As we get ready to roll into 2008, let me offer a wine-related suggestion or two for the new year. Resolutions? No, but definitely a few things to keep in mind the next time you think about purchasing a bottle of wine.
Don’t be intimidated by wines. If you can’t pronounce the name of a wine, ask for help. Talk to a wine steward or wine shop proprietor. Point to a selection on your restaurant wine list and inquire. Is it red, white, fruity, sweet, dry…? Wine industry people are there to help answer your questions and direct you to wines that should match your personal taste preferences. Just ask.
Spend a few dollars more. $10 a bottle still seems to be a sticking point for many people; paying anything more makes them break out into a cold sweat. You don’t have to plunk down $50 every time you shop for wine, but something in the $10 to $20 a bottle price range can open up the door to better variety and better quality. Will you always get more? No, but you should expect it, and more often than not, the wine will deliver.
Drink what you like, but don’t be afraid to venture outside your comfort zone. There’s a big, diverse world of wine waiting to be explored. So if you only drink white wines, why not broaden your wine tasting horizons to include a few reds, perhaps with something lighter in body, like a pinot noir, to start? If your red wine experience is limited to the ubiquitous Yellow Tail Shiraz, think about a California Zinfandel or a Washington Syrah for a slightly different change of pace.
Then consider paying a visit to Northwest wineries for some firsthand tasting experience. We live in a part of the country that’s just a few hours drive from literally hundreds of wineries. Can’t find the time? Then choose from a wide selection that’s no further than your local wine shop or grocer. Now, get started and remember – enjoy yourself!
Cheers and Happy New Year!