Wine Yakima Valley

During our Red Wine and Chocolate
event weekend — February 16 & 17
visit more than 40 Yakima Valley wineries
as they pair sumptuous chocolate desserts with
their very own remarkable red wines!

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Setting wine goals for the new year

Setting wine goals for the new year

52 Weeks of Wine 🕔January 8, 2018 0 comments
This article was originally published on January 10, 2018 in the Yakima Herald Republic

January is a time to set our sights on the year ahead. What would you like to accomplish in 2018? Some people focus on fitness, others look to advance their career, while many choose to learn something new. If you have an interest in wine, consider a journey in wine education. How you do this can vary.

Write down your goals. If you are looking to confidently navigate a wine list, aim to learn one or two of the most popular grape varieties every month. Start with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay, the wines you will find on most restaurant wine lists.

Experiment with a lot of different wines. Identify a specific global wine region and explore those wines from home. Select one region each month, starting with the top three major wine regions: France, Italy, and Spain.

In month one, focus on wine varietals from France. Three widely grown wine grapes from France are Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. Look for these, and other French varietals at your local retailer, or better yet, seek out and visit local wineries that produce these wines. You can break France into Bordeaux and Rhône regions for a more detailed learning opportunity.

In month two, select wines from Spain. A few of the better-known Spanish grapes include Tempranillo, Grenache, or Albariño.

Other regions to include on your “goal sheet” could be: Italy, (known for Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Pinot Grigio), and Germany (where Riesling and Müller-Thurgau are popular).

Explore, learn, and discover why different wine varieties came to the United State. It’s an exploration that may set you up and give you confidence to travel to these famous wine regions of the world.

Track your progress. There are several wine specific apps that allow you to snap photos, create personal wine notes, tag friends and share information through social networks. This is a great way to document wine you’ve tasted and keep you moving toward your goal.

Rather than tasting your way through the grocery store wine aisle, refer to the Yakima Valley Winery Guide, a resource that lists the wine varietals each winery produces. By choosing a region and its wines, you can select and visit a winery’s tasting room. There, for a small fee, you can identify the wines you like, and more importantly, the ones you don’t, for less than the cost of a bottle of wine.

If you want to simply enjoy wine more, set a goal of having one conversation a week with a wine professional. You could visit various wineries throughout the Valley, or stop in at Stems wine shop in Yakima, where Brad Baldwin is always willing to talk wine, whether it’s the coolest new release, or to help direct you to wines that you might enjoy. If you are interested in a more formal wine learning opportunity, reach out to Brad, he is interested in creating a wine group if there is enough interest.

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