New Year’s Resolutions? Bah, Humbug!

Wine writers love to use their first
column of the year telling the future what to do ‚€“ what wines will be
hot, which ones not, what cool people will be drinking, and what
they‚€™ll be thinking about what they‚€™re drinking. Usually, the
writers predict that the wines they‚€™ve written about last year will
suddenly be all the rage, thereby proving their self worth.
Well, here‚€™s my prediction: I predict you‚€™re fed up with that nonsense.
And I‚€™ll wager that after the holidays you just may be tired of
opening those special occasion bottles to impress friends and family and
are eager to return to simple wines with simple foods. After looking at
your credit card bills, you may even have resolved to loosen the
connection between your thirst and your wallet. (True wine lovers never
resolve to cut back their consumption of wine, just how much they spend
on it.)
So for January, I‚€™ll focus each week on bargain wines that pack
surprising quality for the price. These wines will help you re-establish
some equilibrium just in time to splurge for Valentine‚€™s Day.

Let‚€™s start with two nice reds from Castello Banfi. The Col di Sasso 2006 ($10),
a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, offers fruit and heft at a
price rarely seen in a red from Tuscany. It‚€™s great for burgers,
pizza and hearty pasta dishes.
Banfi‚€™s sister winery, Vigne Regali in Piemonte, offers L‚€™Ard√¨ 2006 Dolcetto d‚€™Acqui ($12).
This light, juicy red features flavors of cherry and raspberry, with a
happy balance that allows you to appreciate the wine‚€™s quality without
genuflecting.

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