Do you remember when all you longed for was ice cream, cake and candy, wishing everyday was your Birthday? Then as we got older a great piece of meat or fish or even a great vegetable. I don’t pretend that great desert is not still craved, but you now have contrast, choices and you enjoy them all in moderation not wanting any of them all the time. It is no different with your wine palate. First the wines for most are sweeter, and as you become more in tune with wine, as you experience more wines you start to change, grow and evolve. The wine becomes more complicated, broader, complex. It becomes more balanced, better acid, less alcohol. Of course this will only happen if you keep at it, keep trying different things. Sometimes more then once, like that one no thank you bite your Mother kept making you try till bam, the light came on or your palette changed.
I visit Italy often and on one of my visits I was grateful to visit a great Brunello Property, Soldaria. Mr. Solderia asked me what I did and I told him. After which he made an off handed remark, saying “Oh, Coca Cola” referring American wine! You see the Italians and the rest of the old world believe we have sugar pallets, and we make, well Coca Cola. Truth be known most of the wine sold in the U.S. is sweet. As I’ve said before sweetness can come from fruit, alcohol, barrels, low acidity. Sometimes the sweetness is because the wine has R.S. Residual Sugar. In wines that are suppose to be sweet this is as it should be, however in wines that are suppose to be dry, then less is better.
As my own pallet has evolved, (only pallet I know for certain), I noticed through the years that higher acid, and less sweetness are what I like young. Then the natural lifting of the sweetness over time brings something exciting, but not clawing. If you add Tartaric acid to a wine it becomes gummy on the palette, thats why I like natural acid it finishes clean. If you add Sugar to a wine, like they do in Burgundy, and use beet root sugar, it leaves a heavy film on ones pallet, so wines that do not add sugar may be better and purer. Also consider that the less R.S. and alcohol, the brighter the flavors and the broader the flavors. Not to mention there are more flavors. I do not believe I have a better palette then someone else, I believe my palate has been trained longer, seen more wines and has, forgive me more wisdom. This only comes with time, and if you keep at it you will evolve and see a drastic difference in where you started and where your headed. Many may disagree, but that would be unwise and less then honest. Just remember back when you were a child and remember your first green bean, asparagus, or Broccoli and your starting to get it, change is inevitable.
Any person who’s tasted as long as I have, (and there are many) will agree, will you be one of those people. I suggest you keep going back to the bottles you thought to be to lien, they may surprise you!
Here’s to the changes in life,
Greg Linn Wines