Sunday, June 04, 2023
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Wine Palates Know These Flavors

Wine Rants

Interested in training your “wine-descriptor” palate?

It can be truly difficult to communicate what you like about a wine (assuming you want to communicate). Sometimes, I actually smell the bacon that grandma’s been cooking down the hall in the kitchen when I sip a Cote-Rotie. Sometimes I taste “Just Add Shiraz Syrup” in Australian Shiraz (fake, over-the-top, high-octane nastiness). I believe that much of the time when someone refers to a Sauv Blc as ‘grapefruit’, it is actually a reference to citrus, not grapefruit. If a wine reminds you of Captain Crunch’s “Crunchberries”, then that is what it tastes like to you. The more you open your head to associations, the better…

Make up your own experiments! Take my starter list (below) and go shopping (even if you are confident you know what these taste/smell like!). Sit down. Focus. Get tasting! Clarify your take on the universal wine association descriptions.

Here’s a starter list:

Apples (all) / Apricot / Ashtray (fresh & stale) / Asparagus / Bacon (raw and cooked) / Bananas / Blackberries / Blueberries / Broccoli / Cherry (Black & Red) / Chocolate (Milk & Dark) / Cigars (not lit & lit, humidor) / Cinnamon Sticks / Cocoa / Coffee / Cranberries / Currant (Red & Black) / Dr. Pepper (Dublin & regular) / Earth (dirt) /Fig / Grapefruit (explore) / Honey / Jalapeno / Jams (explore) / Kiwi / Lamb (smoked) / Licorice / Lemon (ripe, tired, peel) / Lime / Mango / Milk (whole & 1%) / Mushrooms (explore) / Nuts / Olives (explore) / Orange (ripe, tired, peel) / Papaya / Pears (all) / Pepper (White & Black) / Peppers (bell, red & green) / Pineapple / Popcorn / Raisins / Raspberries (Black & Red) / Rosemary / Sage / Soy Sauce / Strawberries / Sweaty Sock / Tea Leaves (explore)

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