New Year’s Resolutions

A few things we can all do in 2014


We need to show resolve. We need to proclaim for change. So goes it each January. Never is our determination firmer than it is today. We will change. We will exercise more. We will eat less, be kind to others, and solve the world’s problems.

Just kidding. In all likelihood all we can do its make a couple of lists and suffer in resoluteness for the next week or two before everything returns to normal. Unless of course we are modest in our demands of ourselves. That is my plan here. Set forth a few modest proposals. Nothing drastic, all attainable, and see what happens. Of course each resolution will require some effort on my part. Effort I am fully prepared to exert mind you. Efforts that will make this world, at least my infinitely small slice of it, a better place in 2014. Hopefully some of these resolutions might resonate with you as well, so climb aboard and come for a ride on my list of New Year’s resolutions for 2014.

Clean up your cellar

First and foremost it’s time to make some order where there is none, or little. My cellar is a mess, a true inventory last occurred some two years ago. Many bottles have been consumed since, and even more added to the disorder. Keeping an organized cellar is not simply a symptom of OCD. It’s an important step in maintain order in one’s drinking life. Three distinct benefits arise from an orderly, or at least well documented cellar.

1 - You know what you have so you don’t go buying more of a particular wine, or miss an opportunity to add wine to your cellar that you’ve been missing.

2 - Physically handling your wine can reveal issues with them. There is nothing quite as disturbing in the cellar than that sticky little drop of wine hanging off the neck of one of your prized bottles.

3 - Knowing what you have can make it much easier to plan to drink what you want. Instead of rummaging around in the cellar, knowing what you have and where it is makes it easier to drink your wine.

Dispose of your wine

Once you know what you have you also need to know what to do with it. Wine is generally not immortal, and bottles that are leakers need to be consumed sooner rather than later. We all have a few bottles lurking somewhere that we should drink. Either they are prized bottles that we never end up drinking or they are everyday bottles that we too easily pass over.

This year make it a point to reduce the number of these wines in your cellar. Drink them, share them, heck even give them away if you have to. Better than someone gets to enjoy them close to peak than we suffer through them even further down the road. And just think, each bottle removed from the cellar leaves a space for something new!

Take a different path

Wine, for those truly bit by the bug, is a lifetime obsession punctuated by peaks and valleys of interest. One way to maintain the spark in this love affair is to step outside your comfort zone. OK, that works in other departments of one’s life as well, but with wine it is so easy to do that it would be downright silly not to.

You might find that you are right at home staying within your comfort zone but going through life without trying a Vin Jaune, old-school Rioja, classic aged California Cabernet, Vinho Verde, or even a big , fat, buttery Chardonnay is one devoid of surprise, delight and dismay. It’s an easy way to take a chance on something, which might very well lead to a new passion. A new path of discovery, and many nights of pleasure. When I put it like that it sure sounds good doesn’t it?

Stop being a snob.

Now this gets tricky so let’s for a moment consider what the word snob actually means.  Allow me to use a definition for the free dictionary online: a person who believes himself or herself to have superior tastes and is condescending toward those with different tastes.

Nowhere is it stated that one must prefer the expensive over the inexpensive to be a snob. Fundamentally snobbism is driven by a heightened sense of self importance and condescension towards others. Thus we do have snobs who favor the expensive or exclusive over the ordinary but we also have snobs who favor the geeky, organic, or even inexpensive over the wines other people like and enjoy.

Get over yourself. If you don’t like a type of wine, that is fantastic. Now shut up and drink what you like and leave me, and everybody else in peace to enjoy what we like. Snobs also tend to stay tightly within their comfort zones, lest they be revealed as something less than the expert they imagine themselves to be, so fortunately they are all too often boring drinking partners who are not terribly missed!

Share more wine

Now this is the end that justifies the means. I’m going to be on a sharing tear this year. I have leakers and duds, mystery bottles and wines that just should be drunk. I’ll participate in Open That Bottle Night, blind tastings of Greg’s wines, and cellar cull parties all in an effort to get my cellar in order. But also because that is the purpose of most of the wine I buy. It’s to enjoy and to share. Sometimes with family, sometimes with friends, sometimes with colleagues. And yes sometimes just with myself, which i understand sort of violates the spirit if not the text of this resolution.

But I will share wine, and wine will be shared with me. As always I hope to have a philanthropic year in 2014. Sharing wine with those lovers amongst us, younger, less affluent, less fortunate than us. Sharing wine with them so that they can gain a broader understanding of what wine is capable of. It’s very high minded you know. And gives me yet another reason to open a few bottles. Which is never a bad thing.

Listen more

And finally this is more of a professional resolution. I need to listen to you more. I need to review more of the wines that you are buying. Visit more of the regions you want to go to. Bring you more of the information that you want to read. Writing about wine is a bit of an odd endeavour, particularly when one has the entire world to cover.

My personal preferences are well known, and I do honestly try to cover what I believe to be the most popular wines and regions, as well as those that are up and coming, but I also know I often overlook what should be paid attention to. This is not intentional of course. It’s simply my view of the world, which is incomplete. So I ask you now and will continue to ask you throughout the year for your help and guidance. Point me where you want me to go and I will do what I can to bring us both there! I am ready to go.

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  • Snooth User: Mark Suss
    951226 137

    Great article. I'd like to read more about some of the up and coming regions within the US (e.g. Virgina) that I might not try without a recommendation from you. And I would love to see your take on the Finger Lakes and how they compare with other Riesling producing regions.

    Jan 02, 2014 at 5:14 PM

  • Snooth User: Diego Andrés Díaz
    Hand of Snooth
    1214278 533

    I going to steal the last resolution, I Feel a little like an alcoholic tasting my wines alone. But How do i invite my friends to drink wine with me? They do not appreciate wine as much as i do.

    Jan 04, 2014 at 9:48 PM

  • Great article. I am def going to follow your advise & start with organizing the cellar. Will make for a happier New Year. Cheers!

    Jan 05, 2014 at 8:37 AM

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