Although New Year's resolutions are usually made in bulk, why not make things easier for yourself this year? Simply resolve to drink more wine. Research abounds as to the health benefits of resveratrol, that nerdy-sounding compound found in red wine that's been purported to do everything from lowering your blood sugar to warding off cancer. Plus, drinking wine is just fun.
Other compelling reasons to imbibe more of the red, white and rosé:
* Wine is the natural choice to pair with food. (See: all European countries)
* There are fewer calories in a glass of wine than soda (aren't you a little old to be drinking soda with your dinner anyway?) and beer.
* Think of how much you'll impress your friends the next time you're out to dinner and casually order a juicy, lush Meritage by the glass to go with your juicy, lush burger.
If you resolve to try just one new varietal (aka wine grape) per month, you'll have amassed a whole case-worth's of wine knowledge by this time next year.
Here's a suggestion to get you started: Champagne. Don't panic -- there's no need to drop last week's paycheck on a bottle of Cristal. You can choose any wine of the bubbly persuasion; cava from Spain, prosecco from Italy, or good ol' sparkling wine made anywhere from California to right here in Colorado.
Sparkling wines offer many of the same pleasures of "real" Champagne but at a much more affordable price point. One sip, and you'll regret not having consumed more of it in your lifetime. When choosing a sparkling wine, look for the words "Methode Traditionelle" on the label, which means that the wine was made following the same process as the one used to make Champagne.
Here are two bottles I absolutely adore, both priced under $15 and available just about everywhere in town:
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Marques de Galida NV Cava Brut, Spain: Everything you'd expect from a traditional (read: expensive) Champagne at a fraction of the price, this wine is lively and toasty, with a hint of citrus. Perfect with everything from French fries to oysters.
Gruet Rosé NV, New Mexico:The only thing better than a glass of bubbly is a glass of rosé bubbly. This one's from New Mexico (go figure!) and is full of fresh berry flavors tinged with spice. Drink alone, or enjoy with tuna tartare, smoked salmon, or anything wrapped in bacon.
Cheers - here's to your 2010 resolution to drink more wine!