Have you made your New Year’s resolutions?
Sure, many of us will have resolutions that include exercising more and losing weight, spending less, saving more, and of course, eating healthier. Last year, by January 2nd I had already broken all of my pledges.
It’s time to hit the reset button, but this year, consider choosing a few resolutions that you can actually accomplish — and with pleasure. Here are some wine-related resolution suggestions for you to consider in the New Year.
1. Drink more Ontario wine.
Ontario wine is elegant and perfect for food pairing. Cool climate wines offer vibrant acidity and freshness. Ontario has three unique wine regions and several emerging regions. Make it a point to try several wines from each Ontario region this year!
2. Drink more riesling.
If you don’t drink it because you think it’s too sweet, give it another try. Riesling comes in many styles from dry to off dry to sweet. Ontario riesling is a great place to start!
3. If you have never tasted icewine, make this the year!
Icewine in Ontario is most commonly made from vidal, riesling and cabernet franc grapes. Icewine is sweet, and perfect after dinner. If you have never paired it with blue cheese, make it a must-try this year.
4. Attend a wine & food show or festival.
These events offer opportunities to sample many different wines, and quite often you get to meet the key people who make them.
The 11th annual London Wine & Food Show is back at the Metroland Media Agriplex January 14–16.
For three weekends in January, the Niagara Region is transformed into a wintry wonderland, celebrating Ontario icewine. www.niagarawinefestival.com
5. Visit a winery.
See how wine is made. Talk with the passionate people who work at Ontario’s wineries. Plan a day trip or weekend getaway to Lake Erie North Shore, or Niagara, or Prince Edward County this year. The wineries are closer than you think!
6. Try different wines.
It’s easy to just stick with the same wine, day in and day out. Explore new wines and varietals this year. Non-traditional varieties such as viognier, albarino, gruner veltliner and carménère are great wines to start with.
Wine is made from thousands of different types of grapes from around the world, 13,681 to be precise. Here are a few unique, budget-friendly wine recommendations to get the new year started.
Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier (lcbo# 64287, $9.95) Wines from Chile offer exceptional value. At under $10 this viognier is a steal!
Viognier is a white wine and is the only approved grape for the French wine Condrieu in the Rhône Valley. It’s fairly new to Chile, and based on what has already been produced, it is showing a lot of promise.
Medium- to full-bodied, aromatic with marked notes of apricot and peach, orange blossom and honey. Add viognier to your list if you have not tried it yet!
Paco & Lola Albariño 2013 (lcbo Vintages # 350041, $18.95) Albariño, also known as alvarinho, is a white grape grown in Portugal and Spain. Like viognier, it offers very aromatic apricot and peach notes. It has been compared to riesling for its minerality and lively acidity; to viognier’s peach and apricot character; and to pinot gris for its floral bouquet. Albariño pairs well with seafood.
Salomon Undhof Groovey Grüner Veltliner 2014 (lcbo Vintages # 669606, $14.95)
Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s most widely planted grape. Austria’s marketers have dubbed this grape “Gru-Ve” and even “Groovy.” Dry, spicy, ripe peaches, mango, and green apples fruit notes. Rich and powerful on the palate. Grüner Veltliner pairs well with a wide range of foods and has a special affinity to wiener schnitzel.
Santa Alicia Carménère Reserva (lcbo# 309302, $12.95)
Carménère had been considered an extinct grape, until research in the 1990s revealed that what were thought to be merlot vines planted in Chile were actually carménère. It is now considered Chile’s own signature grape.
Santa Alicia carménère offers ripe black cherry, plums and just a hint of the oak’s spice notes on the finish. Very pleasant and easy to drink wine.
Gary Killops is a certified wine geek who loves to talk, taste and write about wine. He shares his wine tasting notes on EssexWineReview.com