine pairings.   When it comes to wine, there is such a diverse and competitive world market available to most Americans that it seems crazy to stick with your own local regions all of the time, even if you live in San Francisco like I do.  So what is the quickest way to go global?  Find a well respected wine retailer in your home town, tell them what you’ve liked lately and ask for new recommendations from the further reaches of the world.
89 is just fine. This one is for all of you folks who look to 100-point rating system scores as one of the key (or only) criteria for purchasing a wine.  Try buying wine with respectable 80s scores and see what happens — I’ll guess you’ll spend less on wine and your enjoyment will be the same, or perhaps higher!  See The 89 Point Project, an awesome blog, for some inspiration.
Tour less, taste more. Don’t let me get in the way of a trip to the wine country — especially if it’s your first.  But if this is the way you buy a lot of wine, consider the biased process that usually occurs – you visit one winery at a time, and the service people behind the counter are only recommending their stuff.  In a typical day, you can only visit a 3-5 wineries before you are tapped out.  While the experience is really fun, you don’t cover much territory — like you would if you went to K&L Wines on any given Saturday, where you could taste 12 wines (such as Mosel Rieslings or Affordable Bordeaux) and speak with less biased service people.
15 is this year’s 30. So many people tell me that they cannot consistently find great wine under $30.  I wish I had time to set up a boot camp for y’allz (maybe 2014?).  It would be every Saturday and it would be g-r-u-e-l-i-n-g.  Sit down and taste 20, soldier!  But seriously, the challenge I find with the folks who tell me about the $30+ ceiling is that they don’t do enough tasting or shopping at quality shops with expert staff.
Cellar nothing.  Drink just in time. Most people who have a passion for wine buy a fair amount of wine for the cellar each year and put it away.   If you are one of these people, what would happen if you bought nothing for the cellar in 2013, and instead bought only wine that you will drink relatively quickly?  How would your buying and consumption habits change? Would you discover new types of wine that aren’t fit for the cellar?  If you know me, you know I’m not anti-cellar by any means.  But I’ve had enough issues with collaring such that mine is a lot leaner these days and highly recommend trying this approach for a period of time.

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