About The Author:

"Roger, The Wine Guy" is Roger Yazell, CWS. He is a member of the International Wine Guild and has had a long time admiration of wine. After careers in broadcasting, advertising and marketing account management, he explored his love of wine in hospitality, wholesale and retail sales. The intent of Roger's Grapevine is to share stories, history and information that will add to the reader's love, enjoyment and appreciation of wine and sake'.

Questions, requests for topics and comments are always welcome via email: rogerthewineguy@gmail.com.

(Note: The Wine Guy is currently undergoing chemotherapy and this blog will be on hiatus for the duration and into a recovery period. The Wine Guy is planning to celebrate his recovery with a trip to the two wine producing regions in Argentina and that should provide for some interesting new blogs. Meanwhile please enjoy the archives and feel free to email in the interim.)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Acquiring new tastes in wine requires tasting new wines!

Wine is one of the loves of my life and that love is the primary reason I do this blog. My first and greatest love also gets mentioned here frequently and that’s the fetching Mrs. Wine Guy. (pictured above with The Wine Guy last fall in Queretaro Santiago, Mexico) Today I get to relate a story that combines both. It also serves as a reminder to The Wine Guy that no matter how much you know about wine, another person’s own palate is always their best guide to exploring and trying new wines.

The Wine Guy is fortunate enough to be one of those people who loves all kinds of wine. To date, my samplings range in the four figures and I can honestly say that of all those, I can count the wines I would never try again on one hand. While I have my favorites, I love them all! That’s not usually true for the typical wine drinker and it certainly wasn’t true for the fetching Mrs. Wine Guy when she first began to join me in my exploration of wines a few years ago. She was a dedicated and selective white wine drinker. Her preferences were mostly restricted to fruitier, lighter, softer and generally sweeter whites.

In an attempt to open up her horizons and get her to explore the wonderful world of red wines, I arranged for a custom tour of Russian River Valley wineries with knowledgeable tour guide Gene Warren of Healdsburg Area Winery Tours.
(For more on using a winery guide see the archived blog “Learn More Taste More” from July 19, 2009).
I had explained to Gene my desire to get my better half to “come over to the dark side” and enjoy the wonders of red wines along with her beloved whites. We planned a strategy of visiting wineries known for some fuller bodied whites, some great rose’s and, of course, some excellent Pinot Noir.
I assumed that I should “transition” her palate by exposing her to some softer, less bold selections in the new arena I wanted her to adopt. Although we succeeded in getting her to nod favorably to a couple of excellent chardonnays from Miramar Torres and Hartford, our efforts in finding a red wine she could warmly embrace fell flat.

The following day, we were on our own, revisiting some Sonoma wineries and picking up some favorites from a trip the year before. At one stop, I mentioned my desire to sample a Sangiovese (The Wine Guy has always been partial to a good Italian varietal). Mrs. Wine Guy uttered a simple “I’ll pass” but elected to have a sample of my tasting when I expressed my enjoyment of the wine. It took barely a sip for her to demandingly inquire “Why haven’t you told me about this wine before?” The following year, while in Italy, I marveled as she expressed her delight at the sampling of some of the great Tuscan reds she enjoyed, including a wondrously well-aged Brunello in the cellar at Il Greppo, the Biondi-Santi estate outside Montalcino. Today, she has truly “come over to the dark side”. The “then and now” list below of her most favored wines reveals the depth of that transition:

Mrs. Wine Guy’s five favorite “Go-To” wines seven years ago:
Schmidtt-Sohne Piersporter Michelsburg QbA
Husch Vineyard Gewurztraminer
Navarro Vineyards Edelzwicker
Dry Creek Vineyard Chenin Blanc
Casa Rondena Serenade

Mrs. Wine Guy’s five favorite “Go-To” wines today:
Castelli di Querceto Chianti Classico
Loacker Val di Falco Morellino di Scansano
Santa Ema Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre
L.A. Cetto Nebbiolo Reserva Privada

Wow, What a change that’s been! What’s marvelous is that Mrs. Wine Guy now enjoys many different styles of wine. Yes, she still returns to and enjoys some of her whites but she also appreciates many more. Today, we enjoy sharing our exploration of the world of wine in more ways than we ever thought possible. It also taught The Wine Guy some valuable lessons.
Among those are:

1. Never presume to “know” what someone else might enjoy in a new wine based solely on what they prefer today.
2. Recognize that palates can change and adapt to enjoy many different and unique flavors.
3. In wine, as with many other things, variety is the spice of life.

I hope you enjoyed the story. I shared it with my readers to encourage them to take risks and to occasionally try something unique and different as they explore the world of wine. A Master of Wine once told me shortly after my first certification that sooner or later, people would ask me “How do I tell when a wine is truly a great wine?” He suggested answering simply “When the wine tastes great enough to you to make you immediately say: “Wow, what a great wine!”… then it’s a great wine. Keep trying new wines and trust your taste buds. Sooner or later, they will lead you to some wonderful discoveries in the world of wine. And don’t be surprised if those discoveries are never-ending. There are thousands of different wines out there, each with a unique flavor to enjoy. Your possibilities for enjoyable discoveries are almost endless.

Here’s hoping your next great wine discovery is just around the corner!

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