It’s New Year’s Eve, time for resolutions. I am not one for such boring resolutions as “excercise more”, or “lose weight”. Years ago, many of my so called “original” resolutions exasperated my wife. These included such gems as “to throw as many parties as possible in the coming year”, or “kick my Elvis show into high gear” (for those who don’t know I am an amateur Elvis impersonator). As it turned out, she did all the hard work, as the hostess of the parties thrown, or as my sound/make-up person in my shows. “Never again”, was the common refrain at the end of those years. Finally I had to come up with a harmless resolution. In 2007 this turned out to be to “drink as much Chateauneuf du Pape as possible”.

Why does a New Year’s resolution have to last just one year? The Ch. du Pape pledge went on for a full three years, and included a trip to Provence, France, to the actual commune itself. My actual goal with this one was to diversify my knowledge of this wine beyond Vieux Telegraph and a few others. I eventually did, but I am not certain that I have a full grasp of this wonderfully heterogenous region after all my efforts.

So now we face 2012 and I have no resolutions. I suppose “survive the goddam year” might be enough. But I thought I should jot down a few wine related “soft resolutions”, personal ones for me. I hope you can identify with some.

Bring more BYOB bottles to restaurants and accept the corkage: I have a huge wine collection waiting to be consumed; why should I pay ridiculous mark-ups for wines that are inferior (in my opinion) to what I have, especially in Bay Area restaurants.

Stop buying magnums and other large format bottles: I already blogged about this one two weeks ago. Read it at your own leisure.

Splurge more on expensive Napa Cabarnet: OK, my wine group friends will shriek at this resolution, but I confess there are a few horribly expensive Napa Cabarnets that I do like (e.g. Quintessa). I need to find the inner strength within to part with the dollars involved with their purchase. (This will be the hardest resolution to keep)

Explore cognac: Cognac is nothing but fortified wine. Well made cognac can be seductive, addictive. This year I discovered a specialty shop in the Fillmore (San Francisco) called D&M Liquors, and they turned me on to my first truly wonderful cognac called “Park”. They have countless more. Time to try their offerings.(This will be the easiest to keep)

Quit raki: For those of you who don’t know, raki is the national drink of Turkey. You may also not know that Turkey is the only Muslim country in the world which has a national drink that is 45% alcohol. After two recent trips to Turkey in the past two years I reacquainted myself with this drink which quenches a certain nostalgia for my past, but in my middle age, leaves me with the worst hangovers. Having found a source for Yeni Raki in L.A., I now have a steady supply of this drink. Unfortunately I have definitely become a wine guy; hard liquor is no longer for me.

I hope your resolutions are all realized in the new year. And please don’t try to lose any weight or join a gym. It’s useless.  You will irritate the regulars at the gym and fail to lose anything but your dignity.