Why do people bother with New Year's resolutions? The first of January at the gym, for example, brings a blitzkrieg of the hopeful, the annual posers and Pollyannas of fitness who occupy every damn machine for weeks. But by February they abandoned their resolutions and inevitably return to their couches and Cheetos.
But since I don't want to come off as an absolute cynic, I do have a few goals. (Isn't "goal" a synonym for "resolution," you ask? Semantics shemantics! Google it yourself.)
Here are a few of my goals for 2013:
1) Drink more wine from South America, Spain and Germany. Who knows, maybe even Jura! Living in Northern California, you need to go out of your way to find more than a handful of wines from those regions. I need to try harder.
2) Eat more seafood. Now that I'm aware of what's sustainable, the combination of the expense of good seafood and having a teenager who's picky about what fish he eats makes it too easy to buy chicken or meat.
3) Fire up my smoker more often, and not just for ribs and brisket. Now that I have the basics down pat, it's time to experiment.
4) Drink no wine before its time (and it's always time, as a friend used to say). I need to stop saving so many wines in my cellar and find reasons to drink them right away. Life is short.
5) Learn how to play the ukulele. Hey, I look good in a Hawaiian shirt.
6) Drink more dry rosé from all over the world. You have to wade through some mediocrity before you find a great rosé but it's worth it. I'm an easy mark for anything from southern France.
7) Smoke more good cigars. I have Champagne taste on beer money when it comes to cigars. A friend of mine has been to Cuba a few times and knows as much about a good smoke as I do about wine. A few times a year we'll share a glass or two and then light up a cigar, but not nearly often enough.
8) Try more unsung wines. It's easy to fall into the "if it doesn't rate a 90, it can't be good" mindset, but that really is nonsense. (Why chase numbers anyway? They're only a guide. The tasting note is just as important in finding out if the wine suits your palate.) Some of the most enjoyable wines I've ever tried were rated between 84 and 89 on our 100-point scale, whether they were simply good values or particularly suited the occasion or the meal.
I'm not sure I can fit all of those in by the end of the year, but it's worth a shot. What are your wine and food goals for 2013?