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Five wine resolutions that will be fun to keep

As we move into a new year, the most fascinating resolution you can make is to explore Wine Country more fully. It’s fun. It’s easy. Best of all, this is one resolution you can actually keep. Here are some other resolutions worth considering and some great wines to help you make good.

1. Dare yourself to uncork bubbly when there’s nothing particular to celebrate. Mumm Napa, NV Brut Prestige, Napa Valley, 12.5%, $22. This sparkler has a subtle elegance. Aromas and flavors of yeast, creme brulee and apple. Seamless, with a creamy texture. Balanced. Lovely.

2. Explore offbeat varietals like Torrontes. Kaiken, 2015 Salta Argentina Torrontes, 13.5%, $12. This lovely white has notes of tropical fruit, mineral and a hint of peach.

3. Sip some striking pinot noir on a regular basis. Arista, 2013 Mononi Vineyard, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.5%, $54. The depth of flavors makes this wine stand out. It reels you in with raspberry and cranberry aromas and flavors. This pinot also has bright acidity, great minerality and good complexity, with notes of cherry, mineral and smoke.

4. Go rustic. Celebrate a well-crafted, meaty varietal like petite sirah every once in a while. Amapola Creek, 2013 Monte Rosso Vineyards, Sonoma Valley Petite Sirah, 15.2%, $50. This bottling is bold and intense, but manages to have a satiny mouth-feel. It’s weighted to black fruit and is complex, with notes of smoke, leather and a hint of caramel.

5. There are times to be impulsive and spend with abandon. Williams Selyem, 2014 Allen Vineyard, Russian River Valley Sonoma County Chardonnay, 14.7%, $100. A gorgeous chardonnay with notes of apple, melon and creme brulee. Its supple texture makes this an extraordinary wine. A knockout.

Peg Melnik

Wine, The Press Democrat

Northern California is cradled in vines; it’s Wine County at its best in America. My job is to help you make the most of this intriguing, agrarian patch of civilization by inviting you to partake in the wine culture – the events, the bottlings and the fun. This is a space to explore wine, what you care about or don’t know about yet.

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