2023 is just about in the books. As you know, I’ve published my list of “Top Twenty Wines Under Twenty Bucks” for the year. Most interesting to me, was how many white wines are on that list. Five of the top ten are whites. That’s never happened on any of my past lists. As many winemakers have told me, it’s harder to make white wines than reds. One winemaker explained it to me this way. When making red wines, you have more chances to blend and tweak the wine until you get the results you want. With whites, unless it is a blend, you get one crack at it to get it right. Once it’s in the tank, you hope it comes out the way you anticipated. That being said, I’m actually impressed that so many whites found their way into my top twenty.

I’ve made up my mind as to who will be my winery of the year for 2024. I haven’t announced it yet, but I will soon. I’m very excited about the wines I’ve been trying from this Washington State producer. It’s a small winery that puts out some serious juice. They have just a few wines to choose from, all in the low to mid-twenty-dollar range. I’m super excited to meet the winemaker and try to set up a YouTube interview. He is focusing on Italian varietals and when Scott and I tried the Barbera, we were both blown away. There’s your cliffhanger, I’ll be announcing my choice closer to the end of December.

On my YouTube channel, I’m focusing on budget-friendly wines for December Christmas parties. The first episode went up last week and has garnered quite a few views. Episode two goes up today. I think that whenever you can find wines at reasonable prices that are well made, that is something almost every wine drinker is interested in. Somewhere along the way in my wine career, I’ve developed a knack for finding great values. Don’t get me wrong, I love to find awesome wines at all price points. However, being a person who comes from humble roots, I really do like to help people save money on their wine purchases if I can.

Speaking of my YouTube channel, I have 849 subscribers. YouTube is starting to put ads on a lot of my more popular episodes. When I hit one thousand subscribers, I start getting paid for those ads. That’s exciting! At the pace I’m going, I could hit one thousand by spring. It’s not the money so much, but the fact that they are already advertising quite a bit and I would like to get a part of that action since they are taking advantage of my popular episodes. It’s funny, when I started my channel years ago I had all these high aspirations. I was shooting one a day except on weekends. That took a lot of planning and, looking back, the content was let’s say, not of top quality. I was working solo and did not always put enough thought into what I was doing. I’ve calmed down since then and now I realize that one episode a week is where I want to be. There may be times I veer from that, but generally speaking, that is a comfortable goal for me. Now, I just have to start focusing on some of the technical things that will help my episodes get more attention. One episode (my most popular), has over nine thousand views… That’s crazy!

I hope to write an article that focuses on some of the trends in wine that we may see in 2024. I have a few ideas. Actually, I could use your help on this. If you would like to send me a comment on some of the things you’re seeing in the future of the wine world, I would love to hear it. As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one. A trend I do see happening in 2024, is an increased interest by consumers in Pet Nats. Pet Nat is a lightly sparkling wine that is not always white wine, it can be made from any varietal. Unlike Champagne or Prosecco, the wine is bottled before the fermentation is finished which gives it the bubbles in the bottle. A simplified explanation I know, but at least it helps you get the picture. More to come on that another time.


Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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