Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Wine and Food Resolutions

It's the time of year when we resolve to make changes, to improve ourselves in some way. I will not bore you by describing my plan to go running more often, to spend more time with friends, and things like that. This is a wine and food blog, so I will share my wine and food resolutions for the coming year.

I will find more wine at the $15 price point that I truly enjoy. I took stock recently and realized that about 80%, maybe more, of the wine I drink at home costs at least $25. I looked at a a report of my wine consumption in Cellar Tracker, the useful wine inventory and community tasting software created by Eric LeVine, and I see that my 2006 average value per bottle is $24.31. If I have wine 4 or 5 nights a week, that means I'm spending too much money, especially as we are about to have a baby. But I don't want to sacrifice quality - I want to drink good wine.

I will devote some tasting time this year to exploring $15 Pinots and if I can find one or two regions and producers that I like at that price point, I can indulge in what for me is the ultimate grape without spending so much. I can open a good Pinot once or twice a week. I also love Loire Valley reds, and top producers make wines that cost $10-15. I should drink more of them. Beaujolais, the southern Rhone Valley, Languedoc, and Provence, New York, and Piedmont are wine areas that offer quality wines at reasonable prices. I will find my favorite $15 bottles in those areas too. I would like to bring my average cost per bottle down to $20 for 2007.

I will drink less alcohol. I always check to see the alcohol level of a wine, but I want alcohol level to play more of a role when I select and purchase wine. 13.5% is a reasonable benchmark for me - if a wine is higher than that and I have a decent alternative, I will do so. Of course, this might make it tough for me to drink too much of the Oregon wine that I love...which brings me to the second part of this resolution. My friend NorthCarolinaGal suggests that good health requires not drinking any alcohol at all for two days every week. Sounds like a good move for me. Not because I am worried about alcoholism or anything like that, but because moderation is always a good thing.

I will do more blind tasting. I think that tasting blind is a great way to level the playing field, to challenge myself to experience and compare wines without bias. It's also just plain fun, and a great thing to do with friends.

I will be more selective about the wine I put in my cellar. Actually, I don't have a cellar, but I have a Eurocave wine fridge that fits 100 or so Burgundy-shaped bottles. Its full now, and not all of the bottles are wines that I would buy today. For example, why am I devoting 2% of my cellar space to Australian Syrah, even if it is produced by Two Hands and supposedly delicious? I don't know anything about Aussie wine. That space might better be devoted to age wine that I actually understand, so that I can detect the benefits of aging when I drink the wine. Should I sell them on the secondary market? Drink them before their prime? In any case, I have a better sense now about the wine that I want to cellar, and as wines leave the fridge I will be more thoughtful about replacing them.

I will eat more lunch and less dinner. Big portions at night just don't make sense. You go to sleep soon after eating and cannot digest well or burn off calories properly. Problem is, the only meal that I get to share with my wife or friends is dinner, the only meal over which I can linger and enjoy wine is dinner. My solution will be to eat larger portions at lunch and smaller portions at dinner.

So that's a good start, right - four resolutions. Now let's see if I can stick to them. What are your resolutions for the new year?


Anonymous said...

Brooklynwineguy --

You've created a wonderful blog -- how can I contact you via email?
(you can email me at address below)

Brooklynguy said...

Hi Amy!

I will send you an email, but next time I stop into Prospect Wines I will say hi - you already know me, actually, but not as Brooklynguy. Happy New Year, and thanks for your comment.

Dr. Debs said...

Catching up on my blog reading and enjoyed your NY resolutions. I'm facing some of the same problems--selecting cellar wines more carefully, for instance. And all those year end assessments available on CellarTracker! Good news and bad news there, always. My average bottle cost was $13.50 which is why I decided I can occasionally spring for Burgundy and get to know the wines a little bit better.