This New Year’s resolution will help you find better wines in the coming year

In addition to being a cause for celebration, New Year’s Day is also cause for dread — at least for those among us who subscribe to the dreaded resolution ritual.

The ritual is supposed to be a kind of antidote for the bad habits of the previous year. Problem is, those habits tend to be hard to break. So it’s the resolutions that get broken instead.

Dreadfully predictable.

But here’s a resolution worth considering, because it’s not hard to keep and because the rewards can be delicious: Buy better wine in the coming year!

Let’s be clear about this — the key word is better not more expensive.

There’s a big difference, as readers acquainted with the Wine News Review fairly frugal affordability index are well aware.

It all comes down to doing a little homework before plunking down good money for a bottle whose taste doesn’t match its looks or label teaser.

All the research help you need is on the Web, and I’ve spent the past couple weeks redesigning this blog to make it easier to find those resources:

  • On the upper right of this page is an updated Smarter Wine Search tool that lets you find reviews for a wide variety of wines by price and date of publication of the articles. It’s my own customized version of Google that only searches the websites of experts and news organizations that I’ve hand picked because of their reliability.
  • Underneath the banner at the top of this page are drop-down menus for the latest news reports about wine bargains, ranging from Beaujolais and Zinfandel to Chablis and Sauvignon Blanc.
  • And last but not least, at the very bottom of this page you’ll find links to everything from a food-pairing database to websites for comparative wine ratings. There’s also a collection of top wine lists from such respected sources as the Wine Testing Institute and Wine Spectator to the San Francisco Chronicle and The Wall Street Journal.

I’ll be using these tools to buy better wine (and blogging about what I find, of course).

And that’s my dread-free resolution for 2008.


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