Once someone realizes what I do for a living, I anticipate the question. I can’t help it. I’m not telepathic, but I know what’s coming. And invariably, “the question” does come: What’s your favorite wine? I used to answer the question with a litany of favorites, but after decades of wine tasting I have more favorites than I can count, so that conversation can go on for a very long time. So now I respond to the question with “the wine in my glass.” A true statement, simply because I don’t drink wine that doesn’t please me and the fact that a particular wine remains in my glass offers testimony to the immediate gratification it is providing me. Hence, a new favorite wine!
This candid but somewhat flippant sounding response also frees me to recall a few special wines and to ask the questioner about his or her favorite wines – a topic that I find more intriguing than my own preferences. What I have come to conclude from others’ responses is that everyone’s palate is a bit different. And although most experienced wine drinkers can reach a consensus on a wine, they don’t always. Why? Ambiance, experience, or lack of experience, personal preferences, and whatever else a person has consumed that day can alter one’s perception of a wine. Moreover, I have learned over the years that there are only three immutable facts about wine drinking, and they are these: no one can drink a label (even though some people try, either to impress or to hide their lack of experience), a price tag (that’s only for snobs), or anyone else’s palate (a true waste of time and wine). Think about it!
A Votre Santé!