It’s almost the New Year, and here’s hoping you’ve quit smoking, have hit the gym every day this year so far and stopped biting your nails. But in case you haven’t had success with all of your resolutions (or even if you have) here are some wine and travel goals you can add to your list to accomplish this year. We promise, they’re a little easier to achieve than losing weight or saving money.
Travel In the Name of Wine
It’s obvious you enjoy wine, or you wouldn’t be reading Winetraveler! This year, plan a trip that revolves around wine. This doesn’t mean that everything you do on your vacation has to be wine-related (although it can be). Instead, it’s really just gives you an excuse to plan a vacation, and can help you narrow down a destination. Whether it’s your honeymoon, you’ve got the kids in tow or you’re flying solo, let wine be the perfect reason to start planning that escape.
RELATED: Tips & Tricks To Plan a Honeymoon To a Wine Region
Bring Home A Bottle (Or Several) In A Wine Suitcase
Some of the most delicious wines in the world come from smaller wineries. This means you may not be able to pop in your local wine store and pick up your new favorite. If you’ve found your dream wine in Switzerland, South Africa or even California, you can always ship it, but a wine suitcase will ensure you’re wine comes home with you, safe and sound. We recommend the Vino Voyage TSA-Approved Wine Suitcase, which fits an entire case of wine and is suited for easy travel. If you only plan on bringing a few back, this Neoprene Bottle Protector is the way to go, holding two bottles and fitting perfectly into your suitcase.
Try A New Kind Of Wine
We all have our favorites. I tend to go for Argentinian Malbecs, Spanish Bierzos and Italian Nero D’Avolas — generally strong reds. But after the New Year, I’ll be branching out and attempting to conquer French wines. Specifically, I’ll be digging into the Loire Valley, a wine region that fascinates me, but I know very little about. It may be scary to try new things; after all, we all fear the dreaded sip and scowl — that moment where you taste a wine and hate it. But the odds you’ll actually find new favorites instead are high, so be daring with your wine choices this year.
Replace A Horrid Holiday Gift With Wine
Return that terrible gift and buy wine instead — a gift that keeps on giving (until you finish the bottle, of course). Most return policies are valid for 30 days, meaning you still have time to return that less-than-stellar present. Use the money you saved to buy a bottle — perhaps try something new or splurge on a vintage (see above).
Practice Your Pairings
Pairing wine with food is definitely not a new concept. However, pairing can be complex and exciting. I recently found out you can indeed pair some reds with seafood (I always assumed it was only white or rosé). Wine tastes different with food, so testing out new combinations may give you a whole new outlook on wine, cuisine and even life! So go beyond just a cured cheese and test out different things with your wine — sweets, savories and beyond.
Never Have Wine Teeth Again
We’ve all been there. That dreaded moment when you catch your smile mid-cocktail party in the bathroom mirror and gasp — your lips and teeth are crusted the remnants of red wine. Avoid being ‘that person’ this year with Vanity Project wine wipes that come in a cute metal case you can easily slip in your pocket or purse. Simply wipe your teeth with them after drinking and your pearly whites will stay, well, pearly and white.
Don’t Be A Wine Snob (Or Let Anyone Who Is Bother You)
Wine is for everyone. Someone who doesn’t know a lot about wine can still enjoy it and there’s always room to learn. So don’t be discouraged from asking waiters and sommeliers for recommendations and don’t feel bad if you’re new to the wine game. (In fact, we know a website that may help). Likewise, don’t make anyone feel bad for not knowing about wine. Instead, spread the love and share you knowledge with them.
Get Creative With Your Tasting Descriptions
So we know wine is fruity, crisp and full- bodied. And the tannins… don’t even get me started. Instead of spouting the same old vocab, have a little fun with your wine words. In fact, the next time you taste, challenge your group to come up with funny, unique or exciting new ways to describe what they’re experiencing when drinking. This year, wine will ‘tap dance on my tongue’ and I’ll search for hints of ‘mocha daydreams.’ Because life’s too short to keep saying the same thing all the time!
Dress the Part
While sipping at home in your pajamas is 100% acceptable, it’s time to up your outfit game when you head to wineries or wine bars in this year. But don’t panic, it’s not what you think. It’s not about wearing the latest designers or off-the-runway trends. Instead, consider wearing dark colors in case of spills and avoiding heavy perfumes which can affect the scent of wine for you as well as those around you. For more tips on what to wear (and what not to wear) wine tasting read this article.
Winetraveler wishes you the best this coming New Year — health, happiness, travel and of course — wine!