Dry January is still a thing, one that I’m not so sure is always the right approach for individuals, especially if they hit February with an alcohol vengeance if you know what I mean. I like the approach I’ve heard about on some of the social media channels. It’s called “Damp January.” This approach makes more sense to me. Just limit how much alcohol you drink. Cut back a bit. Maybe take a day or two a week off from consuming wine, beer, or hard liquor. I know a lot of people like to prove to themselves that they have the self-control to stop drinking for a month; I get it. However, hitting it hard once January is over is not healthy. Just tone it down in January and maybe, just maybe, that will carry over into a new lifestyle. Now that’s healthy.

What are some trends we are expecting to see in the wine world this year? I’ve discussed a few and am looking for some input from my readers. One trend that I feel will develop over this year, is a shift toward Old World wines, something I’m observing in my department. What are old-world wines? They include wines from France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Croatia and England. I’m seeing a huge interest in Bordeaux wines as well as Cotes-Du-Rhone reds out of the Rhone Valley in France. This is interesting to me because although Bordeaux has been somewhat steady in sales over the years (it’s picking up even more now), Cotes-Du-Rhone reds have been hard for me to sell. Basically, they are GSM blends, Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. In New World wines, the GSM category is on fire. However, I have witnessed a shift towards these Old World GSM reds. People are starting to catch on to the wonderful red blends from the Rhone Valley. I know a lot of you have always gravitated toward these wines. However,this has not been the case with the majority of my customers. Now, I can stack a Cotes-Du-Rhone red on the sales floor and it doesn’t stick around very long. I’m not sure if I’ve had anything to do with it, but I like it. I think I will devote an article to the Reds from the Rhone Valley in the near future.

I’ve been looking through some old notes in one of my Moleskines from years ago. It has inspired me with new ideas. For instance, in the past, I’ve spent some time writing about wine critics of which I am one. I wrote at one point that wine critics are like Zombies, people try to kill them, but they just won’t die. I think wine critics are important as long as they are doing it for the right reasons. I want to help people to spend their money wisely. By giving honest reviews, I try to guide my viewers (on YouTube) or my readers to a wine purchase that will satisfy them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hundred bucks or ten bucks, I want them to avoid disappointment. I’ve always said it’s easier to be disappointed with a more expensive wine than a cheaper wine. However, even a bad wine at ten dollars is something I don’t want anyone to experience. I’m not sure all wine critics look at it the way I do. There is one famous wine critic who actually charges wineries to send him samples. Now that’s crazy! It makes you wonder what his motive for reviewing wines is. That is what I refer to as an Ivory Tower Critic. It’s about money and being a celebrity. Personally, if I owned a winery, I would never pay a critic to review my wines. I will expound a bit more on my thoughts about wine critics in the next Bits & Bobs article.


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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