2012 is here. As you plunge into the New Year, take this moment of surging optimism and energy to revive your spirit and discover new and better versions of what you can be.

With the holidays behind you, shake off the desperation and focus on yourself. Love is out there if you’re open to it, and a confident perspective is the best way to get it.

Grab a pen and paper and start your list. I’ll give you a few suggestions to kick it off, along with wines to go with them.

Rebuild Your Bridges: Have you lost touch with a dear old friend or family member? It’s never too late to refresh an old connection. Relationships are the foundation of our lives, and it’s incredible how revitalizing finding an old friend can be. The stories you share and the parallel perspectives not to mention an outlet to an already vetted selection of single friends. Just think, you could be revisiting old middle school gossip over tea with an old classmate this January, and snuggling up to her fiancé’s best friend at their fall engagement party!

WINE: Rediscover the origins of your favorite steak companion. Argentina may be the new wave, but the Cahors region in southwestern France has been producing Malbec for years, with versions ranging from crisp and bright to ripe and meaty. Cahors, Chateau de Haute-Serre 2006.

Try Something New:  You’re capable of so much more than you realize. The only way to know for sure is to prove your own doubts wrong.  Remember your first cartwheel or high dive? The thrill of a roller coaster, terror and then a rush to repeat it? And of course there’s that classic fumbling “first time”  that opened up a whole new world of pleasure.  Sign up for a course, take a solo vacation, or change up your coffee bar routine. There’s a sea of new faces to wink at and the spirit of adventure looks radiant on everyone.

WINE: Something you’ve never tried, better yet, never heard of.

Côtes de Jura Chardonnay “Sous le Cerisier,” Les Chais du Vieux Bourg 2007 from the Jura region of France (on the Swiss border) often have a sherry-like aroma and extreme crispness. 

Savor Your Surroundings: Dorothy Gale said it best. After a perilous journey through OZ, everything she really wanted was right there in her own backyard.  Stop taking your city for granted. Chances are there are a shows and museums you’ve been meaning to check out, along with cozy restaurants on your own block.  Invest in local flavor and become a regular somewhere close to home. You might just meet that neighbor you’ve passed on the street a hundred times, and finally meet up on purpose.

WINE: Local favorites from the North Fork like Paumanok Sauvignon Blanc and Macari Cabernet Franc. California sparkles with Schramsberg, “J. Schram”  2003, an elegant vintage Champagne-style wine.

Stop Waiting: The Internet may very well open up a sea of potentially fabulous fish, but you’re not getting anywhere until you dive in. Keep those introductory emails to a minimum and get out there on a first date. Even a casual coffee is a good way to gage whether or not the attraction is valid.  The longer you wait, the greater your expectations, which leaves more room for disappointment.

WINE: Don’t risk a corked bottle! Peruse your collection and make sure everything is stored correctly (58º F, humidity controlled).  If it’s not, crack open anything from 2005 or older.  Old wine doesn’t necessarily mean good wine.

Annie Shapero is the Founder/CEO of DiVino wine events planning and wine consulting, currently operating in New York City.
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