Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Stop. Do not pass palate.
Well, there you have it. I have officially opened a bottle of wine I simply could not swallow. It happened recently. The bottle was in my cellar. I went down in the late afternoon and brought it up to the kitchen.
I cut the capsule. I put in the corkscrew and outed the cork. I smelled the wet end of the cork (why do we do this? force of habit, but it only ever tells you so much). I was planning to let the wine breathe for the two hours or so before we would pour it for dinner.
I gave a splash in a glass.
I swirled. I sniffed. Hm, pretty nice nose, there. Fruits, spice. Not bad!
And I put it in my mouth. I sucked in air and chomped a bit. I swallowed, god love you. And that sealed my fate. Suddenly, I had evolving in my mouth the most awful tastes imaginable. The wine wasn't flawed; it wasn't cooked or corked or oxidized. It was just purely disgusting to my palate.
Astonished, I left glass and bottle on the kitchen counter and repaired to my computer. I searched the Internet for reviews and remarks. And what I discovered in page after gory page was that everyone loved this foul, tangy brew. They noted some of the flavor characteristics I did - aside from one glaring awfulness, which they downplayed into something similar but less gross - yet they found the wine a delicious thing of joy!
Well, I will call this a learning experience. I will recognize limits to my broad-mindedness (I - as someone who "hates" vin jaune - having attended two Percée du Vin Jaune festivals with gusto and an oft-emptied glass).
I will pretend this is a good thing.
Or else a whole lot of people have really, really screwy taste.