We’re creatures of habit, it has to be said. Apparently, the average American household eats, on average, the same nine or ten meals week in, week out. OK, there’s nothing wrong with having favorites, but it does everyone good to bust out once in a while; a change is good for the mind and soul, and the same applies to wines.

You’re not a “Shiraz drinker”, you just stick to Shiraz

Even wine lovers fall into these traps, describing themselves by their most-quaffed varietal: “I’m a Shiraz/Pinot Noir/Riesling drinker…”.

In a world that has almost 14,000 different types of grape, this is akin to madness! OK, no-one’s saying you have to try thatEstonian sweet white for research purposes (or for any purpose, in fact), but you could at least stray from your usual narrow path now and again. Once a month would introduce 12 new grapes to your palate and to your repertoire.

You could start expanding your horizons by trying out a new country, or a new varietal. Read a few reviews and pick out the most recommended ones. Visit a friendly winery – maybe one that supplies a lot of restaurants – and ask for hints.

Another way to broaden your outlook is to work out what attracts you to your favourite wines. For example, if you are a regular Pinot Grigio drinker, then you go for citrussy wines with a light, bright nature.

So, if bright and citrus is your bag, try a Sancerre once a month. What’s to lose? It’s a respected wine and you won’t go too far wrong.

If you’re that Shiraz drinker, then you like your reds with a lot of tannin, as well as blackberry with a bit of spicy olive oil thrown in. No problem; the next time you reach for your usual red, stop and pick up a Petite Sirah – you’ll have almost the same experience, but not quite.

Oh, and if you’re one of the people guilty of having the same meals on a constant cycle – you know what to do…


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