By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier

Many people make resolutions at the start of a new year but so few of us keep them. Maybe your unrealistic goals should be replaced with something that is totally enjoyable…like drinking more wine! Here are 5 resolutions that will sure to make 2017 a banner year.

1) Try a new grape variety
Even the most ardent wine geek can find themselves drinking the same 5 or 6 wine varietals. There is a world of wine grapes waiting to be explored. The added benefit is the price! Lesser known wines can be an amazing value.
(See grape guide and recommendations below)
2) Cook with wine
The best chefs in the world cook with wine yet most home cooks rarely do. A really good tip: Save your left-over wine in ice trays. Then add a cube as needed to your favorite sauces.
3) Host a wine tasting
You don’t have to be a certified Sommelier to host a wine tasting. You can even make it potluck style and have friends bring a bottle each. Pick a theme or wine region, down load some scoring sheets and you are off and running.
4) Decant more often
Time to bring out that old decanter you were given as a wedding present but just never use, then again any water pitcher will work. Decanting absolutely changes the wine by exposing all of its molecules to air. Try it.
5) Drink “the good stuff”
If you’re like me you are saving certain bottles for big occasions. Fair enough. But keep in mind that knowing when to drink a wine, even one that was made to be aged, should be akin to trading a professional athlete – better a year early than a day late.
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Torrontés aromas are strikingly similar to Viognier, with hints of peach, flowers and orange. It is fruity yet still quite dry. It is the perfect partner to smoked meats and cheeses, seafood and sushi!
Colomé Torrontés – $11.99

Monestrell is the Spanish name for the Mourvèdre grape in France. The grape can produce highly perfumed wines with intense blackberry fruit flavors and savory, meaty notes. In Australia, the grape is the M in their famed GSM blends along with Grenache and Shiraz.
Honoro Vera Monastrell – $7.99

Tannat is a red grape historically grown in South West France in the Madiran region, and is now one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay. It is characterized by its firm, tannic structure with raspberry aromas and the ability to age well.
Bouza Tannat Reserva – $20.99

Assyrtico is Greece’s most iconic grape variety, grown on the volcanic island of Santorini (now officially named Thera). It is a high acid versatile grape able to be made in a multitude of styles, from fresh, white wines to rich, nutty dessert wines, as in Vinsanto.
Boutari Santorini Assyrtico – $16.98

Gaglioppo is an Italian grape variety only recently found to be an offspring of Sangiovese. It best known for producing soft red wines from Calabria. The red wine is typified by a range of crushed berry flavors with earthy and spicy secondary notes.
Ippolito Liber Pater Ciro Rosso – $14.99
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Wine Guy Fact
New Year’s Day began with the Babylonians in March but changed to January by the Romans. January gets its name from Janus, the two-faced god who looks backward into the old year and forwards into the new. Resolutions were started by the Babylonians with promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favor in the coming year.
The idea of fasting or “doing” is a more modern invention. A 2007 study showed that men achieved their goal more often when they engaged in private goal setting, while women succeeded more when they made their goals public.
The top three resolutions year after year are to spend more time with family, lose weight and quit smoking.

2017 New Year’s Wine Resolutions
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