We’re pretty serious about wine here at The Daily Meal, and so when we decided to embark on the process of creating a weekly calendar of wine for the upcoming year, we knew we wanted a balanced and inventive list. We asked our best sources — a panel of sommeliers, chefs, wine writers, and restaurateurs — to consider which wines they would most enjoy during each and every week of the upcoming year. They responded with a series of creative, considered — and sometimes surprising! — answers.
An entire year of wines, selected by experts and planned out for you in advance: this guide is the web-based equivalent of having your own personal sommelier on hand, guiding you through the next year of tastings. We’ve got nearly every event in the year ahead covered: starting off with the best robust wine to sip on a chilly winter evening by the fire, transitioning to the effortlessly elegant bottle for a spring garden party, moving on to the ideal summertime wine for cook-outs and beach trips, progressing into perfect pairings for autumnal meals of roast duck and butternut squash soup, and finally evolving back to selections that will warm you in the winter of 2014.
One thread that we noticed running through the final list is that despite the many old, traditional, local grape varieties that have lately been rediscovered and brought to the forefront by adventurous producers around the world, our experts tended towards wines using the big name varietals: cabernet, pinot noir, syrah, chardonnay, Riesling, sauvignon blanc — suggesting that novelty, in fact, may not be everything.
This list also runs the gamut in terms of a price range, and while there are certainly a good number of special bottles that might stretch the budget, there are quite a few wines on the list that are $20 or less, and even some that fall in the $15 and under range — proving that it’s not always necessary to break the bank in order to get a memorable bottle, even when your wines are hand-selected by a sommelier.
Editorial Note: Wine prices may vary.