It's that time of year when many of us look forward to a new beginning, and perhaps more of us than usual after a tumultuous 2016. So, in the spirit of high ideals, members of Decanter's editorial and tasting teams have set out their wine ambitions for 2017.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? Let us know in the comment section below this article.
Decanter team’s New Year’s resolutions
Amy Wislocki, managing editor
Two wine resolutions for 2017, the first utterly predictable and on repeat from previous years – drink less wine on weekday evenings at home. The second, more interesting, and more likely to be ticked off, is to use my decanter more and not just blow the dust off on special occasions.
So many wines benefit from a bit of air, even everyday wines, so my intention is to experiment with decanting different grape varieties and styles. The tricky bit, of course, is knowing the sweet spot time-wise. Practice makes perfect… Just not on a weekday, of course.
Christelle Guibert, tastings director
In 2017, I want to unearth more examples of this obscure grape called Pineau d’Aunis, also known as Chenin Noir. It’s little known or planted grape variety outside or even in the Loire. However, some growers have plots of all vines and with the exception of a few producers, they use them for blending in their entry level cuvées. I would like to spend more time finding old vines, learning more about it and maybe even starting a new venture under my Vine Revival label.
A number that I tasted really captivated me and to name a few, they are Guillaume Reynouard K Sa Tête (imported to the UK by Carte Blanche), Les Longues Vignes by Nathalie Gaubicher and the late Christian Chaussard, Garance made by 90 year-old vines from Château Bois Brinçon.
Simon Wright, wine logistics manager
Right now is such an exciting time to be a wine lover. There always seems to be a hot new grape variety to try, not to mention emerging styles and up-and-coming wine growing regions to seek out. However, trying to keep up with these new trends can lead to traditional favourites being overlooked.
As a result, my resolution is to re-discover probably the most classic style there is (and the wine most formative in my own wine journey): Left Bank Bordeaux. If our Château Palmer Masterclass in November is anything to go by, I’ll be particularly on the lookout for 2005s as this vintage seems to be starting to realise its potential as one of the greats.
Upcoming Decanter Event: Bordeaux Fine Wine Encounter, 25 March
Natalie Earl, tastings assistant
I tend to steer away from setting lofty, un-achievable New Year’s resolutions; but I don’t see a problem adopting a more hedonistic approach and laying out some wine resolutions.
My primary goal will be to pass the WSET Level 3 examination, and by the end of January I will know if I have achieved that. If the result is positive then I might treat myself by learning more about different types of sparkling wine, including red sparkling wine.
Finally, I’m determined to make Sherry my friend. As it stands we are tripping an awkward and hesitant gambol, but I am convinced that with some gentle cajoling and a few more visits to tapas & Sherry bars we will soon be dancing a sensual rumba.
James Button, digital sub-editor
Writing about wine is all well and good, but I think it only really hits home when you get the chance to visit vineyards and wineries. My resolution for 2017 is to get over to Piedmont and experience for myself the cultural connection between its food, wine and history.
John Stimpfig, content director
My resolution is to drink more mature bottles which are sitting in my modest cellar. Personally, I prefer to drink wines whilst they still have plenty of primary fruit. So I don’t like my red wines, in particular, to be too evolved.
Ellie Douglas, assistant web editor
For 2017, my new year wine resolution – apart from surviving my WSET Level 3 exam – is to explore more wine regions. I’ve been lucky enough in 2016 to visit both Bordeaux and also Haro in Rioja, and have a look around some of the wineries, and it’s inspired me to do more.
Seeing where the wine is made really helps to bring to life the processes that go in to making it; from the grapes on the vines, to the size of barrels and vessels. Wineries are more open to visitors than many realise – it’s just a case of getting in touch beforehand and finding out what their policy is.
So once I’ve got some holidays booked for the year, I’ll research where I can visit nearby – and perhaps even just hop on a train and visit some of the vineyards closer to home.
Chris Mercer, web editor
As the darkest and invariably coldest month of the year in the UK, January is really quite an odd time to be optimistic – or dry for that matter. But, nevertheless, I often find myself conjuring up goals.
Like many London dwellers, I tend to eat out a lot of the time. The choice is vast and there’s a rolling conveyor belt of new openings, particularly wine bars of late. But I also love to cook and this year I plan to spend more time in the kitchen.
There’s a vague idea to learn a new culinary skill every month, thus giving the resolution a measurable quality that makes it feel more realistic. I’m then keen to experiment more with wine and food matching in 2017, taking some cues from our experts in this field, Fiona Beckett and Le Cordon Bleu London.
Will you be following any New Year’s resolutions around wine? Let us know via the comment section at the bottom…
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