Diners' reactions to a preview of wines from the new Cork & Fork Wine Bar menu at Sunday's Cooking with Class wine-pairing dinner told us we're on the right track. The wine bar and restaurant, slated to open later this month next door to the cooking school, will feature boutique wine selections, flights and Chef Andie Hubka's ambitious menu of tasty, wine-friendly delights.
The winning quartet at Sunday's dinner – Le Colture Cruner Prosecco, DOCG, NV; Neil Ellis 2009 Stellenbosch Chardonnay; Januik 2009 Columbia Valley Red and Altocedro 2011 Año Cero Malbec – got me thinking about wine resolutions for the New Year.
In no particular order, here are a few wines I'm eager to taste in 2013, along with wine varieties, styles or regions I'd like to know better.
Try more sparklers. It's true: Bubbles make any get-together a more festive occasion. Plus, they go with foods from lightly breaded and fried goodies to sushi and quiche.
Resolve to try more: Lambrusco, Brachetto d'Acqui and other red sparkling wines, Sekt (sparkling Riesling, bring it on), American sparkling wines.
Get to know Chardonnay – again. Tastes are changing, and Chardonnays from cooler climates with far less oakiness are tasting better and better.
Get to know more: Central Coast, Pacific Northwest, cooler-climate Australian, South African and New Zealand Chardonnays. And if anyone's pouring more white Burgundy, count me in.
Try more blends. Januik's Merlot blend was layered and provocative. At their best, blends are an alluring mix of balance and intrigue.
Resolve to try more: Bordeaux, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Cotes du Rhone; super Tuscans, Portugal's white and red blends, Priorat, West Coast American blends.
Get to know more varietal wines. Argentine Malbec is the Shakira of South American wine. With their multicultural roots, both wine and singer have shaken up their respective worlds with unique style and inviting appeal.
Resolve to track down: Less-known Italian reds and whites (Lagrein, Teroldego, Arneis, Fiano); Austrian reds Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt; varietal wines from Greece, Corsica, Loire, Alsace, Sardegna and Sicily.
Did I forget anybody? If so, I'll find a spot for it during the next 363 days.
Catch your own inspiration at our next food and wine dinner on Sunday, January 27. Be sure to make a reservation to savor new flavors at Cork & Fork Wine Bar, too. Share your New Year's wine resolution list for 2013 in the comments section, or post your picks on the Write on Wines Facebook page.
Happy New Year!