Palate Changers

white wine grape

I have been in the Food and Wine industry for 20+ years – longer than I care to admit. In that time, I have encountered many different types of diners and drinkers. Some who drink the same thing day in and day out. If they like Cabernet Sauvignon, that’s what they drink, regardless of what they are eating. When I offer to recommend a pairing, I have been countered with “No thank you. I don’t like______”.

This forces me to share with you a brief overview of my wine journey. I drank Boone’s Farm in high school. It’s so pitiful and embarrassing, but it’s a fact. Bartles and Jaymes was the hot wine cooler on the market and, ever the glutton, I decided I didn’t want to limit myself to such a small bottle and upped the ante to the 750ml of Boone’s Farm. I don’t remember the flavor, but it was pink. I’m fairly sure that it wasn’t made from grapes. Either an apple wine or something of that nature. Gak.

From there I graduated to White Zinfandel. Still sweet, but actually made from grapes as opposed to the straight up soda pop of wines. Then when I got to Europe I was backpacking through France and purchased a pink wine, which I thought would be sweet, but it wasn’t! It was a dry rose. Next in South Africa I moved onto Viognier. Next I lived in Northern California, and big dry Cabernet’s became my Kings. Then it was on to Miami and Champagne became (and still is) the love of my life. I went from sweet wines, to fragrant whites, to bold reds. Of course, I have drunk and enjoyed every wine under the sun. Having stints where I can’t get enough of something- Gruner Vieltliners, Rieslings, Super Tuscans, Cotes du Rhones… you get the picture. But I’ve never appreciated Chardonnays.

The housewife’s haven: Chardonnay. Buttery, oaky. Flabby, awful. Unless you buy a white Burgundy that you pay through the nose for. Okay, so that is a very large generalization, but that’s what I’ve been telling myself for years. And, well, many Chardonnay’s were made that way for years. So I have recently reopened my heart and have found room for Chardonnays. And they’re not half bad. They still won’t be my go to anytime soon, but they do pair well with so many foods, and I love playing with pairings and really maximizing every dining experience.

The reason I am throwing myself under the bus, and sharing my life long distaste for Chardonnays, isn’t to allow you to presume that Chardonnays are better now than ever (although it’s possible), but because my palate has presumably changed. As we get older our palates change. What we like and don’t like takes on new meaning. We even develop allergies that we never had before. Simply, our body chemistry changes. While it fully blows that pollen has become my nemesis this spring, I am thoroughly delighted that Chardonnays are finally on my menu!

Now, all of you crumple up that list of what you don’t like and revisit wines (and foods for that matter!) that you haven’t tried in years. See what happens, you may be surprised!


About Wine Scrag

I was born a share croppers daughter.... Nope that was George Jefferson. Well son, whatever. I am married and have 2 amazing girls, 5 and 3 years old. I have a bachelors degree in Psychology from a private woman's university. I learned endurance, stamina, how to love and be loved while I studied there, but I figured out that I was capable of anything afterword. I spent 3 years backpacking through Europe and East Africa and then relocated to San Francisco's Bay area. Being a part of the food and wine culture there ignited my passion. Now back on the East Coast, I am a stay at home Mom, Certified Sommelier, Blogger and all around fruitcake!

  • Amymomof3girls

    Great post! I will surely be revisiting wines that I haven’t liked in the past!

    • CindyBin2001

      How could you say that? Alcohol is a DRUG! Just because its legal doesn’t make it right. OH I HOPE YOU DIE!!

      • GUEST

        Oh that’s very Mormon and mature of you. Seriously mental help. You’re fricken crazy….

  • mental mama

    So does that mean you will drink a nice, buttery Chardonnay with me at dinners now? Ha ha!

