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A New Year of Italy Uncorked

vino-nataleWelcome to the 2016 of Italy Uncorked. Boy time flies. A new year and lots to look forward to. Italy Uncorked this year will be featuring more interviews with winemakers, wine shop owners and importers, featured wine events, discussing more wine regions within Italy and the unique wines grown throughout Italy that you may not be aware of. The goal of this column is to help you understand Italian wines better and to acquaint yourself with some of the top wine folks in the Italian wine industry in and around the Boston area.

I’m not one for setting New Years’ resolutions, but I always think it’s important to have goals to aim for throughout the year. For myself in 2015 my goals were to continue to grow and expand my Italian wine blog, Vino Travels, as well as getting certified as an Italian Wine Specialist, which I accomplished. In 2016 I plan to continue to educate myself in the Italian wine world by continuing to attend wine events and taste, taste, taste. It’s truly one of the best ways to learn. I also plan to network more with other folks in the wine industry and learn from other’s experiences. What are your personal resolutions and goals this year?

Resolutions don’t always have to be the same boring resolutions that you choose for yourself every year where most folks typically drop off from their promises to themselves after the first month or two. Make it fun! If you love wine, how about setting a goal to increase your wine knowledge and even further your Italian wine knowledge. There is so much to offer from a wine perspective in all of Italy’s 20 regions and so many of the wines are untouched by much of the market and the average wine drinker. My goal for 2016 through this column and my personal website is to help you explore some of the wonderful indigenous, native grapes grown throughout Italy that make Italian wines so unique and special.

Other ways to increase your Italian wine knowledge are through the number of classes offered throughout the Boston area (one which will be discussed in an upcoming issue) or through the large number of books available on the market (also in an upcoming issue). On my site I recommend some of my favorite books when it comes to learning about Italian wines. You can have a lot of fun with it and if you love to cook it becomes even more interesting pairing wines of a particular region to the cuisine of that region as well. We all can’t be in Italy all the time, but bringing the wine and food together helps transport us there for a brief period of time.

Here are some possible New Years’ Wine Resolutions to get your brain ticking:

• Try something new – Do you always drink red or always drink white? Do you ever drink sparkling? Change it up and trying something you typically wouldn’t have. See an Italian grape you can’t pronounce or haven’t heard of before. Pick it up, sample it and you may be surprised and have a new favorite.

• Take a wine or cooking or better yet a wine and food pairing class – Now this is the type of resolution you could probably stay true to. Who doesn’t love food and wine?

• Go to some wine events – there are plenty of events throughout the year open to the public where wines from around the world are served. Maybe the Boston Wine Expo or Wine Riot. There are other events as well that I’ve attended like the Winter Wine Spectacular where part of the proceeds go to charities. You’re not only enjoying the process of learning about wine and having the chance to socialize with winemakers, but you also get to help a good cause.

• Join a wine group – there are groups out there where folks get together and wine and dine or socialize with one another based on their love of wine. Check out some Meetup Groups in and around the Boston area for one in your area.
Hopefully this gets your brain ticking on some of the things you can get involved in this year to further your wine knowledge. Meet some new people, try some great wines and get 2016 started off on the right foot. Happy New Year! Buon Anno!

About Jennifer Martin

Jennifer Martin is a Boston-based Italian wine blogger. Her love of wine first started years ago when she studied abroad in college in Florence, Italy. She's traveled to Italy a multitude of times now and her love and passion for Italy not only comes from her experience of living there, but also due to her Italian heritage. Jennifer now runs her own company and website, Vino Travels, specializing in wine travels to Italy.