With the coming of the end of 2016, most of us in the business start to look at the numerous Top Something lists that are put out by the various publications. We want to see if we have, or have had, any of those wines the past year. At least I do.
Those lists center around various wine attributes. Highest scores, best value and a host of other items. While those lists are interesting and even fun to compare with what we may have drunk over the year, I think this year I'm going to focus not on the past but the future. Life events have given me a different perspective on things. Age, retirement and a different focus will be leading me down different paths. Why not do the same with my passion, wine!
What do I mean? It's like the famous hockey player, Wayne Gretzky said "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." So I hope to be able to put that to use with wine. I want to be where wine is going, not where it's already been. Seems simple enough. Or is it?
I think back on some of my past posts and I remember how, by the time I wrote about cement fermenters, they had been in use for years. More recently the use of whiskey barrels to age wine. Again, was a little late to the party on that one, but not as much. I even put out a post about the next great wine grape that will be "discovered" by wine drinkers. Cab Franc. So far that one has been a big bust, but hey, at least I put myself out there on that one.
The closest thing I can think of right now is what I already try to do, and that is to watch the vintage reports from year to year to see which ones show the most promise. Then try to find those best examples of wines from that year. I guess that's pretty close.
I've been thinking lately about maybe I should be thinking of ways to make wine more mainstream or easier for folks to learn and enjoy. After all, most drinkers just want to enjoy the wine not have to think about all that goes into making it. To some degree, that's what wine ratings were meant to do. Heck, there's even a winery, 90+ Cellars, that touts that by buying grapes from some of the great wineries and bottling it under their label, you get a consistent high quality wine. Not a bad idea when you think of it.
So, with much more time on my hands these days, and a continued passion for the wine industry, I am going to be looking forward to NEW ways of making the wine drinking experience better and even more fun. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll go back to the tried and true ways of wine buying.
Whatever happens, please enjoy and may you and yours have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.