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Wine and the Holidays

It is hard to imagine another year has passed and the Christmas season is here again. While this time of year is filled with joy, good times and memories, it can also be very stressful to many. Gathering presents, gift giving, planning and hosting holiday parties and dinners can all take a toll. That is why it is so important to set aside some down time to unwind. A relaxing evening at home with a good glass of wine and maybe a small cheese platter sure can help. Sit back light up that Christmas tree, put on some holiday tunes and enjoy the wine and cheese, feel better already? The season from Thanksgiving to New Years is the largest wine buying time of the year. If you are a wine lover you know wine buying can also be stressful, there are just so many wines out there anymore. Did you know that by 2010 America will become the world’s number one wine drinking nation? This leads to wine producers wanting us to buy and drink more wine, and the result is the options are unlimited. Just go to any big wine store and check out the selection. You like Chardonnay or Cabernet? There will be literally hundreds of bottles to choose from. You have to decide between price, vintage, region, producer, blends, cuvees, reserves and the list goes on. The point is it can be mind boggling to just about anyone and this is true of any wine you pick. While we can expect the vast selection of wines to continue even in these hard economic times, you can make the selection process easier. Most people tend to focus on the grape name and region when purchasing. Try focusing on style instead, you know light, soft, crisp, heavy, bold and so on. You may like a big bold full bodied Napa Cabernet which really says you like big heavy full bodied reds. So you may also enjoy some high end French Bordeaux, Australian Cabernet, Shiraz or blends, Italian Super Tuscans, Brunello di Montalecino or Barbaresco. The same holds true with a Napa Chardonnay most of which are full bodied rich and oaky. Try high-end French white Bordeaux, Chardonnay, or maybe an Australian Chardonnay. Grapes are important, but focusing on wine style can help make your selection process easier, just do some research prior to your purchase. Another bonus is that you will be expanding your wine knowledge in the process. Happy Holidays!

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