Saturday, November 15, 2008

Let me introduce my palate

So I have no clue what people are smelling or tasting when they describe wines because when I drink a glass it tastes like wine. If I go to a winery and taste a bunch of different types in a row I can tell a difference in the grapes and I know the flavors that I like. But I definitely don't taste the proverbial cornucopia that people brag about. So! To give you an idea of what flavors I find good and bad I am going to describe what makes my tongue happy and if it makes your saliva glands activate we may have similar tastes in wine:

Chocolate- the darkest most bitter you can find. I'm a dark chocolate purist but I admit I like a good creamy milk chocolate with nuts in it. Don't put in fruit and I refuse to eat white chocolate. I will also only eat Hershey's if it is an emergency PMS crisis.

Nuts- all nuts are good though I'm particularly fond of almonds. I could give or take super oily nuts like cashews and macadamias though. I also don't like nuts crazy salted.

Salad Dressings- For a normal run of the mill house salad I like oil and vinegar. If the salad has a lot of gumption like a Cobb Salad I prefer ranch. I hate thousand island and catalina.

Cheese- A good sharp cheddar is a good stand by but I'm also fond of a good brie, gouda, munster, parmesean, feta, etc. I don't like an overbearing cheese that makes all the saliva in my mouth rush to the back of my throat.

Berries- This is hard. I love berries but I hate the seeds. Strawberries are always a good go but I like berry smoothies and yogurt.

Citrus- I can take sour with the best of them but my favorite citrus is a good grapefruit.

Salsa- Fruit is always a selling point in my salsa, especially pineapple. Peach and mango are also very palatable. I like heat in my salsa but nothing that burns my tongue and I can take a good amount of heat.

Mexican Food- Chicken enchilada with mole sauce. If I want to get a bit tipsy I will drink a lime margarita on the rocks but I don't care for crazy amounts of sugar with my alcohol. Well, I don't care for a repeat performance.

Asian Food- I'm a Thai girl. I used to love me some Chinese and Japanese but there is a Thai restaurant down the street from our house that has amazing Pho. Anything we order is a new favorite.

Popcorn- light butter and salt. I don't like air popped stuff and I hate gobs of butter. I also have an overall rule against artificial flavor so that white cheddar seasoning they put on some makes me gag a bit.

Vegetable- The wine drinkers worst enemy, but I adore asparagus and broccoli. This makes me cry. I love the crisp bitter green taste of it but it completely rapes your palate when you chase a bite with good wine. I like almost any vegetable if it is cooked right and chopped up.

Olives- ANY olive is a good olive. I joke that I must have been Greek in a past life because I would grow a tree in my back yard and eat it bare every year if I didn't have such a black thumb.

White Wine- 2006 Schmitt Sohne Reisling Spatlese. ($10)

It has to be in the green bottle because the blue bottle is very bland. It has a nice bite and is almost bubbly the instant it hits your mouth. It is strong without knocking you on your butt.

Red Wine- 2007 Maryhill Winery Winemakers Red ($15)

This wine opened my mouth to the amazing possibilities of red wine. I used to be a white wine only kind of gal because it was so fruity and easy to pair. This wine was like having a palate of oak barrels knock me over face first into a pile of white pepper. It was amazing and my new standard of a good red wine. Yeah, I know the picture below is the 2006 but I like the 2007.

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