Most of us will be out celebrating on New Year’s Eve. When we wake up the next morning it will be 2018 and, after the obligatory New Year’s morning headache, guilt will set in and we’ll probably begin to think about resolving to seek self-improvement in the year ahead.
Sure, you could go to the gym, cut back on carbohydrates, or even make a concerted effort to think positive thoughts about your mother-in-law. But next month when these resolutions have gone down in flames, you’ll need something to boost your morale and repair your damaged self-esteem.
Well, why not resolve to improve an aspect of your life that you already find appealing and gratifying? How about considering some wine and food resolutions for the New Year that might just take your enjoyment of these endorphin-enhancing staples to new heights.
And keeping these resolutions will be so easy and rewarding that you’ll probably wish to make them permanent. So here are my wine and food related resolutions for 2018. You might wish to consider them too.
– Try unfamiliar appellations and wines like: pinot noir from Central Otago on the South Island of New Zealand (great with grilled salmon); the other white wine from Burgundy – Aligote (especially good with scallops); or Aglianico, the spicy red from the Campania region of southern Italy that is a lovely match with rack of lamb.
– Explore the wines of our sister state. The wine regions around Charlottesville and up the spine of the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia have emerged as the best appellations on the east coast. I especially like the cabernet franc, viognier and chardonnay produced there. Rappahannock oysters, local cheeses, country ham and smoked tomato grits pair nicely with Virginia wines.
– Drink more sparkling wines with weekday meals and on non-special event occasions. Champagne and sparklers such as Cava from Spain, Cremant from Alsace and Prosecco from Italy go especially well with spicy dishes from places like Mexico, India and Thailand.
– Reexamine the wines of West Virginia. There are more than 20 wineries in our state and, while many of them are producing very good sweet wines and dry French-American hybrids (such as seyval blanc and chambourcin), others are trying to grow the better (vitis vinifera) varieties like cabernet, merlot, chardonnay and riesling.
– Drink more sweet wines as aperitifs and with dessert. Some folks have the misconception that sweet wines are for beginning wine drinkers or the unsophisticated. I think that is a largely an American myth since a lot of us associate sweet wines with the unpleasant experiences we might have had in our youth with sugary, high alcohol products. You might try Sauternes or Barzac from France, late harvest riesling from Germany or California or Vin Santo and Moscato di Asti from Italy.
And while it will be difficult for me to accomplish all of these New Year’s resolutions in 2018, I’ve resolved not to completely abandon moderation in pursuit of them.
Happy New Year!