Wine is an interesting subject for sure. We often will say that wine is subjective. This is true about anything we put in our mouth to consume. For instance, I absolutely abhor liver. It doesn’t mean the liver isn’t good, it only means I don’t like it. Wine like food is dependent on the opinion of the person imbibing it. I read a statement made in a very popular book on wine. The author said… “Just because you may think a wine is good, doesn’t mean it’s a good wine.” I know what her premise is for making such a pretentious statement. A wine that is well-made is different from a mass-produced wine, there is no doubt about that. However, most consumers who purchase wine don’t give a rat’s ass about those details. They just want to enjoy a glass of wine sans the snobbery that can surround the wine world. I will be the first to admit that there are wines out there I like that may not fall into the aforementioned authors’ “Good Wine” category. If I like it, I like it. I don’t care what other people think.

Although wine is subjective, it doesn’t give me as a wine steward an excuse to get lazy. I have to strive to understand my customer’s palate and not chalk up a recommendation that went askew to subjectivity. Are you following me on this? For instance, my wife Susie does not like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Period! She dislikes the grapefruit component that is so prominent in NZ whites (although she does like grapefruit). She is so sensitive to it, that Sauvignon Blanc with just a pinch of grapefruit flavor puts her off. It’s not just NZ that gets to her, it’s any white that displays that flavor profile. So, when I recommend a white to her, I am very careful to make sure it doesn’t have the dreaded flavor of grapefruit, no matter how minute. Now, take that to a larger scale. My customer base is huge, and I take the responsibility of understanding their individual palates quite seriously. When I strike out on a recommendation, it hurts. It happens from time to time and I never write it off to subjectivity. I blame myself for not taking the time to understand what they like or dislike. It’s not always easy to coax out of a customer what they prefer in wine. However, with patience, I can usually get to the bottom of what they might enjoy. This effort has paid off in spades, leading to many of my long-time customer’s trust in my ability to pick out a wine they will like.

On a final note, I recently put up an episode on my YouTube channel about different styles of wine glasses. Do they change how a wine smells and tastes? Check it out and let me know what you think about it.


Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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