Friday, February 3, 2012

The Imperfect Palate

Since I've started this blogging adventure I've been reading many wine reviews. I have to be honest here, a lot of them leave me confused. That is one of the reasons I began this blog, my total confusion when I read reviews. Knowing that a wine smells like cola, dirt and menthol...does not make me want to drink it. Yet wine reviewers are able to make these things sound appeasing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking wine reviewers or claiming they don't know what they are saying, just the opposite. I'm in awe of them and this skill or ability that I lack.
Many reviewers are considered to have a "perfect palate". This unique ability to taste things that most of us can't. That makes me I tasting the same thing they are? When I drink a glass of Pinot Noir, does it taste the same to them? Am I just lacking the ability to discern the exact fruit a particular wine reminds me of, do I lack the knowledge to notice the currant or the hint of allspice? Is this skill developed over time or are you born with the ability to distinguish these things?
I wonder, if I invited the top wine reviewers and their awesome palates over and had a line up of various glasses of another liquid, say milk...what would happen? Would they take a sip, swirl it around and spit it out then tell me this came from a cow raised on fescue with hints of Kentucky bluegrass? Would they be able to determine that I mixed the whole with skim and a little 2%, with a dusting of pepper?
The perfectness of a palate makes me wonder what happened to mine. Was it ruined when I burned it as a child on hot chocolate that was too hot? The summers spent drinking sodas and fruit juices, did that harm my palate. Did it happen later in life, while drinking cheap beer and arbor mist? Or did I ever have a chance? Did my genetics ruin me and my ability to decipher all the many nuances in a glass of wine??

Who knows... What I do like when I read reviews of wines is how most end saying to use their review as a guide. The only way to determine if you like a particular wine is to try it. With my imperfect palate and all, I have no problem doing that! Cheers!!

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