Wine ideas for New Year's Day

January 1, 2014 

With Jan. 1 comes those dreaded New Year's resolutions that most make, but few ever complete. Keeping that in mind, I offer an old Irish toast to all -- "As we start the New Year, Let's get down on our knees, to thank God we're on our feet."

New Year's Day is best spent with family and friends as we begin a new year, a time when we really should not reflect on the past, but instead begin the preparation for the successful year that lays waiting ahead for each of us. What better way than to share a holiday meal?

Robert Mondavi described his passion for wine by saying: "It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It's culture. It's the essence of civilization and the art of living." If you are looking for a wine to share with those who are most important in your life begin a New Year, try a Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2011 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc Oakville District is a Sauvignon Blanc-based wine that contains a small amount of Sémillon.

Mondavi first released Fumé Blanc in 1968 and the name itself was something that he came as he wanted to make a wine in a more traditional French style. This wine is dry, but there is a hint of sweetness on the finish. The Wine Enthusiast gave this Fumé Blanc 95 points and rated this wine as number 37 in the top 100 wines released in 2013. While I enjoy this Fumé Blanc without any food, it complements many of the traditional New Year's side dishes including black-eyed peas and collard greens.

The 2010 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville District is 88 percent Cabernet with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Malbec. This wine is quite powerful with classic flavors of black currant, blackberry, and dark cherry along with hints of mocha. For those of you true Cabernet Sauvignon fans, this 2010 offering will not disappoint. Since many people consume pork dishes on New Year's Day because it is believed to promote wealth and prosperity, this Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect match to a pork loin roast served with a red wine sauce -- but make sure to reserve some of the Fumé Blanc to wash down the sauerkraut traditionally served on the first day of the year.

In the words of Abraham Lincoln: "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing." Happy New Year!

Raise your glasses and make a toast that those that you love, as well as yourself, will have a prosperous year.

Jim Rawe, a family attorney in Bradenton, is an avid collector of fine wines. He can be reached at

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