From the tasting team

The team on their wine resolutions

By The Tasting Team

4 Jan, 2022

Whether your new year's resolution is to expand your cellar, wishlist or to drink more healthily, the Tasting Team is right with you – they share their plans for 2022.

James Halliday AM
I’ve never purchased wine as an investment – I buy it to drink in the years to come and enjoy the changes. The perfection of screwcap technology has eliminated cork taint and other disasters. I’m lucky to have accumulated and shared wines for over 50 years, but when I taste a wine and give a ‘drink to’ date, it’s tinged with sadness when I realise I won’t be around for much of its life. And when a full-bodied white or red invokes a drink-to of 20-plus years, I must turn my back on buying it. Exceptions to the rule? Dry or off-dry riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and grenache.

Jeni Port
I’m generally not one for new year’s resolutions. Can we call it a wishlist, instead? That sounds eminently more doable and enjoyable to me. Covid has put travel plans on hold for nearly two years, so getting out and visiting more vineyards and wine producers is definitely on the cards this year. I will also use my personal wine-buying power to buy more sustainably, which means looking to lighter wine bottles, and organic and biodynamic winemakers. It’s a small step, I know, but it’s a hugely positive one.

Tyson Stelzer
With the passing of each year, I am coming to an ever-higher respect for the very greatest winemakers, their top varieties, from the most revered regions, in the best vintages. I’m becoming more discerning in skipping the lesser makers, varieties, regions and vintages. This year, I’ll be zoning in on the 2021 vintage across Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria, as well as 2018 in Margaret River, and 2013 in Champagne. I’ll be holding out until Burgundy is blessed with another classic season.

Tyson Stelzer, tasting a selection of wines, and smelling a red wineTyson Stelzer is focusing his attention on the 2021 vintage from Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria in 2022.

Jane Faulkner
I ignore new year’s resolutions because they tend to be broken in the first week of January, but wine pledges last longer and are far more appealing and realistic. I have two: one that started during lockdown and is set to continue forever is to pull out a fab (fingers crossed) bottle from its allocated spot in my cellar for no special reason; always preferable to share it with people I love. No need to overthink it, just take out any bottle – it’s the eeny, meeny, miny, moe method. The good news is that first resolution helps with my second: keeping my cellar more manageable.

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I’ve never purchased wine as an investment – I buy it to drink in the years to come and enjoy the changes.
Dave Brookes
I have a fairly solid track record of breaking end-of-year resolutions, so I have to be very careful here. But I do like the idea of asking myself questions on what I think matters in a wine and, of course, what doesn’t matter is just as important, too. I’ve found that what I seek in wine has changed over the years, but I’ve recently re-read a book on wine by Terry Theise and our vinous hierarchy of needs is very closely aligned. So, what’s important in the wines I’ll be looking for this year? Clarity, distinctiveness, deliciousness, complexity and grace. I think that’s a fine start.

Erin Larkin
I’m not usually one for new year’s resolutions. I’m a ‘turn off Netflix halfway through so I don’t get hooked’ and ‘start a new habit on a Tuesday’ type of person. But I do have one, and that is to drink more healthily. By that I mean drink less. It’s the only way to drink healthily. Working in this wonderful industry surrounds me with a bounty of beautiful options, so choosing the ones that turn me on and only drinking those is the key to staying alive longer, and an improved performance the following day. Life is already too short.

Erin Larkin tasting a selection of wines, and swirling a red wine
Erin Larkin is drinking more healthily in 2022, with quality over quantity in mind.

Philip Rich
Resolutions are always a good idea, whether they are carried out or not. Top of my list is to ensure I meet all the deadlines for reviewing the Yarra Valley wines for the next Companion. That one I promise to keep! Beyond that, I’m always keen to broaden my horizons and, at the moment, I’m taken by the quality and diversity of Spanish wine, so if I become a little more up to date with what’s happening in places like Galicia, Castilla y León, Catalunya and Madrid, to mention a few, I’ll be happy.

Ned Goodwin MW
I want to get back to Italy and Japan as soon as possible! I have long judged at the fair that precedes Vinitaly, before traipsing somewhere vinous. I have a fascination with aglianico, ‘the Barolo of the south’, so I’m hoping to return to Taurasi and Vulture to visit fresh faces before swimming in the Bay of Naples. And Japan is on my list because its attention to detail, quality of food across cuisines and access to the world’s finest wines is enviable. I miss that respect for provenance and language – it’s good to get a dose of sophistication now and again!

This article appears in issue #62 of Halliday magazineBecome a member to receive six editions a year, access more than 150,000 tasting notes and other exclusive wine insights.