Happy B-Day Baby Sis! (Yes she’s younger in her wine choices too, see explanation below!)

My sister Lauren, in Ferrara, Italy, had enough of watching everyone cruise past her on their bicycles so she stopped them for a photo.

Lauren, the center of all attention.  We have a few things in common; we both blog, we’re mostly slim, our conversation is usually teemed with sarcasm (thanks mom) and we both drink wine.

But we’ve come to a crossroads on that last item.  While we both started our drinking back in the 80′s with sweet cocktails I moved over to wine.  Lauren, not the professional I am, didn’t.  She finally gave in and started with White Zinfandel.  A wine that I may not appreciate for its taste, I can certainly appreciate it for introducing so many people to wine.

We both attended Women on Wine events at the local Vino 100.  And while Lauren refused most reds, she did move up to Pinot Grigio.  Her palate was progressing.

But it made me wonder why it stopped there.  I believe that most wine 101 drinkers, unless they are truly studying what’s in their glass, are happy with the wine they have.  But, since their not reading this blog either lets talk about them behind their backs delve a wee bit further.

A person that likes sweet cocktails will like sweet wine.  That makes sense.  The only way to move from a beginner’s palate to a more experienced one is, duh, through experience.  (Tastings, events, classes, reading this blog and hanging out with moi.)

So if you are wondering why you only love Cabs or Zins I would bet you have palate rut.  Not only are you having only something you are used to, you are denying your palate rich experiences…experiences you should be thirsty for.

I’ve been asked many times about my favorite wine, or varietal.  I feel like it’s a test, or a benchmark, and I really have to think about it.  Was it the discovery of a south African Pinotage?  The first time I had a vintage Champagne?  Or that Argentinean Bonnardo?  My answer has never been a straight one.

Of course I have wines that I remember loving.  But unless the weather and the winemaker are there year after year, I’m not.

My palate loves a change.  Every. Single. Day.  And Lauren?  What will she get on her birthday?  Cold. Hard. Cash.  And I can bet she won’t be spending it on wine.  That’s my job. 


  1. Eve says

    Yep, and you always give the best wine…but have you graduated your palate from Shiraz? These days I still love a good Shiraz, but I'm liking the GSM blends,(Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre from the Rhone Valley or the the locally made ones that our Rhone Rangers have popularized here.) Learning to really appreciate ones heavy in Mourvedre. Next week? Who knows?

  2. michaelthezinfan says

    Eve, I know you are being tongue-in-cheek, but I try not to criticize people for their wine choices. After 30 years of drinking wine, I've settled in on the Zins and Rhones because I really like them. I still drink Cabs and other things once in a while, including various white wines (had a verdelho recently?). I don't complain (much) when you tell people that California pink wines are all sweet (lots of good dry ones out there) or jump on people for only drinking Pinot because they saw Sideways (okay, I do jump on people for that).

    (The above was meant to be tongue-in-cheek also.)

    Love ya. See you in a few hours.


  3. Diane G says

    Great points, Eve. And I agree, blends are usually a pleasant surprise. I LOVE most GSM's and now seeing cinsault often in that blend.

    An interesting surprise recently was a syrah/viogner. I love that winemakers are "thinking outside the box" with varietals to blend.

    Lauren is fun at Vino100, and it is great that she did try some of the reds, even though she didn't particularly find them palatable (yet). Sure do miss Women on Wine! Hope you are having a fabulous birthday week, Lauren…see you on Facebook!

    Congrats, Eve on your WSET certification!

  4. Eve says

    Tongue in cheek, and foot in mouth, that's me. But, I do believe in palate rut.

    Today, at lunch, my palate will be firmly planted in your favorite Zin for Global Zin Day!

    (And I know you get out of your comfort zone now and then, you have a post coming up about that too…)

  5. Eve says

    Diane, I miss Women On Wine (WOW) too, hope Lil brings it back! Then we can watch Lauren squirm over the reds again!

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

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