There’s a big trend in the world of wine writing to rank your fave wines at the end of the year, but honestly I kind of hate those types of lists – playing favorites has just never been my thing. However, when I finally had the time to sit down and review the MANY pics of wine and food on my phone it was quite fun to notice trends in my own imbibing and come up with some take-aways that might help you in the year ahead!
Without further ado my deep wine thoughts based on a non-scientific study of my 2022 indulgences!
Never be afraid to visit old friends/trends!
Somewhere along the way it feels like a lot of us wine “professionals” quit drinking rosé (or slowed waaaay down). I remember the first time (a few years back) I heard a peer say, “Oh I never drink rosé.” And I thought to myself, “Really?” But then guess what, I slipped into that pattern myself. There just seemed to be so much great, “serious” wine to explore that rosé fell by the wayside. Yet, this past spring and really summer I had the epiphany: “Why yes, rosé is delicious!” (Especially when it’s 100 degrees in the shade.) I will admit that I have upped my price point from when I first got the rosé bug, and you should too! For $25 to $35 you can have world class rosé that will prove just as interesting as any mineral driven white (my usual summer favorite). So, let’s countdown to spring when we can all appreciate the deliciousness that is GREAT rosé!
Two Rosé Standouts:
Clos Cibonne Côtes de Provence (France)
Shelter Rosé de Noir (Baden, Germany)
Never underestimate the power of a good pizza wine!
I actually loved scrolling through my phone photo album and seeing just how much great pizza and pizza wine we enjoyed in 2022 – especially in nice weather on the screen porch. Now, while I would like to claim I joined the Ooni Pizza Oven club and made all this pizza myself, that would be a lie! This was straight up take-out pizza (mostly from Baker’s Bar in South Windermere that I picked up on my way home from work). And it was delicious! And so was the wine. Of course, we enjoyed many chillable reds with said pizza, but guess what – unctuous whites also work quite well with pizza (especially white pizza)!
Two standouts in the Chillable Red Category:
I Clivi Schioppettino (Friuli, Italy)
Pierre Richard Trousseau (Jura, France)
Lean into what you love!
Yes, I have to admit I drank A LOT of French wine over the past year. As I like to say, I loved France before I loved wine! I was a French/Journalism major in college and even imagined I would be a foreign correspondent – the whole nine yards! Many years later my French language skills – although not what they used to be – still proved helpful when I dove headfirst into wine. And now, even more years later, I still love France AND French wine. Sometimes I beat myself up over this and other days I just give in, especially on special occasions. My take-away – life is short – drink your favorites (most of the time – see amendment below!)
Two extra special standouts:
Thomas Pico 1er Cru Chablis “Beauregard” (birthday wine!)
*unctuous Chardonnay from its homeland
Chambeyron-Manin Côte Rôtie (vacation wine!)
*earthy earthy earthy Syrah from its homeland
Last, but not least, take-way… ALSO make room for NEW favorites!
Ok after my whole soapbox, Francophile speech above, there is the necessary “but” …yes, somewhat unbelievably, even I would be sad if I ONLY drank French wine! There are so many int
eresting regions and producers that I am always searching for new favorites. Newbie obsessions from this past year: the light red Pais from Chile (aka Criolla Chica from Argentina aka Mission from California), the light red Rossese from Italy (aka Tibouren from France), Riesling from everywhere (including the often overlooked Australia!) And all of these were not extravagant splurges but great everyday/weekend wines ranging from $20 to mid $30s!
Pedro Parra Pais "Vinista" (Itata, Chile)
Stargazer Riesling (Tasmania, Australia)
Cheers to more sipping and learning and savoring in 2023!