Top 3 Wine Resolutions To Keep In 2021
As we all head into 2021 hoping that the 2020 whirlwind will finally subside, and a new, calmer, and safer future will come into view Resolutions in the typical sense seem like somewhat silly endeavors. That said, there’s still plenty of value in changing things up on a small and personal scale–starting with the way we enjoy a glass of vino at the end of a long day (or, if you’re a wine-brunch fan, at the start of one). If you’re ready for some fresh food pairings and modern spins on imbibing norms, then read on for three wine resolutions to kick your 2021 off right.
Remember that all-day appetizers mean that it’s always Aperitivo Hour.
2020 shook up many regular schedules, and as more and more people shifted from working in offices to working from home, typical mealtimes and meal formats gave way to alternative versions. One especially-popular trend involved trading in large-scale lunches and dinners for smaller snack servings meant to be enjoyed throughout the day such as a mini cheese plate, a side salad, a fruit and granola parfait. This type of eating can be easily characterized as a parade of appetizers, and if we’re getting our daily sustenance from hors d’oeuvres, then it stands to reason that wine-based aperitivo cocktails should be part of this new tradition. If you’d like to expand your horizons beyond the usual aperitivo suspects (like Aperol Spritzes and Negronis), then try these flavorful variations, along with these accompanying snack pairings:
French 75 with Baked Brie and Apricot Preserves: A Prohibition-era libation made with sparkling wine, lemon, and sugar, the French 75 makes any day feel like a special occasion. The delicate sweetness balanced with citrus tang and effervescence makes this cocktail a perfect partner for baked Brie and apricot preserves slathered on toasted baguette.
Sangria with a Spanish Tortilla: The Spanish specialty known as sangria can be made with either white wine or red wine, and both versions deliver on flavor while also remaining relatively low-ABV. The pairing of sangria and tortilla (a Spanish take on the omelette that features eggs, potatoes, and onions) is a long-standing favorite in its home country for good reason; to turn the tortilla into a more substantial meal, add a green salad.
A New York Sour with Beef Tartare: A cocktail made with rye or bourbon and topped with a red wine floater, a New York Sour seems specifically designed to drink alongside red meat. If you’re sticking with the appetizers-all-day theme, beef tartare dressed with Dijon and Worcestershire collaborates beautifully with this beverage’s flavor profile.
Look at organic wine as more than just an au courant catchphrase.
In recent years, wine drinkers, and buyers have witnessed a remarkable rise in demand for natural, biodynamic, and organic wines. While it’s easy to roll your eyes and wave these bottles off as a mere fad, wines in these categories often boast unique and diverting flavor depths that can’t be dismissed out of hand. While natural wines aren’t subject to any specific regulations (and are therefore more difficult to define), organic wines must come from certified organic grapes, giving them an extra level of quality control (and making them ideal matches for dishes made with organic meats and produce). A few organic bottles worth seeking out:
Le Bihan 2015 L’Aime Chai” ($20)
An engaging organic blend from the Cotes de Duras region of France, this wine offers compelling dark-fruit notes, defined freshness, and a medium weight, all of which give it equal standing as a celebratory wine and as an everyday wine.
Vandal Gonzo Militia Natural White Wine ($33)
Clean, juicy, and just the right level of complex, this white blend from New Zealand appeals to both laidback drinkers who want a quaffable porch-pounder and to those who prefer a wine with nuance and intrigue.
Echeverria No Es Pituko 2019 ($18)
Anyone suffering from Chardonnay fatigue should pick up this bottle ASAP; this organic Chilean version brings flavors of stone fruit and citrus, anchored by a subtle unfiltered funk and completed by a refreshing finish.
Don’t sleep on boxed and canned wines.
La Petite Frog Picpoul de Pinet ($30)
Boxed wine may have seemed synonymous with cheap swill in the past, but winemakers now see endless possibilities in this eco-friendly style of packaging. With the growth of elite boxed wines also comes an increase in elite, outdoor dining-friendly canned wines. If you’re ready to give boxed or canned wines a try, consider these exceptional renditions:
A phenomenal wine at a beyond-reasonable price, this 3L box of Picpoul de Pinet represents an underrated French varietal, and La Petite Frog’s version is crisp, harmonious, and easy-drinking.
Di Giovanna V.18 Vasca Di Ciotto Nero D’Avola ($32)
Sicilian Nero d’Avola’s medium body and abundant spice render it a dream partner for any red-sauce dish, and this boxed expression provides everything that savvy drinkers love about this varietal at a bargain rate.
Bridge Lane Rosé ($8)
The North Fork of Long Island hosts some of the Northeast’s finest vineyards, and Bridge Lane counts among the most beloved wineries in the region. Bridge Lane’s Cabernet Franc-based rosé sings with tropical fruit and floral aromatics, and it’s just as satisfying as a brunch sipper as it is as a nightcap. This rosé comes in both a can and a box, so you’ll have options regardless of your thirst level.
Taylor Tobin is a Brooklyn-based food, beverage, and lifestyle journalist with bylines at HuffPost, Insider, Wine Enthusiast, Observer, and Chilled Magazine, among others. When she isn’t eating, drinking, or writing, she enjoys riding her bike, hanging out with her dog Marty, and watching reality shows (the sillier, the better!). Twitter: @teetobes. Instagram: @tee_tobes
Header Photo credit: Annie Spratt