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Friday, December 19, 2014

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda


It’s that time of the year for contemplation… all of the shoulda, woulda and coulda from the last 12 months.  A year or two ago the Wine Spectator had an article in which the author lamented about his greatest wine regrets.  Here’s my list of wine roads not taken.

     I wish I had known Gruner Veltliner earlier as it’s my latest darling varietal.  Yeah, I know it’s hard to pronounce, but as hard as it is to say, it’s the inverse wonderful to drink.  While I tried it 35 years ago on my first trip to Austria, it never hit home until this year when I had some terrific GV in New Zealand.  Now I can’t get enough of this fruity (think berries, citrus & stone fruits) & floral white dazzler native to Austria.

    I wish I had drunk more wines from Bierzo, Spain.  I’m currently working on the 2016 Wine Knows tour to Spain and Portugal and it reminds me of how much I love these wines.  Made from the Mencia grape, these drop-dead gorgeous, complex reds from Spain’s northwest should be on every wine lover’s radar.  For quality/price ratio, Bierzo’s Mencia knocks it out of the ballpark.

     I wish my last 35 years of serious wine drinking had all been done blindly.  In my ideal world, all wine should be consumed without knowing what it is or how much it costs. Too many of us are persuaded by the brand name, the price, or some other factor that has no relationship (necessarily) to what’s in the bottle.  Taste it blind…then decide if the quality warrants the price.  Taste it blind and you may be very surprised as to what you find.

     I wish Riesling was not such a step-child.  I notice several people avoiding this varietal…probably because of their preconceived ideas of a sweet wine.  The Rieslings I love are bone dry.   True, older Rieslings are often acquired tastes due to their petrol profile, but when correctly paired with food, this varietal is an real unsung hero for most Americans.

What wine roads should you take in 2015?  What’s on your wine bucket list?  What are your New Year’s Resolutions related to wine?

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