Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Wine Resolutions 2009

It's time to make your 2009 wine resolutions. (image from

Last year I resolved to read more wine books, get to know the wines of Italy, drink 100 different grape varieties, dabble in champagne, and make dessert wines more of a habit and less of a special occasion.

I didn't do too badly. I did launch the Wine Book Club, which started out with great participation and trickled down to a regular handful of die-hard, well-read oenophiles. (I'll have a WBC announcement on Thursday, for those of you who are wondering what's up.) I finished my Wine Century, drank some grower champagne, and enjoyed myself enormously as I explored 11 Italian wine regions. I bombed on the dessert wines, though. I was trying to lose weight, too, and the dessert wines were a few calories too many!

So what are my resolutions for 2009?

1. More Italy. Those in the know realize that Italy has more than 11 wine regions--it has 20. I'm having too much fun to stop now. Besides, we haven't reached the Piedmont, the Veneto, or Emilia-Romagna yet! So there will be more Italian wines in 2009, beginning with the Valle d'Aosta in January. As always, I love getting tips and recommendations since I'm an Italian wine novice.

2. 46 Degrees North. I've realized this year that my ignorance of wine regions is not limited to far away places. So, I'm going to learn more about Washington State wines this year, and will be leaning on my friend and fellow blogger Catie, the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman, for advice. Sometimes, we forget that American wine is not just about California. It's even easier to forget this if you live in the Grape State, as I do.

3. Wine Travel. My trips to wineries this year have reminded me that there is nothing--nothing--that increases your knowledge and enjoyment of wine as much as actually going to a winery or vineyard and seeing where the grapes are grown, talking to the people who make the wine, and then tasting some of it. I'm going to try to make a few more wine trips this year. I definitely want to go back to Paso Robles, maybe I'll get myself to Washington, and my experiences in Napa this summer and fall have convinced me that I have a lot to learn about that region's microclimates. I also hope to take a winehike with the Winehiker.

4. Some New Features on GWU$20. An author has to keep growing, and a blog has to keep changing, if it's going to stay fresh. In the past few months, I've felt the need to change things up a bit here at the blog, and I thought long and hard about what to do. I'll be adding new recurring features to help give the blog some focus and provide additional variety. There will still be tasting notes, travel features, news and opinion pieces--but there will also be some new things such as "Adventures in the Cellar," and an approach to having wine on Friday nights that will help you trim your budget without feeling deprived. I'm hoping to convince some friends to come by every now and again and taste their way through a bunch of wines with me so that we can explore the subjectivity of taste, too.

I hope that you keep enjoying GWU$20 as much next year as you have this year. The number of subscribers and readers has grown , and I'd like to see that continue. What are your 2009 Wine Resolutions?


Richard Auffrey said...

Happy New Year's and good luck with your 2009 resolutions!

I also look forward to the WBC announcement as I think it is a valuable event, and hopefully we will get more participation in the new year.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year and best wishes in 2009!

So glad to hear that you are planning to learn more about Washington State wines this year. Just like there's more to American wine than just California, there's more to Washington wine than just Walla Walla. Hope we can help you with your exploration of Washington wine.

Domino said...

I'm not a fan of Catie's blog.
I prefer Wine Peeps and Washington Wine Report. These are my favorite WA state wine blogs so far.

Eva said...

I try really hard to look at wines in North Central Washington. I live in the Wenatchee Valley and have found some great wines in this area. I highly reccomend anythng from Martin-Scott Winery in East Wenatchee and the 07 Riesling from Tunnel Hill which is in Chelan.

Anonymous said...

If you explore Italian wines, don't forget to give a try to the Valle d'Aosta region, which cultivates the highest vineyards in Europe. The labels are often in French, since this autonomous region is bilingual.

David said...

great list! I'm hoping to complete the Century Club this year, though I've got a ways to go (about 30 varietals). Italy could help me close the gap though!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that you're planning on making dessert wines a more regular part of your routine! They used to be more of a special occasion wine for me as well until I got into trying a wider range of sherries and ports through various wine clubs I have participated in over the years. That's definitely a very worthy New Year's resolution.

As for myself, I think I'd like to immerse myself a little more deeply into the world of sparking rose wines a bit more the way I have been as of late. I've only recently been experimenting with them a bit more regularly, as I've typically preferred white champagnes in previous years, and I'm wondering why I didn't do it sooner.

The Tablas Creek vineyard in Paso Robles is lovely! I was lucky enough to be able to visit it myself a while back when I was last in California's wine country and I'd love a chance to go again myself. I agree that there is nothing that makes you appreciate a good wine more than an actual visit -- or regular visits if you can swing it -- to the vineyards themselves.

The wine hike also sounds fascinating. I'd love to try one of those sometime soon myself.