    • CindyBin2001

      How could you say that? Alcohol is a DRUG! Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right!
      P.S. Made another Disqus account

      • Mental mama

        First of all, let me just say that I agree that alcohol is considered a drug, but so is aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and rx’d antibiotics, etc. So I can only assume you don’t take any kind of medications “drugs” when you are sick. Second of all, a “drug” such as alcohol can be “used” in moderation; it is when it is used to a level to become addictive that it becomes a problem. Me asking my friend if she would drink a glass of wine at dinner does not constitute addiction nor does one glass of wine “alter the mind.”
        Third, there are much better ways to express your opinion about something than to rant like a nonsensical crazy person! If you want people to listen to you or to take what you are saying seriously, then I would suggest toning it down a bit and actually making some sense. Everything that you have written in this blog is complete poppycock! You make no sense at all and you sound completely unstable (which I’m guessing is the case).
        Fourth- don’t bring the Mormon church into this. I know people who were raised Mormon ( and not “converted” as you claim to be) and while they do not drink of use other drugs, they certainly do not judge others who drink in moderation nor do they rant crazily against it. In fact, they can sit at a dinner table with people who do drink wine with their dinner and they can be friends with them and respect them and accept them without actually partaking in the drinking of alcohol themselves. Part of being a good Mormon ( and a good person in general) is to accept all people for who they are regardless of their differences and not to insult or berate them. If you were a good Mormon/good person you would know that.
        Fifth and final- I went to your ridiculous blog page and saw a picture of 90% dark chocolate on the top of the page. I can see from the other pictures contained there that these are things that you like/enjoy. Are you aware that ALL chocolate has caffeine in it and especially dark chocolate and the darker the chocolate the higher the caffeine amount? Are you also aware that caffeine is a DRUG??? So now, not only are you totally crazy and unstable, but you are also a hypocrite! Congratulations on completely derailing everything you have “ranted about for years.” A piece of advice, if you don’t like something then don’t do it. If you don’t like the things that we have written about on his blog, then stop coming here! Your crazy rantings will NOT change anyone’s mind (especially here) so go away and stop wasting your (and everyone else’s time).
        PS. I couldn’t care less about you creating another Disqus account. One of anything from a crazy person like you is way more than anyone needs/wants!

        • CindyBin2001

          AAAARGGHHHHH OH YOU PEOPLE ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!! OH I JUST WANT TO CRY. I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT WE LIVE IN A WORLD LIKE THIS. I’m a convert to the Mormon church and we are taught why mind-altering drugs like alcohol, coffee, tea, marijuana, and cigarettes are not for the body. OH I am so upset I’m just shaking, you can’t drink in moderation or responsibly. I REFUSE TO BE FRIENDS WITH ANYONE WHO DRINKS WINE. My husband isn’t even Mormon and he would surely never ever drink booze! OH I HATE YOU! DO YOU LOVE YOUR KIDS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? AND YOUR A MOTHER! ALSO, YOU SHOULDN’T USE PROFANITY BECAUSE I DON’T. FOLLOW MY EXAMPLE. I CANNOT ACCEPT PEOPLE WHO DRINK ALCOHOL. CHILDREN SHOULD DO DRUGS, NOT ADULTS! WELL YOU SET A TERRIBLE EXAMPLE! Y0U WERE SUPPOSED TO BE ASHAMED AND EMBARRASED AND THANK ME FOR SPEAKING AGAINST ALCOHOL. BUT YOU DIDN’T UNDERSTAND AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PEOPLE NEED TO SET AN EXAMPLE AND NOT USE MIND-ALTERING DRUGS LIKE MARIJUANA AND ALCOHOL.

          • Mental Mama

            Yes, yes. We know you are “a convert to the Mormon church” because you fanatically mention it on every post here. No one cares!
            What I would like to point out is that you are a TERRIBLE Mormon because Mormons are also taught not to hate, yet you have told me and various other people that you hate us.
            And what kind of Mother are YOU to say that kids should do drugs!? If you are against all mind altering drugs, then NO ONE, not adults or children should do drugs! And I guess you conveniently missed that part where I pointed out that dark chocolate has caffeine in it and caffeine is a drug!
            You are an idiot and you are completely and totally certifiably insane! Please, for the love of Pete, get off this blog and seek help ( and stop giving the Mormon religion a bad name)!

