Drinking Outside The Box

With Simon Woods – wine for people who have a life

You are right

Don’t ever let someone tell you that you’re a pleb for liking a particular wine. It’s your mouth you’re pouring it into, not theirs. If something tastes good to you, then it tastes good, and you are right, full stop. Just as some people have a sweet tooth, others have a Sauvignon Blanc tongue, or a Merlot cheek. If we all drank the same wine, just as if we all sported the same haircut, the wine section in the supermarket would be much smaller, the world would be less interesting, and I’d be out of a job. And equally, if someone gives you a glass of wine expecting you to go into raptures about it, and it makes you shudder, then again you are right.

However, I’ll just chuck this in as a thought. Do you remember not liking chips (as in French fries, not crisps)? Everyone likes chips (and if they don’t, they’re wrong). However, do you remember your first taste of beer? Did you like it? Almost certainly not, but you probably do now. And similarly, think back to when you were eight and the box of chocolates came round. Which did you go for first? It was strawberry cream, for me. And would you go for the same now? No way Jose, point me to the pralines.

There are parallels with wine. There are some wines we’ve always liked and always will do. There are others that we once couldn’t get on with and then suddenly find indispensable. It’s amazing how many individuals who would once have crossed the road to avoid fino sherry have been converted to the cause by a trip to Spain. And similarly, numerous people who cut their wine teeth on Liebfraumilch, Mateus Rosé and sweet oaky Chardonnay today would run away from them. It’s not the wine that’s changed, it’s your taste buds or – in wine jargon – your palate. And that shouldn’t be a surprise. Remember what you wore ten years ago, or what you watched on TV?

So yes, you are right, but the way you are right today isn’t necessarily the same as the way you were right yesterday, or will be tomorrow.

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