2014 – Grape Expectations
Christmas is over and has been great… So great I fact I had to use the panoramic function in my phone to take a photo of all the superb bottles we enjoyed over the festive period! But it’s now time to look forward and have a think about my wine resolutions for 2014.
I thought I’d start by looking back at what I wrote this time last year. In 2013 I said Italy and USA would be my focus countries, whilst my focus grapes would be Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Its fair to say I’ve done better with the varieties – I went out of my way to buy and try Cab Savs and Chards from everywhere I could; because of this I have rediscovered my love of Coonawarra Cabs, started a new love affair with Kiwi Chards and have a newfound respect for South African and California versions of both. On countries, my grade for Italian is around a C; my basic knowledge of grapes and regions is decent but my knowledge of producers is negligible. As for USA, well everything I’ve drunk I’ve loved… But there’s not a whole lot available in the uk market in my defence.
So Italian wine makes the list again for 2014. I want to have the same understanding of Tuscany, Piedmont and Veneto as I have for Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhone. I will download a book for my Kindle to read on the way to and from work – I’m on the train for an hour a day and find it so much easier to read on the train than flicking though a book at home these days. I will also stop going straight to the Burgundy section when ordering via The Wine Society!
The USA, specifically California, also stays on the list… A two-week trip in the summer is currently in the planning stage and there is nothing like visiting a region first hand to get to grips with it. I will be asking for lots of recommendations over the coming months!
Germany & Austria will also be a focus. I love Riesling and Gruner but its time to go deeper… And Spatburgunder will be a definite target.
In 2013 I attended around 20 tasting events… There will be even more in 2014. I’ve already got a couple of Alsace events and a Priorat tasting in the diary, along with a few more awaiting confirmation. 2013 brought my first taste of DRC, Mouton, and Cheval Blanc… I wonder what this year will bring?
2014 will also see the start of a wine club at work – I managed to get twelve of the gang interested in a wine-themed secret Santa so I’m going to run a few tasting events, probably starting with an introduction to French wine before February is over.
And finally… I’m going to drink cheaper wine in the week… I can’t afford to pop premier Cru burgundy on a Wednesday night! I’m going to search for the best bargains in the uk under £10 to save my pocket and to give the best possible recommendations in the weekly newsletter.
Here’s wishing you all a fabulous New Year, and please let me know what are your wine resolutions for 2014 in the comments box. Cheers!