As many people refresh their fitness and health goals for the new year, I’m pondering ways to refresh my wine life. I have finally and amazingly found a balance where I can exercise, eat well, and drink wine every day. I’m in no way going to mess with this fabulous mojo. I have certainly succumbed prior to the methods of counting my wine calories each night and even going dry in January, but let me tell you, that is for the birds. I like my wine, and it is in everyone’s best interest to keep my fluid, so to speak.
So, while cutting back isn’t in the cards, I do want to drink better, smarter, and learn more. We all can get stale and in a wine rut where we drink what we can easily grab. One of the many reasons I love wine is the never-ending number of varietals, production levels, and locations it is a grown. So, this year I vow to step out and fluff my wine feathers.
As an Orange County resident, we are spoiled with such easy access to the plethora of California wine and on-site tasting in the Central Coast, Napa, Sonoma, and more. We don’t have to work very hard to drink great cab, pinot, and chardonnay. However, there are some areas that I need to delve into, such as Arizona, Texas, and Baja. They may not be atop the Parker or Wine Spectator ratings, but neither was California to start. New regions have fresh takes and often creative production and growth methods. Outside North America, Australia is working to be a reputable brand again, England is producing sparkling wine, and Mount Etna just blew, which has to have an interesting effect on the wines of Sicily. The opportunities to drink and expand knowledge are limitless. Time to get out of the comfort zone, out of recommended lists, and go wine rogue.
New Ways to Learn
I have 3-inch wine encyclopedias, I’ve seen the wine documentaries, and have faded on reading the wine magazines. I dig testing my knowledge, though, and moreso showcasing how much I don’t know. Games and trivia cards are great fun like the Wine Wars board game and SOMM Blinders Card Game from Jason B. Wise, the “SOMM” series documentarian.
New Orange County Wine Locations
There are so many new and iconic wine bars and restaurants in Orange County. This work from home, sports, and performing arts mom has a tough time getting out to experience it all. Top of the list to experience in 2019 include the new Moulin opening soon in San Clemente, Laguna Beach’s Wine Gallery, SeaLegs Wine Bar in Huntington Beach, and Old Vine Café’s new location.
“The discovery of wine is of greater moment than the discovery of constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” — Benjamin Franklin