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Wine is always a rewarding resolution

Posted: January 30, 2009 12:36 p.m.
Updated: January 30, 2009 1:04 p.m.

Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier are owners of Vino 100 in Valencia, a unique specialty wine store offering boutique, handcrafted wines from small, artisan vineyards, as well as a large selection of gifts and accessories. Free delivery in the Santa Clarita Valley with purchase of $50 or more. Visit Vino 100 located at 28112 Newhall Ranch Road in the...

The start of a new year is always flush with possibilities. This year, along with some of the usual resolutions, why not add "try something new"?

When it comes to wine, there's a big, wide world of possibilities out there for you to try something new. To help you get started, we've compiled a short list of four New Year's wine resolutions.

Resolution #1: Climb out of the wine rut. It's easy to get stuck. Take Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, for example. They are the most popular white wines, but there are others worthy of attention.

Viognier, with its fragrant bouquet, falls somewhere in between a full-bodied Chardonnay and the lighter-bodied Sauvignon Blanc. It pairs well with orange chicken or spicy Thai food. And don't forget about Rieslings. Despite popular belief, not all Rieslings are sweet. Try a dry one and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Resolution #2: Let go of old wine biases. If you go faint at the term blush wine, then think rosé (or rosado in Spanish). A blend of red grape varietals, rosé wines are growing in popularity. Why not get in on the fun?

Today's rosé should not be confused with the white zinfandel "blush" wines of years ago. Rosés, which are usually served chilled, are great sipping wines and especially ideal on warm weather nights and perfect with an amazing variety of food from tangy barbecue to turkey dinner.

Resolution #3: Try something you've never heard of before. Ever heard of Counoise? This is one of the 13 permitted varietals in Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines. Primarily used as a blending grape with Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah, this rare grape is noted for its soft tannins, notes of spice, with flavors of berries.
Opolo Vineyards (Paso Robles) for instance, produces their "Grand Rouge" which is a blend of Counoise, Grenache and Petite Sirah.

Resolution #4: Experiment with wines from different growing regions. All Cabernets, even those produced in California, are not created equal. So be a little adventurous and try a type of wine you like that comes from a different growing region of California, the country, or the world.

California growing regions that you might want to consider include wines from Lodi, Amador and Lake County. To venture across the California border, Washington produces wonderful Cabernets.

You could probably spend the entire year experimenting with wines from the world's important growing regions. Resolve to try something new from France, Italy, Germany and Spain to South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Chile. Even Israel has a small wine-producing region in the Golan Heights.

A good place to put your New Year's resolution into action is by visiting your neighborhood wine store, where the staff can help you make some new choices.

Every wine has a story, let us share it with you!


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