            • CindyBin2001

              AAARGGGHHHH OH YOU PEOPLE DRIVE ME NUTS! You say the same things over and over!! I’m a convert to the Mormon church and we are taught why mind-altering drugs like alcohol, coffee, tea, pot, and cigarettes are not for the body!!! We are taught the moral and physical reasons to avoid using these things!!!! And then you accuse Mom3′s children of being “violent”. What is wrong with you? Who are you to say such stuff?? And I’m not only a mom, my two sons are grown and I have a granddaughter and grandson, ages four and two. I am not giving the Mormon religion a bad name!!!! Like I said, my husband isn’t even Mormon and he would surely never ever drink booze!!!!! Oh I HATE this blog!!!!!! And again, I’ve gone against alcohol for YEARS online, writing tons of blogs, thousands of comments, even a BOOK on why we shouldn’t drink alcohol or smoke pot!!!!!!! Alcohol is a DRUG!! Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. Also, on the Mormon church we are taught not to use profanity, be immodest, play with ourselves, marry people of the same gender, or have an abortion. And in another post you are for the legalization of gay marriage! In the Mormon church we are taught why gay marriage is morally wrong and that we should only marry people of the opposite gender. And you are for the legalization of abortion!!! In the Mormon church we are taught why abortion is morally wrong. I HATE you! I type my fingers to the bone online, thinking that I’ve made a difference in the world and that people know not to use alcohol anymore!!! And I still come across people like you!! It is just MADDENING!!!! You were supposed to be embarrassed and ashamed and THANK me for helping you realize why alcohol is a DRUG. But you didn’t understand at all!!! I thought that I was so well known online (not to mention on this blog!). Which I am!! And no I am not Amish! I am just a regular woman, mom, and grandmother in her fifties who enjoys collecting dolls, sewing, reading, watching TV, and going against mind-altering drugs online!! People have made blogs going against me, message boards going against me, groups going against me, comments going against me, they make fun of me for my religion, looks, and my extreme love for collecting dolls. My being well known online began ten years ago when I left a few innocent comments on some Yahoo message boards going against alcohol and pot, and then everything broke loose. I was even voted 2004 Yahoo Troll Of The Year! I needed to spread the word about why this behavior is wrong. I am most well known for my Yahoo (how this began in the first place) and Youtube. I began blogging in February 2007 to help spread the word, and it still didn’t work!! OH I JUST WANT TO CRY! I can’t believe that we live in the world like this!!! People need to set an example and not use mind-altering drugs like marijuana and alcohol!

            • Cindy Bin (Cindybin2001)

              First of all, that wasn’t me. It is someone posing as me. The bully, immature pot smokers online always do this, trying to pose as me to humiliate me. Although anyone who knows me knows that I am totally against alcohol and I am a convert to the Mormon church. I have explained over and over that I didn’t drink alcohol even BEFORE I joined the Mormon church! And my husband isn’t Mormon and HE doesn’t drink alcohol! You don’t have to be Mormon or even religious to know not to drink alcohol or smoke pot. It’s just common sense! my whole point is that a grown adult should be well past the age where they would want to use a mind-altering drug to get high, stoned, buzzed, relax, have “fun”, etc. What a thing to do. And it makes us all furious when you guys try to compare things like aspirin to using alcohol or marijuana! THAT ISN’T THE SAME AT ALL! We don’t get high or stoned or tipsy or drunk from ASPIRIN! And pharmaceutical drugs are to treat an illness or condition one doesn’t want to have in the first place, not to get high or stoned or tipsy or drunk like a casual pot smoker or alcohol user would use! Can’t you see that? I just can’t believe that after all the years I have typed my fingers to the bone, explaining over and over about why we shouldn’t use mind-altering drugs like alcohol and marijuana, that people STILL use these things and that they still use the same lame excuses to justify it!

              • CindyBin2001

                Oh you, the hacker.
                Mental Mama – someone hacked into my other Disqus account, acted like me, and called me a poser on numerous sites. I have addressed this issue with Disqus. That was not me commenting above.