The 2020 Wine Resolutions

I’ve been drinking wine seriously for roughly 35 years. I’ve drunk to learn. Drunk to judge and drunk to drink. I’ve done a fairly complete study of California wine. I’ve had the chance to drink fairly liberally through Bordeaux. And I’ve sampled extensively from the wine produced in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, and Portugal.

So, what Wine Resolutions could I possibly commit to for 2020 that would make my life and career much better?

1. Wine LIbrary (Book) Re-Organization
My library of about 150 wine-related books is in terrible shape, particularly after the move from Napa to Oregon. As a result, I’ve not used it nearly as much as I could. So, Wine Resolution #1 is to reorganize this beast. Looking over the volumes, I’m sure that the groups into which these books need to be placed include Atlases, Wine Education Guides, Winemaking, Varietal/Grapes, Regional Guides, Wine Reviews, Personal Views/Essays, Reference, and Single Subject (politics, economics, etc).

2. Expand my Oregon Wine Education
It’s time to get out of the road. Though I’ve drunk many more Oregon wines since moving to the Willamette Valley in February, I’ve not had the time to get on the road and investigate wineries, AVAs, and Oregon cellars. That work will begin in 2020.

3. More Paid Wine Writing
I’ve always enjoyed writing for editors. In 2020 I think I really must do more. While clients and this blog come first, I’m committed to enjoying a few more professional wine writing gigs and pocketing the immense amount of revenue this will bring me.

4. More Syrah
I just love this grape and haven’t done enough to seek out the really good stuff not merely from American shores, but from across the globe. Syrah hasn’t sold nearly as well in America as many have hoped. But while often struggling to sell this varietal, winemakers have really up’d their game. In particular, the Syrah’s from the Sonoma Coast and Washington have attracted my interested. But my education needs augmenting.

5. Cull the Cellar
Most people who have been buying and accumulating wine for a number of years have more than a few bottles in the cellar that should have been drunk years, if not decades ago. I’m not different and it’s time to go through them. I have a few too much 15 and 20-year-old Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays that should have been drunk years ago. Moreover, 2020 is going to be the year I find out what really well-aged Rosé tastes lik.


7 Responses

  1. Pat Hellberg - December 31, 2019

    Hi Tom I’m assuming #6 is “play more golf”. Hope you’ve had a chance to get out to a few courses in the mid-Willamette Valley. If you want to play any in Portland…or meet halfway….(when everything dries out in about 6 months), just let me know.
    Cheers and Happy New Year

  2. Craig Camp - December 31, 2019

    Oregon Syrah Tom!

  3. Tom Wark - December 31, 2019


  4. Joe Miglino - December 31, 2019

    Happy New Year Tom! I’d love to speak with you more about Washington Syrah. It is a varietal that I had no interest in making, but was talked into it by…well…let’s talk.
    Please feel free to contact me anytime through the medium of your choice.

  5. Judy Parker - January 5, 2020

    Tom, two good wine books I’ve read this year that I highly recommend:

    Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure by Donald Kladstrup and Petie Kladstrup. Great narration of the winemakers in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace and their travails – and how it affected their wines.

    Glass and Gavel: The US Supreme Court and Alcohol by Nancy Maveety. You can imagine why I love it – a little law, a little wine!

  6. Tone Kelly - January 6, 2020

    I can relate to the book organization issue. I have over 300 books some dating back to the early 20th century. Prior to the Internet, books were the only way to learn ( in addition to tasting). In the 1960s and 70s, the only serious wine books came from the UK and every time I went to Toronto I would stop by the book shops for the latest books.

  7. 20bet - September 8, 2023

    Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.

Leave a Reply