Mouth malfunction

Do others have evenings when their palate just isn’t doing it for them?

Started the evening with a manzanilla I was loving earlier in the week. Not tonight. It was a fancy en rama job with driven cork that I’d Coravined, so don’t think it had deteriorated. Then a chianti that I found really hard going, but my wife, who has a great palate, assured me was fine. I honestly think it is me!

Bit mystified. I have minor sniffles but don’t think I have Covid (I tested), haven’t brushed my teeth (since this morning!). Have now abandoned the chianti and on the Dr Loosen Kabinett, and a bit of sugar is doing the trick.

Am I alone?


I usually associate (when it seldom happens) it with dehydration.

I also think that some wines are best rationed - I think my brain gets bored of too much of a good thing too often.

I have nothing scientific to back up any of these theories.


This very thing has happened to me this very evening - I’m with a bottle of 2020 Saint Cosme Principauté d’ Orange Blanc, a wine I’ve loved each time I’ve had it to date [3].

But this evening it’s not agreeing with me at all and seems like a different wine.

On this occasion, I’m putting it down to being knackered [me, not the wine] after not much sleep last night as our boy has a bad cough and I was up much of the night looking after him. Other things seem to taste fine though.

It’s not the first time it’s happened to me, and from my musings on the matter I think it’s a mood thing and/or one’s body simply saying “Not tonight, Josephine”.

Mind you - I’d certainly fancy some of that Dr L Red Slate Kabinett you’ve got on the go - that is lovely stuff IMO!


Nick, don’t despair. It does not matter who has a great palate, the only palate that matters is yours.
I am sure we all have off days for aromatics and taste. I have a poor and erratic sense of smell, so on some days wine is almost tasteless.
I read all these fancy expert tasting notes and scores that I cannot reconcile with what I taste. But like so many I post tasting notes on these pages that juggle regularly with the collection of adjectives and adverbs. But I am sure that my palate is no better or worse than anybody else’s. I did WSET courses that are very prescriptive in their approach to tasting, so I have conditioned myself to analyse wine in a certain way. That is not a good thing.
So my advice is that whenever you open a bottle, start from zero. Treat the experience as if it is your first ever taste of wine. Try and forget everything you have had before. It is an almost impossible task. But my bet is that you will have fewer disappointments.
I must now try and follow my own advice…and of course I shall fail…


And @Nick by way of example, the other evening i opened a petit chablis and whilst sipping away decided that the community folk would be interested in a tasting note, so started typing and swilling my usual guff about acidity and complex tertiary notes of forest floor, undergrowth. About half a page of hyperbole had hit the typing box when Mrs M said “this wine smells like a public swimming pool” Needless to say she was right. I could not hit the delete button fast enough. Not sure what had gone wrong with my sensory functions but clearly I had failed to spot the premature chlorination syndrome that had contaminated the wine…


Theoretically it could be for a number of reasons.

Many viruses can affect our sense of smell - not just Covid. Also physical trauma to the head, IIRC.

Then we all have background smells in our mouth, partly determined by our stomach state and contents. We usually don’t notice its effect on smell perception, but if it changes it will change how we perceive external aromas.

Reading the subject line, I thought it was going to be about when your glass doesn’t quite make it to your lips, and wine dribbles down your chin. That happens too. There are explanations for that too :grinning:


I think I have a cold too and it’s playing with my senses and head, prob something going around.

As a slight aside the NHS has started promoting it’s hayfever campaign to get people to start early, I was going to start end of the month as it’s been so cold and miserable and doesnt feel like spring at all but then the trees with white blossom behind my house are in full bloom, as are several bushes in the neighbourhood so maybe it’s that playing with my sinuses?

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When I saw the post title I wondered if this was similar to verbal diarrhea. A common issue in my household.

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I had this last night - after a few beers in the pub for the rugby I couldn’t taste my wine at all.

I’m definitely not ill and I think it is directly linked to the beer somehow, I’m just not sure what the reason is.


Sure it’s not linked to the rugby :wink:?


I do try to avoid mouthwashes and toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth which do seem to numb my tastebuds as well as my teeth. I have noticed that heavier fruity wines become more acidic and much of the fruit disappears with little aftertaste if you use them on a wine day.

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Haha I hadn’t thought of that, it definitely left a bitter taste!


Thanks for good advice everyone. :slightly_smiling_face: