2013 Wine Resolutions

2013NewYearRinging in a new year, celebrating a birthday or anniversary, and heck, even just the “next day”. We all have our time to set resolutions, the tough part is keeping them! As we welcome in 2013, we all know the standard resolutions: Eat healthier, exercise more, spend more time with family and friends, invest and budget, etc., etc. This year we thought it would be best to stick to resolutions we know we can keep! Back by popular demand, this year we have 13 easy resolutions that are not only fun, but we’re sure you can stick with!


Wine Chemistry#1 – DISCOVER THE DETAILS With so many ways to easily access information these days, it is a cinch to expand your knowledge of the wines you already know you love. You can use these tools to also learn more about the wines you haven’t tried. This year, explore the components of the wines you enjoy (varietal, appellation, pH, residual sugar, etc.) and then apply that knowledge to try new wines with similar features and see how they compare. Who knows, you may just find some new favorites! Check out our blog on “The Science Behind the Numbers” and see what each component contributes to the wine, and then explore our Spec Sheets to view the numbers on your favorite Scott Harvey & Jana Wines.


Magnifying Glass#2 – EXPLORE MORE
We all have our “go to” varieties. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, the list goes on and on and on. This year, omit from your vocabulary, “I don’t like [insert unfamiliar variety]”, and try something new. Often times we learn to “dislike” a particular variety or region by only having tasted one wine of that variety or appellation. Is this really a fair judgment? Whether you’re wine tasting in a new region or trying a new variety, at least once a month, experiment, break the routine and try something new! Refer back to Resolution #1.


Keeping with the theme of Resolutions #1 & #2, we hope you will rediscover the “new” old-world style of Riesling. In the recent past, Riesling saturated the market, and the wine world was inundated with overly sweet and incredibly unbalanced Rieslings. In an effort to erase the stereotype, with great success I might add, winemakers are focusing on making crisp, low-alcohol Rieslings with a balanced ratio of residual sugar and acidity. Being German trained, Scott has always made his Rieslings in a dry or off-dry fashion, and our 2009 Jana Mendocino Valley Old Vine Riesling is no exception. If you enjoy dessert wines, our 2010 Angel Eis is a sweet but balanced dessert wine crafted with high-quality Riesling grapes. Click HERE to learn more on Riesling styles.


Do you sometimes find the temperature of your wine similarly resembles Goldilocks’ take on porridge? “This one is too hot. This one is too cold. Ahhh, this one is just right.” Temperature plays a key role in the way your wine will taste. Too warm, and a wine can be flabby and missing character. Too cold, and a wine can appear closed off and unwelcoming. When served at the right temperature, your wine is exquisite and unforgettable. To help create a memorable experience when serving and enjoying wine, you can download our Recommended Serving Chart (F). We also have a Celsius version.


You drink quality wine, right? So why not use quality stemware? It is easy to get overwhelmed by the variety of shapes, sizes and styles, and with good reason, there’s a lot to be said for the right wine glass, but that is a discussion for another time. In any case, quality is key. Whether your serving a red, white or sparkling, you want the glass quality to be first rate. Ideally, a glass should be thin enough to show off the delicate colors, but also be sturdy enough to avoid wobbling and spills. If you’re looking to make an investment, check out our Scott Harvey Wines and Jana Winery wine glasses. These are high quality, crystal wine glasses, perfect for every occasion.


Notepad & Pencil#6 – TAKE BETTER NOTES
Not everyone has a photographic memory, and remembering the names, years, producers and tastes of all the wines you’ll try this year can be a bit tricky. Most of us only remember if a wine was good or bad, or if it had a red label. This year, resolve to pay better attention to the wines you like and to take better notes. And don’t be intimidated or overwhelmed by the winemakers’ tasting notes or the thoughts of a wine “professional”, big words and flowery adjectives are not necessary when taking notes. Just be honest and jot down the first things that come to mind.


Smartphone#7 – SHOW OFF YOUR “SMARTS”
To help you keep Resolution #6 – Take Better Notes – use the tool at your fingertips, your smart phone! With the camera function you can take a picture of the wine you are enjoying, and with a variety of wine apps out there, you can keep detailed notes, keep track of your purchases, search for wines you want, or find recipes to pair with the wine you want to serve. If you’re really into cellaring wine, there are apps that can help you keep track of what you have, when you bought it and it’s “drink by” date. This can help prevent wines from going “over the hill” before you get to enjoy them.


shop_small#8 – SHOP SMALL
In November, the country celebrated the 3rd Annual “Small Business Saturday”, and with great success. Small businesses are the heart of America, and your support of your local businesses will keep the economy strong. In addition, small businesses often times provide you with a better shopping experience. This can include detailed information and one-on-one customer service. While it’s sometimes true you may pay slightly more than you would in a big-box store, the individual and customized services can be priceless. As a small business, we invite you to visit our Sutter Creek Tasting Room and learn first hand the advantage of shopping small. Click HERE to read what others have to say about their visit.


We all know the basic rule of food and wine pairing; “Red wines with red meat and white wines with fish.” While there is something to be said for this simple rule, the food and wine pairing experience can reach far beyond this. With chicken, pork, turkey, seafood and vegetables on the plate, all rules go out the window and the pairing options are endless. For instance, we love Open Face Poached Sea Bass Sandwiches with our Amador County Barbera. Another fun pairing is Pork Chops with Sticky Rice and Thai Green-Chile Sauce served alongside our Mendocino Riesling. The key is to experiment, break tradition, and find what works for you. If you have a favorite “unconventional” pairing, we’d love to hear it! Suggestions can be sent to [email protected] View our RECIPES page.


Formats & Sizes#10 – BUST OPEN THE BIG BOTTLE
If you made a resolution to spend more time with family and friends, now is the time to break out the big bottles! Whether it’s a Magnum (equal to 2 bottles) or a Double Magnum (equal to 4 bottles), or something even larger, we’re sure everyone will have a great time enjoying the company of loved ones along with some fantastic wine! Not only do large formats have better aging potential than single bottles, they also have that “WOW” factor that makes them so cool. Large formats are also great as centerpieces at weddings, anniversaries or parties, and can be a great way to encourage mingling and meeting new people and trying new wines (See Resolution #2). Read our blog on “It’s Time to Go BIG” and learn more about large format bottles. Click HERE to view our selection of Magnums and Double Magnums.


It is a common misconception that good wine must be high-priced and that high-priced wine must be good. But really, what constitutes “good”? Isn’t “good” wine a wine we like? Too often people think that they have to like a wine because it has a higher price tag or that a wine with a lower price is subpar. This year, dump that idea in the bucket! When wine tasting, don’t let the price pre-determine your judgment of a wine, let your taste buds decide. When shopping for a wine in the store, get recommendations for a wine within a specific price range. If shopping online, read the reviews and shop based on your preferred price range. The website www.Snooth.com is a great resource and has tools for searching by color and variety, winery, region, price and ratings.


wine and friends#12 – SHARE WHAT YOU LOVE
The only thing better than enjoying wine is sharing wine with family and friends. A wine tasting party is a creative way to gather family and friends together to learn about wine and to experiment with new or unusual varieties. Whether you are pairing wines with cheese, doing a vertical or horizontal tasting, or setting up a blind tasting, the first tip to hosting a wine party is to keep it fun! Here are a few other tips for hosting a great wine tasting party:

  • Choose the type of tasting you want to host. This could be based on price point, single varieties, new and/or unusual varieties, Old World vs. New World or the ever popular blind tasting.
  • Determine your guest list and send out invitations at least two weeks in advance. Online invitations, such as those from evite.com, are fun and quite popular.
  • Prepare tasting or score cards for guests to keep notes. Download our sample Tasting Sheet.
  • During the tasting, you will want to provide:
    • a glass for each person
    • dump buckets
    • bread or crackers for cleansing the palate
    • water pitchers for rinsing and palate cleansing
    • tasting cards, pens and additional paper

Most important, encourage honesty and humor. Keep the party fun and enjoy sharing and learning about new wines.


Sip,Smile & Savor#13 – SIP, SAVOR & SMILE
A resolution often overlooked is the one to take more time to enjoy the simple things in life. Whether it’s an early morning sunrise, a kind gesture from a stranger, a loving and heartfelt hug, a special homemade dinner or a glass of your favorite wine, take the time to enjoy the small things and seal each memory with a smile.

From all of us here at Scott Harvey Wines and Jana Winery, we wish you and your loved ones a year full of cheer, abundance and joy!