Congratulations! You survived 2016.
Considering what the world was like over the last 12 months, though, it’s likely that your wine collection hasn’t emerged quite as intact as you are. If you’ve been self-medicating with Malbec or soothing your ravaged soul with some Cabernet Sauvignon, you probably need to restock.
Thankfully, it’s a new year with lots of new options for delicious things to drink. We can’t promise that 2017 will be everything 2016 wasn’t, but at least there isn’t another election, right?
Whatever the next 51 weeks brings (yeah, we’re already a week into this shindig – how’s it going so far?), you’ll be prepared for celebration, commiseration, contemplation, or conversation thanks to our recommended wine resolutions for 2017.
Drink More Sparkling Wine
Notice we said “sparkling wine” and not necessarily Champagne. Look, we love French bubbly, but we don’t always have the budget for the expensive stuff and there are sparkling wines from a lot of different regions that are super tasty and that pair beautifully with everything from summer BBQ to my-boyfriend-just-dumped-me brownie sundaes. Whether you have a vast wine cellar in your home or just a few dedicated spots for wine on your refrigerator shelf, vow to always have at least one bottle of bubbly on hand at all times.
- Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco – $19.99 (Italy)
- Bodegas Alma Negra Brut Nature – $19.99 (Argentina)
- Jansz Premium Sparkling Rosé – $22.99 (Australia)
- Roederer Estate L’Ermitage, 2009 – $45.99 (California)
New research shows that organic wine actually tastes better than conventionally produced wine, so why not start sipping something a little more natural? Look for wines that have “natural,” “biodynamic,” or “organic” on the label and see if you can taste the difference.
- Korbel Organic Brut – $13.99 (Organic)
- Tikal Natural Organic Red Blend, 2013 – $17.99 (Organic)
- Chateau Miraval Rosé, 2015 – $21.99 (Organic)
- Grgich Hills Chardonnay, 2013 – $37.99 (Organic & Biodynamic)
- Emiliana Ge Red Blend, 2011 – $79.99 (Certified Biodynamic)
Drink Outside the Box
Once upon a time wine was the snobbiest of sports. Sommeliers and oenophiles the world over took great delight in sticking their collective noses in the air while they name dropped whatever Grand Cru or hard-to-find vintage that had recently downed while us plebs sat back with our two buck chuck and felt inferior. There are still some people who will only drink the big labels, and sure, that juice is definitely delicious, but more and more wine pros are taking pride in finds from emerging regions and small producers and introducing guests to lesser-known varietals. When it comes to wine, don’t be afraid to get weird.
- Concha Y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere, 2014 – $9.99 (Carmenere from Chile)
- Barkan Classic Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 – $13.99 (Cabernet from Tel Aviv, Israel)
- Bodegas Ontanon Viura Vetiver Rioba Blanco, 2014 – $14.99 (White blend from Rioja Baja)
- Pecchenino Siri d’Jermu Dogliani Superiore Dolcetto, 2013 – $22.99 (Dolcetto from Piedmont, Italy)
- Elena Fucci Aglianico Del Vulture Titolo, 2012 – $41.99 (Red blend from Basilicata, Italy)
Aim for Quality Over Quantity
My fiancé and I recently made a vow to cut out the twice-weekly veggie burger runs and put those savings towards a nicer meal at a more interesting place once a month. It’s not that the veggie burger isn’t delicious (it really, really is), it’s that we miss expanding our minds and our palates. We’re applying the same concept to wine and we recommend you do, too. Use your “drink less” resolution for good by buying better bottles less often.
- Innocent Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2013 – $47.99
- La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto, 2005 – $49.99
- Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino, 2011 – $59.99
- Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, 2013 – $74.99
- Malk Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 – $79.99
Discover Portuguese Wine
Portuguese wine is so much more than port, and despite the industry-wide feeling that 2016 was destined to be the year everyone discovered this wine-rich peninsula, there is still a lot of education and exposure that needs to happen. For now, though, Portuguese wine is still affordable enough to snag a bunch without breaking the budget, so go ahead and fill your wine fridge.
- Real Companhia Velha Porca de Murca, 2013 – $9.99 (Berries, cherries, white pepper)
- Quinta de Chocapalha Arinto, 2015 – $13.99 (Lemon, grapefruit, dusty, acid-driven)
- Joao Portugal Ramos Alentejo Ramos Reserva, 2012 – $15.99 (Red fruit, herbs, spice)
- Quintas de Melgaco QM Alvarinho, 2014 – $31.99 (White peach, citrus zest, floral aroma)
- Duorum Old Vines Reserva, 2009 – $43.99 (Blackberry, violet, plum)
What are your wine resolutions for 2017?