January 12th , 2013Happy New Year from Whitehall Lane Winery A new year is the season for resolutions. To eat less, smile more, take up a hobby, put down the cell phone, learn Mandarin Chinese. You know the drill. But this year, along with whatever other worthy goals you’ve set for yourself, why not resolve to drink beyond the bottles you know? To sip outside your comfort zone and perhaps discover a pleasurable new pour? Say you’re a fan mainly of white wines (yes, all you cab connoisseurs, such people exist!). With Whitehall Lane, that means you’ve drunk our rich but lively chardonnay or our racy sauvignon blanc, both of which pair so nicely with many foods. The next step? Don’t worry. You won’t have to dive directly into the ’08 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a deep, brawny wine with impressive biceps. That’s for much later. Instead, stop by the elegant, perfumed, lightly spicy ’09 Carneros Pinot Noir. It offers plenty of red wine fruit flavors (plum, strawberry) to experience, but white wine drinkers won’t find it overpowering. And the food friendliness you like with chardonnay or sauvignon blanc? It’s here, abundantly, with the pinot noir. Pinot, in fact, nicely bridges the worlds of white and red wine pairing. Grilled fish and seafood go beautifully with sauvignon blanc, of course, but they also make a delicious union with the right pinot noir. But hold on red wine drinkers — there’s something here for you, too. It’s not hard to understand why so many people stick to reds. Many red wines, especially cabs from the Napa Valley, have lush, bold styles that make them easy to appreciate. Americans like confidence, and such reds are confident wines. We like them, too! But sometimes, perhaps you don’t want to be in such strong company. It might be very hot out. Or you want to drink something really refreshing. Or you’re starting a long evening of wine drinking and want to begin with something a little lower in alcohol. That’s where a good chardonnay comes in. One with enough acidity and tropical fruit to be lively but also sufficient richness (like the butterscotch flavors in our chardonnay) and weight so that red wine enthusiasts can get their palates around it. One of the greatest joys of wine, we think, is trying new varietals and blends. Whatever and wherever you drink in 2013, we hope we’ve given you some wine for thought.