I received my first comment for this blog, yeah! And thanks to Alan, from whom the comment came. As a tribute to Alan, I thought I would address a few of the comments that he made.
I do understand the concept of not being able to tell the wines apart. That is a very natural reaction and feeling when first tasting wine, or tasting it infrequently. There are a few factors in maturing the palate, if you will, beyond that point.
1. Continue to drink wine frequently. (This one's easy.)
2. Keep track of the wines you are drinking, in addition to your thoughts and feelings when you taste the wine. You can also include comments that you've read about the wine and any particular rating the wine may have been given. You can also give it your own rating.
3. As you track thoughts and reactions to the wines, take note of similarities between areas (California, France, Italy). Once you can better tell the area, you can further break this down to similarities among regions, etc.
4. Always try new wines.
5. Going to tastings is best, because you can try a number of different wines and can start to tell differences between them when you taste many (in small portions) in the same evening.
6. Take a class. I've taken a couple of wine tasting classes before, but by far, the best class related to wine that I ever took before was earlier this year. A new wine and cheese shop down the street offered a class in wines and cheeses and the pairing of the two. Because I like red wine better than white, and because I don't eat red meat, I've always had red wine while I eat fish. No big deal right? Just because they say to drink white wine with fish doesn't mean I have to, right? Well what I learned in the class is how pairings of cheeses, specifically, with various wines can change how the wine and/or the cheese tastes. Furthermore, the complimenting (or not) between the two, can bring new tastes into the mix. I now love a full bodied red wine with stinky cheese. Stinky cheese by the way, is a new term that I learned in this class. Stinky refers to the smell, but NOT the taste. The cheese we had two nights ago is called Eppoises, a perfect stinky cheese. Good on its own, but GREAT with the right wine!
Yes, I've seen the movie Sideways, twice. I loved it. They were wine tasting in the Santa Barbara region.
If anyone has any other suggestions or tips for "maturing the palate" for wines, please pass them on to me and I will compile all answers for a future post.
Thanks for reading, and blog on,