It’s easy to get ambitious in the first hours of a new year. The clock strikes midnight, and suddenly the past is washed away, a blank canvas set at your feet. “I will learn something new, get organized, hit the gym, save money, drink less, meet my deadlines!” you proclaim, gleefully sipping the bottle of bubbly that you thought you just popped but is somehow already nearly empty. “My 2018 self will be better than ever!”
But in the bleary-eyed haze of New Year’s Day, all of those ambitions can seem harder to complete. You can’t even bring yourself to abandon your 10-years-too-late “True Blood” marathon to unpack that holiday suitcase, much less reinvent yourself completely.
Well, here’s one resolution to consider that shouldn’t be too difficult: Spend some time with the classics of the wine world. There’s never been a better moment to drink wine in the U.S., with new bottles by innovative producers from Croatia to Tasmania hitting the shelves regularly, but the classics are considered such for a reason. With plans to hit the books once again in 2018, I opted to go for a classic bottle from one of my favorite regions to pair with my final indulgent meal of the holiday season: the Louis Jadot Chablis 2015.
When it comes to tradition, Chablis is important. Not only is it located in Burgundy, one of the wine world’s cornerstones, but it teaches wine drinkers an important lesson about one of the most classic wine grapes, Chardonnay. While most associate the grape with the fat, buttery, boozy bottles that most often come from California, Chablis showcases Chardonnay in its purest incarnation. The region’s limestone soil reverberates in the glass, creating a lip-smacking, tongue-tingling wine that bears little resemblance to the stereotypical oaked Chardonnay. Oh, and it’s consistently pretty darned delicious. So there’s that too.
With the emphasis that sommeliers and other wine professionals place on tiny, artisanal wine producers, some might scoff at a bottle from a big négociant like Louis Jadot. But large producers have their place. The key with this bottle is that it doesn’t sacrifice quality for availability. Every note is pristine, from the lively, citrus-driven aromas to the tart, mineral-driven palate. It’s clean and refreshing, with plenty of sharp limestone and chalk thrown in for good measure. The acidity makes this Chablis super versatile, making it a natural fit with the salads you intend to eat all month long, as well as the fettucine Alfredo that you maybe sneak in on a particularly chilly Thursday night.
Even if you let most of your other resolutions slip, this is one worth keeping. And trust me, there are plenty of tasty, classic bottles to go around.