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20

Q&A

Q A.

There is a process to training the palate for tasting wine. But, I have to warn you that it is an endless road. Most importantly, you will need to train your sense of smell. The nose knows. Most of what we taste is directly related to what we smell. Training your sense of smell is easy and endless. Let’s start with basic descriptors such as strawberries; smell blackberry jam and a bowl of strawberries and then recognize it the next time you put your nose in a glass of Pinot Noir. Notice the smell of new leather seats or walk into a store that sells leather and then remember it when you get a whiff of Cabernet Sauvignon. When you are cooking, make an extra effort to identify the smell of bell peppers, dill, asparagus, cayenne pepper, lemon peel, olives, and mushrooms just to name a few. I am naming just smells in the food group. How about nature? There are so many different flower smells: gardenia, red rose, pink rose, cherry blossom, jasmine, fresh cut grass and earth. Once you recognize these smells you will taste them in the glass. It’s fascinating and fun! All these and a million other smells and flavors will keep you on the wine tasting path for many a year to come.

Q A.

You will want to keep your wines in a temperature controlled place at about 60°F. Ideally, there should be no light, no vibration, and a bit of humidity. If your house has a basement or underground cellar, that can work. If you are on the east coast, your basement or cellar should stay cool in the summer months as well. On the west coast, we depend on temperature-controlled units to help our wines survive the endless summer heat we have. They range in price depending on size, but it’s a wise investment if you’re serious about storing wines for any length of time. As you start to accumulate wine, you may get 100 bottles or more. Some could lay down for 10 to 14 years, others for 3 to 5 years, and some are opened the night they’re brought home! With that many bottles being stored, you should open some of the aging wines to see how they’re doing. There is nothing sadder than opening a bottle you’ve been saving only to find it’s past its prime. So go to your cellar now and pull some corks and pour some glasses. It’s interesting to see how the wines are doing. Remember, the whole point of buying is to drink and enjoy wine. You can always buy more. Have fun!

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F O R M E M B E R S O N L Y

“Do you have any suggestions to train my palate to taste wine?”

~ G.M., Detroit, MI

“I want to start a wine collection. How do I keep the wine and do I need to rotate them? Thank you.”

~ D.R., San Diego, CA

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