Every New Year, I make—and break—several resolutions about exercise or housecleaning. However, I also make a resolution or two about wine, which have always been easy to keep because they’re fun. Here are a few of my favorites that you can try this year.
1. I resolve to try something new
It’s easy to get into a rut with wine and buy the same brand every time. But the pleasure of wine is in its diversity. If you like full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from California, try one from Argentina, or even a different robust red, such as an Argentine Malbec.
Terrazas De Los Andes Reserva Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina
A rich, luscious, full-bodied Argentine Malbec with classic aromas of fleshy ripe black plum and mulberry. A meaty, savoury mid-palate with a strong core of minerality. This Argentine red wine is made from Malbec grapes grown at the ideal altitude of 1,067 metres above sea level for the ripening and complex evolution of Malbec. Round, full-bodied and redolent of black fruit and toast. Some dark spice on the finish which is long and satisfying. Pair with a rare filet mignon. Drink: 2016 – 2020 29280 14.5% XD 750 ml $15.00 Score: 93/100
2. I resolve to cut calories
Both alcohol and sugar contribute calories to wine so if you want to cut back, look for dry wines with low alcohol, such as a dry Riesling from Washington or Germany. They have plenty of taste on the lips, but don’t stay on your hips.
Lenz Moser Riesling 2013, Niederosterreich, Austria
Pretty and light and floral with apple blossom and lime zest. Medium-bodied. Great aperitif or companion to seafood. Drink: 2014 – 2021 SAQ: 12783479 13% D 750 ml $19.20 Score: 88/100
3. I resolve to save money
Chilean Chardonnay and South African Shiraz are among the best deals in the liquor store. They’re not as fashionable as say Bordeaux or Tuscany, but you’ll get terrific quality for your money.
Errazuriz Max Reserva Chardonnay 2014, Aconcagua Valley, Chile
A rich, full-bodied Chilean Chardonnay with aromas of freshly baked bread and melting butter along with bright green and golden apple notes on the palate. Mouth-filling and delicious. Pair with roasted chicken. Drink: 2014 – 2017 SAQ: 00902916 13.5% XD 750 ml $18.25 Score: 90/100
4. I resolve to entertain more with less fuss
You don’t need to cook a multi-course dinner to invite friends over this year. Just crack open a bottle of your favourite wine and serve it with different cheeses. It’s a quick and delicious way to entertain.
Peter Lehmann Wines Layers Shiraz Tempranillo Mourvèdre Grenache 2014, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia
A spectacular, robust Australian red wine at a terrific price! The Shiraz in the blend provides the muscular structure and tannin plus black plum, while Tempranillo adds some tarry character. Grenache adds dark floral and a racy exotic texture. This wine is aged for 12 months in 10-year oak barrels. Pair with rare steak. Drink: 2016 – 2021 138883 14.5% D 750 ml $17.95 Score: 92/100
5. I resolve to drink local
Just as we’re supporting local farmers by buying their produce, let’s do the same by drinking what’s in our own backyard wherever we are.
Henry of Pelham Winery Old Vines Baco Noir 2015, Niagara, Ontario VQA, Canada
Simply amazing, especially at this price. This old vines Baci Noir from Niagara has all the stuffing you want but none of the heaviness. Aromas of black cherry and spice. Perfect for turkey dinner or roast chicken. Drink: 2016 – 2022 459966 13.5% D 750 ml $19.95 Score: 92/100
6. I resolve to have more fun
Wine is all about pleasure. Try some new and surprising combinations this year, such as Champagne and potato chips or oaked Chardonnay and buttery popcorn!
See all wine reviews here for a Happy New Year!