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The wine palette with food

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've never had a palette for wine. I can taste subtle nuances in beer and spirits and appreciate them greatly. Wine just doesn't do it for me. I don't hate it, but it's not at the top of my list. There are tons of dishes with wine to them though, and I wonder if I'm missing something. Does having a good wine palette improve your cooking? How much would my food benefit by acquiring a taste for the fermented grape? In the long term, I hope to be chef at a top notch restaurant. Food and wine pairings are essential. Can I trust a sommelier to help me out on this? Would I be better off if I figured it out little by little myself? What's a good place to start for a guy who knows what different varietals taste like, but has no clue on the nuances?
post #2 of 3
Palate, not palette.

Ah. A puzzlement.

Aha! Goes a long way towards explaining the above conundrum.

You are.

Having a discerning palate improves your cooking tremendously -- and your eating too. Part of developing a good palate is letting go of your preconceptions, and really tasting things as they are. When you do, you'll start noticing the differences in wines.

Part of it is also physiological. It's normal for palates to mature and become more accetping and sensitive to a variety of new tastes. Amplify the maturation process by constantly testing and stretching your palate. Eat weird, eat ethnic, eat offal.

A lot or a heck of a lot. One of those.

You can't trust anyone to do it for you. The most a sommelier or anyone knowledgeable can do is help point you in some interesting directions. The rest is up to you.

Objection. Asked and answered. Do some reading. Keep asking questions.

Ask around at local wine stores to find out the when and where of tastings. Then start going. Visit wineries. Hold on to your wallet.

BDL
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post #3 of 3
Many wine labels will recommend what they could be served with. Read the labels. If one interests you, take it home and try it with the recommended dish.

Don't be restricted by the "white wine goes with white meat, red goes with red meat" catechism. There are some white meats that go great with a red, and vice versa. Try a chilled red wine with some bbq (preferably on a warm/hot day) for example.

Try port with a cheese platter. Explore desert wines - sweet course wines tend to be ignored too much. Learn which glasses benefit which type of wine.

Ask, ask, and ask again where you can at wine stores and wineries, as BDL says. Just because its not top of your list doesn't mean you can ignore it. Customers are going to want to know what you would recommend with a certain dish, especially if you are looking at high end dining, preparing menus, pairing foods with wines etc.

Sounds like now is the time to do it. And best of luck to you :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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