June 06, 2006

Bay leaves? Tobacco? Berries? Oak? Wine 101 - A lesson in component tasting

I don't get it. The whole "component tasting" thing in the wine world. I've tried to get it. I'd like to get it. I was looking forward to this month's "girl's night" with Debbie -- hoping that something in this Wine 101 would cause a personal epiphany. But 5 wines and twenty glasses of flower, fruit, spice and earth later, I still don't get it.

Sure, I taste things in wine. I just don't taste what other people identify. I don't get "berry", I get varying degrees of sweetness. I don't get oak, I get tree bark. I don't get tobacco or mushrooms, I get smoke and earth. I *do* get tannins. I just don't like them much.

So I came out of the evening resigned to the fact that when other people talk about the vanilla, cinnamon or strawberry notes in a wine, I'll just nod and smile politely. And I'll let it go with love grateful that -- whether I can express my thoughts in "wine-speak" or not, I know what I like and don't like in wine. And that works for me.

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