Monday, July 7, 2008

The Power of the Palate Cleanse

In May I posted about the Taria 384 Cuvee and ranted about how great it was. A bit later, I brought it the Luce’s house for dinner one night. We started off with a Cabernet Franc then followed with this. Since there were only 3 of us and the Luce’s are well endowed with glasses, we were able to taste them at the same time. (well, sip of one, sip of the other, not shooting them both) I hadn’t noticed the tobacco before, but wow, it was really prominent next to the Cab Franc. (It was a casual dinner, so we weren’t doing much palate cleansing.) So much so that it almost tasted like I ate a cigarette. But I had loved it so much before- I was so sad that it wasn’t wonderful. It was fine, it wasn't a bad bottle, the tobacco flavor was much stronger than I like.

Then recently I took it to a dinner another night with a different friend. We started with a white, then moved to the Taria. The tobacco, while present, was only ever so lightly present, so lightly that I probably wouldn’t have been able to pick out the tobacco if I hadn’t known it was there. It was great and went well with both my steak and my friend's sea bass with sugar pea and mushroom accompaniment. That's the Taria I remember.

Of course, it stands to reason that the bottle at the Luce’s was some freak of production, but I think it was so different because of what it was next to. It made me really realize the importance of palate cleansing at tastings-honestly I don’t really do much of it unless it’s a vastly different wine (ie a red to a white or visa versa) and then, honestly, shhh… I still don’t always. It just seems so snobby. “I need to cleanse my palate”.

But, after this experience, I really think I’ll take it up again.


LucyinStLou said...

The wine was really good! It was really surprising to taste two such different wines together. Don't worry. We'll always have crackers on hand and you can cleanse away.

WineLush said...

It just suprised me, that's all. I expect some difference, but in comparison, the tobacco was so strong the wine went from really good to almost undesireable (at least to my tastes, as I don't like eating cigs).

Hopefully after a few sips not next to the cab franc you guys liked it.