Not all Cabernet Sauvignons taste the same. If they did, they would only be available in milk cartons. Wine experts drink wine to experience the complexities of flavors, textures, and aromas each varietal delivers. The question is, how do you tune into the many differences? Your palate; we all have one. This is your personal guide to palate training:
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Palate training is simple. Be aware of all the senses you experience. Now, open a bottle of wine and pour yourself a glass.
If it’s a white wine,
is it clear or cloudy?
If it’s red,
how deep is the color?
Spend some time gently swirling the wine in the glass, smell, swirl, smell. Close your eyes and let the aroma identify itself to you.
Now, taste. Let the wine settle on your tongue a moment. Swish it around before you swallow. Again, let the taste identify itself.
The more you take the time to break down the aromas and tastes of each wine, the better trained your palate becomes. Try this exercise with a few friends and exchange ideas on your wine impressions.
There are many other sophisticated ways of palate training, but the goal is not to impress party crowds with flowery interpretations of what a wine should be. You’re simply looking to enjoy the wine you drink.
Most importantly, enjoy your palate training!