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It’s the first Wine Wednesday of 2023. To celebrate I’ve got a few new wines for the New Year. Almost everyone has some kind of resolution or goals for the New Year. One of my friends, who feels stuck in a rut has vowed to try one new thing a week. One new thing a month seems more attainable to me. However, it’s not my goal and I still love the idea.

One of the new things he wants to try is wine. He says every time he buys a bottle in the grocery store, he sticks to a small selection of producers and grapes he is familiar with. After giving him some ideas I thought I’d share a few here too. I also write about food, wine and spirits for a number of publications. Here is one featuring sparkling wines and Champagnes for the New Year. Because of that writing, I get to try a lot of great things. Not a bad gig.

New wine for the New Year

This sauvignon blanc from Chile is perfect with oysters and other Southwest Florida cuisine. A new wine for the New Year.

What to try for the New Year

Many people buy wines while doing their weekly grocery store shopping. However, in the spirit of this story, try stopping in a small wine shop for a change. It’s in these shops you’ll get one on one attention and help in discovering a wine that fits hour palate as well as your wallet. In addition, you will also be supporting local, small businesses.

It can be intimidating trying wines with names that are hard to pronounce or grapes that are unfamiliar. Many of these small shops also have tasting events. If you taste it and like it, who cares if you can’t pronounce it.

Here are a few new wines for the New Year that are the beaten path but fun to try. Cheers

  • Chilean Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon blancs from Chile, to me, have a distinct pepper flavor almost liked a roasted jalapeño. These Leyda Wines are from a female winemaker. The winery is along Chile’s Pacific coast. That marine influence gives a little salinity. The packaging also has a coastal feel. Check out my unboxing video here:

    Both of these wines are super herbaceous and acidic. They both have notes of lemon and lime.

    Viña Leyda Coastal Vineyards “Garuma” Sauvignon Blanc ($19.99) is a little more grassy while the Viña Leyda Reserva Sauvignon Blanc ($14.99) has a little more body. I had it with a salad topped with grilled chicken and goat cheese and it was excellent. Seafood is another slam dunk for pairing with these wines.

  • Amber Wine

    Amber wine is not new, in fact it is an ancient grape making process. However, it is becoming more cool in wine circles. This one is from Georgia, the country not the state. It is really lean with flavors such as orange peel and dried fruits. It’s a geeky wine, and a good with food too. I had it with stir fry and it worked. Find it in the $20 range.
    Amber Wine

  • Italian Bubbles

    Sparkling wines are some of my favorites. When was the last time you tried Lambrusco? If you think this is a sweet, sparkling jug wine, think again. Grab a bottle of Cleto Chiarli “Vecchia Moderna” and enjoy. It’s made from Lambrusco di Sorbara which is the lightest of the Lambrusco grapes. It has a lovely blush color and the bubbles are more of a frothy nature. It’s also fun to get into this cork. It has a metal enclosure that requires a butter knife or flathead screwdriver to pry off. Your friends will be impressed. It’s a fun and enjoyable wine. $17

    New Wine

  • Check Out Spain

    A friend sent this Cumins del Priorat to me for a virtual happy hour over the holidays. It’s a red blend from Spain. Spanish wines tend to be affordable and they are great with food. This one needed to be decanted but once it opened up it hit the spot. The fruits were juicy, it was fresh and it was indeed good with the roasted chicken I had. It’s in the $30 range

    new wine