Resolutionary Wine

Let’s think of this article as the sugar that makes the resolution medicine go down. Or rather—maybe this column is a resolve to find some moderation. I feel like hardcore resolutions—no sugar, meat, caffeine, carbs, unnecessary selfies, joy, etc.—go by the wayside quickly. So, pick your battles, and you can have your resolutions and a small glass of vino too. What are my resolutions? Drink in the shower more. Wait, no make the world a better place. Wait, that’s vague. Ummmm I resolve to work harder on getting a publishing deal for my goth cocktail book concept. Career plus…making the world better via macabre drinks. Sure that works. As one dies. I mean does. Hashtag goth probs. Anywho, here are some popular new year’s resolutions, and what wines go with them. Because healthy life changes go with a (so they say) heart healthy glass of wine. That is a thing of beauty. EXERCISE MORE I’ve got a couple ideas for this one. You could lift weighty wine bottles—get one of those expensive wines that come in bottles heavier than my heart after an episode of Squid Game. But I also decided to review Fitvine , since it has a person running on the label and claims to be “a better fit” for healthy lifestyles. It has low sugar levels but like…that’s not unusual for dry wine. Especially for the variety I tried, the 2019 Fitvine Wines Sauvignon Blanc . It tasted fine, like Sauvignon Blanc, even, with a smidge of complexity but also it felt a bit processed—which it is! The webpage actually brags of “proprietary processes” and heavy filtering. But..it’s fine. I dunno, if drinking a wine with a runner on the label inspires you to hit the gym after you hit the bottle, you do you. Otherwise overspend on some baller Napa and do bicep curls with the bottle before cracking it open. Or just get your @#s to a gym. Come on now. QUIT SMOKING Say yes to vodka. Vaya con Dios. TRAVEL MORE This one is tricky; it’s hard to know, day to day, who can go where. Even I canceled my Christmas flight home this year for fear of the dreaded Omicron. Ergo I suggest you resolve to drink more from the places you want to visit. If that doesn’t feel resolution-y enough, pair the wine with listening to your dream destination’s music, or reading up on their history. As for MY dream destination, if they’d let me—and they probably wouldn’t because they’ve been on top of cutting COVID—I’d go to New Zealand. I’m itching to see it. In the meantime, I resolve to keep enjoying NZ wines, particularly the country’s Pinot Noir. My resolution wine is 2019 Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir . It’s juicy keen. Let it breathe a minute—screwcaps keep the magic in too well sometimes. Tis’ lacey across the palate. As in at first, after the nose is thwacked with all the aromas—they pack a cherry punch—it’s super smooth on the palate. The flavors and sensations spread themselves across your tongue like a lace tablecloth. Thirst quenching red fruit sprinkled with pepper spread themselves, but as I said, it is lace so the fabric is smooth, the flavor and sensations are not. LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE Drink more German wine. They have more terminology than types of cryptocurrency. So you’ll maybe learn something. You’ll at least learn that trocken means dry. Also, German words are just fun—their word for a house cat is “stubentiger”, literally “house tiger”. Love those little beasties. At any rate, this January, I’m practicing my German on 2018 Bünchen Mosel Riesling “Zeltinger Himmelrich” Spatlese Trocken . Bünchen is the producer. Mosel is the anbaugiebiet (the main wine region), Riesling is the grape, Zeltinger is the village in the Mosel, Himmelrich is the vineyard, spatlese is the grape’s sugar level, and trocken means dry. Oh, and how is it? Reeks pleasantly of honey and apples, honeysuckle and dried apricot. Smells luscious, but hey! As ripe as it tastes, I think it is indeed trocken. Which makes it liquid gold. Dense and gold in appearance and thick on the palate, goodness gracious. Rich appearing and tasting without being really rich but still you know it is, tis the athleisure of wine. But you don’t have to be a wohlhabender mensch to drink it. SPEND LESS MONEY My favorite bargain grocery store wine is anything by Fetzer. I like the family history; I like that they are one of the more friendly-to-the-environment producers. And I LOVE that their wine consistently tastes WAY better than the bottom shelf rates it retails for. Like, I would pay more for Fetzer. It can be better than some grocery store finds that cost two, even three times as much. I even liked the 2020 Fetzer Vineyards California Gewürztraminer and I’m a hard sell on Gewürzt. The nose is heavy on the lychees with a goodly lick of citrus—less floral and more fruit. Beyond the lychees lots of yellow grapefruit and maybe some yellow peach fun. There is a kiss of residual sugar—call it off-dry? A touch of rose petal too. A relatively simple but friendly wine. And at their prices, it’s beyond a good deal. SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY If this is your resolution, you better figure out what wine to drink with the fam. Something that is crowd-pleaser for many palates. It’s hard to find a wine and say “everyone will like this”; after all, some people claim to only drink red, some only drink white, some only drink White Claw (disown them)—so what wine is one size fits all? The safest bet is sparkling, as I feel like people who “only like red” don’t take bubbles into account when they say that. Get a mag of bubbles. Or at least some fun Champers. I’m popping Pommery Brut Royal , to introduce them to Champers. It’s a nonvintage that won’t break the bank and will give them a solid into to the genre. It smells of peaches on toast and for a second I was like “Ricola?”, which I realized was a slight note of fennel, methinks. On the palate it is richer fruit, riper, and redder—the website wouldn’t give me the balance but pretty sure there’s a good amount of Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier in the blend, adding those deeper berry notes. And the creamy bubbles really carry it. There’s still that herbal pop though. It really is a lovely balance. The bread-y notes take a back seat to the fruit and cream. All over, one sip invites another which is great, your fam can down the bottle and you can open another. Family time made fun n easy. Go and get ‘em, tigers…and if you aren’t feeling that bold, know that even if you are a housecat, you are still a stubentiger. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? 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