You know how sometimes married couple start to look like each other after they’ve been together for a long time?
While I don’t ever think that will happen with me and TJ, we do have other ways that we have subtly morphed into the same person over the years. Some are funny (like completely random fist pumps to music while driving in the car, always good for a laugh), others are spooky (I’ll be thinking of something I need to ask him and he’ll turn around and answer me – weird, right?), and others are practical. For example, while we’re unsure of the reason, our palates stay in complete sync with each other over the changing seasons, years, etc.
I say this is practical because almost every day we see couples at UG that can’t agree on wine. There is nothing more tragic than two people in love, one with a dry palate and one with a sweet palate. Tragic, I tell you. Just imagine the cocktail hour strife!
I used to think our tastes melded because I have such a malleable palate that, like a dog falling in line behind the pack leader, my palate would mold to TJ’s more distinct likes and dislikes.
But over the past year, I’ve noticed that big palate shifts will happen to us both, almost on the same exact day.
Case in point: at 2 pm on Saturday, February 17th, standing in the Grand Cru room at the Boston Wine Expo, surrounded by big, bold American reds, TJ and I could not find a wine we liked, except the Spanish wines from Olé Imports. While we have an appreciation for – and sell – wines from every region, at home we drink primarily Italian and American wines. It’s always been our wheelhouse. So imagine our collective shock when I said to TJ, “I don’t know…I think I’m starting not to like Californian wine as much.” And TJ said, “I know, right? Me too.” A huge palate shift happened to both of us at the same exact moment.
The problem is, a lot of California wine has gotten TOO big – too much wood, too much fruit, too much alcohol. The first sip tastes alright, but then there isn’t much to make you want to head back into the glass. Now there are huge exceptions to this rule. I’m presently obsessed with the Banshee Mordecai, which is primarily Napa Cab. But it’s blended with 12 other wines and has so much finesse. TJ will never truly give up Napa Cab, and he shouldn’t as there are fantastic producers in the region, but he’s much pickier about what he drinks these days from CA. It’s got to have balance and not light your face on fire with high alcohol.
And where have our palates traveled to this week? Spain. It has truly been the week of Spain at UG, starting with that Olé Imports table and culminating in our tasting of all the Muga wines last night with Manu Muga. Big and bold? A lot of the Muga wines were. Tons of flavor? Absolutely. Finesse, style, elegance? In abundance. The feeling that you can’t wait to take another sip? Believe me, we’ve been reveling in these bottles. The Spanish wines we’ve been tasting, especially the Muga wines, have it all, and we are going to start featuring them in a big way this spring and early summer.
And this is the amazing thing about wine. Palates change, preferences come and go, explorations of taste and texture are there to be had. If you’re lucky, you have someone by your side – a family member, a wine club, a group of friends – to experience it with you and share in the excitement of discovering a new varietal or region or bottle. If you don’t have a wine buddy yet, or if you have a home with divergent palates, come to UG and let us be that person! As you can see, we’re evolving every day too. And that’s what makes it so fun.
We’d love to hear – in what ways has your palate changed over the years? Has your palate melded to another’s? Please tell us!