Yes, we’re well into January. Maybe that’s a little late for a “resolutions” post but my gym is still flooded with lose-weight resolutioners, so I think I can get away with writing about some drink-related resolutions I’ve set for myself for 2019.

Much like the droves of gym-goers this month, I will probably fail in at least some of these, but it’s always good to have goals, right?

I assume that many of you reading this have kids and if you do, you know how hectic life can get. My kids are 7 and almost 12 now and, between lacrosse for both, band, tutors, basketball, football, dance and gymnastics, there isn’t a lot of free time in the Thompson house these days for things like sleep or exercising. Heck, my son is even playing school badminton two mornings a week before school.

It’s the greatest kind of busy — we’re very lucky — but we’re busy nonetheless.

One bit of collateral damage has been easy opportunities to visit wineries as often as I’d like. Some would say that it’s just a phase. It’ll get easier. Maybe. But when I was first starting out writing about wine, I was very critical — fairly or not — about wine writers who write about wine from their offices without ever actually setting foot in a vineyard or winery. How could they have context? How could they really understand what the winemaker is trying to do? In my mind, they couldn’t. Wine is about so much more than what is sitting in a glass bottle.

I hated wine writers like that. Now I’ve become one of them. 

That changes in 2019. I’m already making plans to visit more wineries — not only here on Long Island, but in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and beyond — this year. If you’re a Long Island winemaker and you haven’t seen my face in some time, please accept my sincerest of apologies. But be careful what you wish for. 

Paired with that resolution is this: Every winery – up and down the East Coast – gets a clean slate with me. If I’ve previously written you off as making uninteresting wine or being too focused on activities unrelated to wine in tasting room, I’m going to start fresh. In my position it’s important to recognize one’s biases and work against them.

I also want to learn more about spirits and cocktails in 2019.

Maybe it’s because we’re both in our 40s now, but my wife and I have taken a liking to a cocktail before dinner, but because I’m incapable of just enjoying what I know I like (Rye Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and Negronis, by the way) , I have to always learn more, try more and explore as much as I can. For whatever reason, when it comes to adult beverages, I get a little obsessive. 

I’ll drink more sparkling wine this year, too. When we don’t have that pre-dinner cocktail, we have started having bubbles if we have some around. So I guess the other part of this resolution is to buy more bubbly, too.

Sparkling wine is a great way to wake your palate up before a meal and, honestly, even mediocre bubbly is still fun. The good stuff can be mind blowing.

And last, but not least, I want to catch up on all of the wine- and spirit-related books sitting on my shelf that I have yet to crack open. I’m a bit of a book hoarder. I buy them because I love them, but then — for one reason or another — I don’t make the time to actually read all of them. As a creator of wine content, it’s important to consume it, too.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

A version of this post first appeared in The Suffolk Times

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.


  1. this is great, lenn! i just told my husband i want to start drinking more aperitifs like ze french. look forward to what you and your wife come up with. we’re a dirty martini and scotch-sipping fam. and a few months ago we started to forego drinking margars for sipping on tequila. still kinda trying to figure out what we like/don’t like in that department. hard when you’re so used to drinking it drowning in lime juice and sugar from restos 😉

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