In addition to being timely – which I clearly need to work on! – I made several resolutions for 2017. Not surprisingly, many are wine related. And while these might be more enjoyable to accomplish than my other annual goals (“x” amount of running mileage by year end, eat more greens, get a mammogram) they are by no means easy. Especially the first one:
Pass the WSET. This is first and foremost on my mind as I’m studying for it almost every single day. (Hence the reason I haven’t gotten around to my blog for over a month.) While I LOVE learning about wine, and am really enjoying digging into the WSET materials, this is something I only want to go through once. Kinda like a wedding. Fun to work on and plan, but I’m aiming for a one and done deal.
I already went over my specific (or rather, non-specific) action plan in a prior blog, so will pass on doing that again here. But I will say that slow and steady is going to win this race for me. A little bit every day as opposed to trying to cram a bunch of knowledge into a few weeks. I’m happy with my pace and it’s very manageable for me. I’ve already put in 30+ hours of studying, and the exam isn’t even for 3 months.
Find more daily drinkers. I’d like to find more enjoyable wines in the $20 and under range. This means less Champagne, Oregon Pinots and Northern Rhône Syrahs – and more Spanish and South American wines. Less Red Mountain and Walla Walla AVA, more Yakima. Explore more obscure varietals . . . Pinotage, Zweigelt, Godello, anyone?
The JPMoney train isn’t going to last forever and I need to not get used to popping $50 bottles of wine on a regular basis.
- Keep an eye out for second labels of producers that I know focus on quality wines (i.e. Lu & Oly from Mark Ryan, Les Trouvés from Avennia) These guys aren’t going to put out crap. Same with non-domestic producers like Chapoutier. While his single vineyard selections are going to be way out of my price range, his regional level wines (CDR, IGP) will likely be more budget friendly.
- Grab wines from up-and-coming regions that don’t have the popularity (and price). My WSET study wines will help with this!
- I had high hopes of doing a monthly “Daily Drinker” as part of the blog but I’m thinking a bi-monthly one might be more attainable. SO: Add my favorite daily drinker to my blog at least every other month!
The above being said – don’t wait for special occasions to open up the good stuff! While I don’t have too many “daily drinkers” in my collection to date, I do have a number of bottles that I feel warrant an “event” in order to justify opening them. Gramercy Reserves and John Lewis Syrahs, Figgins, L’Ecole Ferguson, an assortment of Archery Summit Pinots, Betz, and Quilceda Creek. These aren’t something I usually open on a Tuesday night with my staple comfort food dishes . . . but why not? Why not make a mundane Tuesday eve (sorry Tuesdays, I don’t mean to pick on you) a little less so? What exactly am I waiting for?
- I’ve never been particularly good at sharing wines like this. BUT – I do have a number of friends who would actually appreciate these – I need to think about spreading the love.
- Since eating out tends to be centered around an “occasion” – take advantage of reasonable corkage fees (hello Jak’s!) and bring one of these bottles with me.
Hit more local places. I have some amazing wine-related trips planned this year (Napa, Sonoma, Kelowna, annual Walla Walla excursion), but there are also plenty of places close to home that I should start taking advantage of. Urban Wineries, Woodinville, any one of the dozens of wine bars in the Puget Sound area (Hubs & I are hitting Bottlehouse next week!) Visiting these spots might also help accomplish #5 below . . .
Keep my eye out for a Plan B. While I’m still enjoying working at Capri, I’m getting a bit fidgety. I need more responsibilities and challenges. And if I can’t get them there, I’m going to be open to other opportunities that might come along. Maybe Gramercy will open a tasting room over here. Maybe Kevin White will retire from Microsoft and start doing his wines full-time. Maybe Bob Betz needs . . . well, whatever that man might need – I’ll do it. 🙂
CC is great for now, and I can use it as a stepping stone to my next landing. Wherever that might be. Who knows . . . maybe it’s becoming the owner.
- Make friends with our distributors. While this isn’t what I’d like to DO, they know a LOT of people in the industry.
- Introduce myself to each and every winemaker that comes in our door. Follow up with them somehow . . . visit, email, incessant social media stalking, etc.
- Speaking of social media, increase my LinkedIn presence.
- If I’m accepted into the Chevalier du Tastevin, figure out a way to use this to help launch my Plan B!
Have FUN with wine. Sure, wine is currently the focus of my job and my school and, honestly, quite a bit of my social activity. But I don’t want to get so caught up that I don’t enjoy it. Sometimes, I need to just have a glass and drink it – not analyze it.
And on THAT note, I’m going to head downstairs and finish that daily drinker bottle of Sancerre and catch up on the Bachelor! Cheers to a delicious 2017!!