Back yesterday to meet Tim Hanni a Master of Wine and I think a Professor of Wine from California who likes to be thought of as wine's top troublemaker. Basically he is one of those academics who likes to tear down as many of our precious beliefs as possible. 'Shibboleths' isn't it? What you tear down?
Like our cherished belief that red wine and red meat are made for each other. Amino acids from both working to mutual benefit. All that stuff. Not true apparently. We made it up.
I could believe that. Maybe. Because in my work I've often come across these anomalies. Like....if you go to the Mosel Valley for lunch they'll likely take you into the forest for a rich venison stew and give you a slightly sweet low-strength white wine with it! And it will be delicious. Try doing that in a London restaurant and the sommelier won't be able to hide his sniggers.
His basic point is that the Wine Trade is far too cliquey and turned in on itself to be much good at communicating with most customers - or potential customers. He has a point.
Tim also has hard evidence that we all have different palates. Some of us can taste things that others just cannot. He tested a roomfull of Laithwaites Finest. Sure enough.. A lot of difference.
Which basically means if I'm banging on at you about some wine being all voluptuous and round, you, because you're a hyper-sensitive and I'm not might be be finding the stuff bitter as hell.
Some people find your run-of-the-mill Pinot Grigio to be virtually tasteless. Others find the same wine quite flavourful, thank you.
Yes, well, if wine was all dead easy it wouldn't be as fascinating would it?