The Mountain Times

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Finding a favorite wine take a lot of tasting

There are thousands of different wines out there from all over the world, the choice is daunting, and no wonder one tends to play it safe. But do you remember the first time you tried that particular wine you like so much, the excitement you felt, almost like a first date? It might have been at a friend's house, maybe someone who likes experimenting and every so often buys a different wine, just to see what it tastes like. When was the last time you introduced a new wine to your guests?

When 'experimenting' with a new wine, take a look at the wine you like: Which region does it come from? Chances are there may be other wines from that area featuring the characteristics you like but offering distinct new flavors. How about a different choice on your favorite grape, there are plenty of Chardonnays, Merlots and Pinot Noirs out there. It's also worth considering the label. It is a reflection of the winemakers taste. You might like other wines with similar labels that attract your interest.

Price is a good indicator of quality. Any bottle for about five bucks is what it is: cheap, and probably tastes it. Good values can be had for about $10 to $12, but most quality wines tend to be at the $15 to $20 level and above. But often you pay extra for the name or the rating.

There is the story about a person that buys a case of wine, but does not like it after the first bottle and returns the remainder of the case. Then Parker or Spectator gives it a big rating and the person goes back and buys the case again at almost double the price.

This really does happen, although most likely nobody will admit to it.

90+ ratings are sure to increase the price by more than its worth, it seems a wiser move to buy an unrated wine at $15 than a highly rated one at $25.

Mr. Parker tastes an average of 130 wines a day, you can imagine how exhausted his palate gets after a while, mine gives up after only about 30. Only big, bold wines stand out in such a crowd, the more subdued, elegant wines get lost. They may be the bargain worth trying. After all winemaking is an art. It plays to a lot of individual tastes. Would Picasso have scored 90 points?

The best way to find out if you like a wine or not is to taste it! Open a bottle and give it a try. But who wants to get stuck with a bunch of wine you may not like? The clever option is to attend a wine tasting and taste your way around a bunch of different wines.

Please join me for such a tasting this Friday, Jan.13, at the Z Corner's Inn in Bridgewater, 7-9 p.m. I'll be leading the way through wines from California and Oregon in an informal setting, just for fun. Stop by and taste a few new wines!

Tagged: Wine Experiments