Good, so am I, so let’s get at it.
New Year's Eve image via Shutterstock
Taking the Time to Breathe
Well, we should always do that otherwise we’ll get lightheaded, pass out, hit our head on the coffee table, and then be told we must have a drinking problem because all injuries that occur to people who drink wine seem to be the result of some drinking problem. Thanks Mom.
OK, so we have our breathing under control, now let’s let the wine take a few breaths. Wine and oxygen are a match made in heaven. Much like ourselves, wines can gain energy with some deep breathing. Pranayama Yoga for wine, that’s what we need to start practicing. Let your wine breathe a bit, either in a decanter before service, ideal for younger wines, or in the bottle after double decanting.
Do the Double
Double decant that is. My second resolution for us all is to decant our wines more often. The young ones for vigorous deep breaths, and the old ones to separate the wine from the sediment, which contrary to popular belief can add a muddy note to many wines. Isn’t that appealing?
So why double decant and what the hell is that anyway? Well, it simply means decanting your wine off it’s sediment into some container, then pouring it back in the bottle it came from, after rinsing out that bottle of course. Why do this you ask? Simply to trap some of the volatile compounds, that’s smells and flavors folks, in the bottle after feeding the wine the oxygen it needed to release those complex notes. When you a decant a wine you introduce oxygen, both by aerating it as you pour it into the decanter and through the large exposed surface area of the wine in the decanter. By pouring the wine back in the bottle, or in any bottle for that matter, you introduce the oxygen but minimize the release of the complex volatile compounds saving them for your later enjoyment at the table!
Glasses, appropriate glasses; we will use appropriate glassware. Yes, there is some truth in the notion that certain glasses work better for certain wines than others, but we all can’t have a cupboard full of glasses. In truth you don’t need that many, one or two should suffice, but do yourself a favor and buy some decent glasses to really get the most out of your wine.
Glasses don’t have to be expensive! There are plenty of decent glasses that sell for between $5 and $10 a stem, just find glasses that are shaped to allow some swirling, have a generous bowl, and thinner lips are always better. Sounds like some freaky personal ad, all we need to add are long walks on the beach and honesty. We all are looking for some honesty.
I’m going to treat you honestly this year, like I’ve been doing, but now I’m going to ask you to be honest, honest with yourselves. Stop questioning your palate when you buy a highly touted wine and you end up not enjoying it. Who cares? You learned a lesson; whoever was doing that touting maybe is an over-enthusiastic touter, but you're no lesser for it, except the cash you laid out on the bottle of over-rated junk.
We all like and enjoy different things and it’s rare for one person to align consistently with another person when it comes to sensual matters like art, food and wine. Celebrate your individuality, enjoy the diversity of your palate. Critics be damned! Being sometimes a wine critic I probably should not have said that. But we’re being honest right?
OK, here’s some more honesty for you. I’m going to stop buying wine for a year*. My cellar is full, and it’s a mess, so until I have that situation under control I’m out, leaving even more delicious wine for you to buy. But wait, there’s more.
I’m still going to be scouring the internet shopping for wine. After all, the hunt is almost as exciting as the kill. No, I know not really, but I’m coping here so give me some space, would ya? My loss will be someone’s gain as I intend to start publishing a new series of alerts: Wines I did not buy today. I’ll be sharing my best finds with anyone who is interested in listening, and hopefully the year will pass without incident as I work my way through enough bottles to make some room for some new pickups just as the 2010 Barolos are hitting the market. Conveniently my work with the 2010 Burgundy vintage is done so the timing could not have been better!
*I’ll only stop buying wines for the cellar, so don’t be shocked if I have to buy something this year.
Happy and Healthy
That’s it, that’s all I’ve got. How about you all? Any good wine related resolutions for the new year. Going to learn about a specific region? Try something new? Share more with friends? Write more about wine? Record your notes on Snooth? Oh, I like that one.
Whatever 2013 may bring you, I hope it includes better wine, more fun, health and happiness than we probably deserve.
Drink well my friends!