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Resolution: Drink the Good Stuff

Friday - 12/31/2010, 12:56pm  ET

The 2009 Clif Family "Climber" White wine ($14) from Napa Valley, California is fermented in stainless steel so that the pure fruit flavors of tropical fruit, citrus and melon shine on the palate and all the way through to the crisp, refreshing finish. For a wine made for Italian food, try the 2007 Lungarotti Rubesco, a $20 blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo grapes from the Torgiano region. Rhone Valley wines can warm the soul on a cold night and brighten any occasion. The 2007 Font de Michelle Chateauneuf de Pape ($50) features a characteristic bouquet of dark cherry and ripe plums on the nose and rich, supple flavors of cassis, black plums and black licorice in the mouth. Few wines can thrill a wine lover or drive him or her to madness like French red Burgundy. The $80 2005 Patrice Rion Nuits Saint George is simply remarkable. From the subtle notes of strawberry preserves and bright cherry flavors up front to the hints of smoked ham and earthy cedar notes on the finish, this wine seduces the tongue. One of the wines that I always enjoy - usually on somebody else's tab - is the Joseph Phelps "Insignia" from Napa Valley. The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is a veritable powerhouse that delivers concentrated aromas of lush black fruit, graphite and roasted coffee. Evidently, happiness in a bottle is only $200.