01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

Palatal Evolution


#1

Warning: this topic is of limited interest and absolutely no significant value, so consider carefully whether you want to continue or not

A few days ago I was reading articles about cellar or winemaker’s palate. When I joined this community early last year a few things became quickly apparent. For example, and in very general terms, Alsace was producing the nectar of the gods and New Zealand was mixing the devil’s brew. Musar ruled the Lebanon, and indeed much of the known world; Thymiopoulos was sitting next to Zeus, and far above all other Greek winemakers. And so on (with pinches of salt where appropriate).

Does any body think there is any danger of the gradual evolution of a Community palate? Or is it perhaps that we are simply and correctly identifying the best the wines world has to offer? I know my wine buying has changed under the Community influence; how will it be in 5 or 10 years?


#2

No. Palates change over time. Posts here encourage some to try wines they otherwise wouldn’t.

If the wines don’t ring bells, they are not repurchased.

And rather than getting into an exchange of ‘it’s a great wine’ - ‘no, it isn’t’, naysayers just don’t take part in that thread so we see an apparent unison in favour of a wine.

Musar’s a case in point. For every champion of it, there’s some that dislike it, some that can’t see the attraction and some that think that they are at fault for not getting it.


#3

Unless one has a preference for certain wines I think it’s inevitable that other Community members will influence what goes into our baskets. I’ve been here for less than a year but have already been drinking more adventurously as a result.

It doesn’t take long to work out whose tastes align with your own and to then try some of those wines they’ve obviously derived a lot of pleasure from. I really value that input and have drank some fabulous wines as a result. Before joining the Community I lived in my own little bubble, and although I drank well, I did tend to stick to what I knew best. Since joining I’ve been far more adventurous.

So many thanks to everyone here for making the last year the best one I’ve ever had wine-wise !

As for a ‘Community palate’ we all have different tastes, so no, we’ll never agree on everything thankfully. What a boring world it would be if we all liked and agreed on the same thing.


#4

“And rather than getting into an exchange of ‘it’s a great wine’ - ‘no, it isn’t’, naysayers just don’t take part in that thread so we see an apparent unison in favour of a wine.”

That’s an interesting perspective which I hadn’t previously considered.


#5

This is, for me, exactly right. I have tried many wines based on comments here. Some I have loved and gone on to discuss, others I haven’t but that’s no one’s fault, just different palates and the most I will usually do is possibly comment that it just wasn’t for me.

I would add that by far the majority of recommendations I have taken up have worked out well!


#6

I like the idea! A vinous manifestation of Durkheim’s ‘Collective Consciousness’…! I think it’s pretty obvious we influence each other, though each one of us has developed (or is developing, in my case) a taste and preference of their own.

As for Alsace producing the ‘Nectar of the gods’ (oh, but it does!) and other such hilarious examples you gave, Andy - I agree with others, in that it’s much more fun to share the wines that we tasted and loved to those we tasted and loathed (or worse, were underwhelmed by). This, of course, does present a slightly skewed picture. I, for one, am guilty of hardly ever posting about wines that disappointed me. Which is maybe short-sighted, because someone might like to know that - then again, my palate is my own - so just because I didn’t like wine x doesn’t make it the definitive judgement on that wine.

There is no doubt a community sharing its likes and dislikes of wine is a wonderful place to learn, even if we don’t go on to develop that ‘community palate’ you posited! :smile:


#7

Also sometimes called “intersubjectivity”.

The world of wine is full of intersubjective communities, and this is one of them. That is fine, but just don’t confuse it with objectivity. It is an easy mistake to make.


#8

I’m very resistant to the idea of forming part of any community, and if there’s a perceived orthodoxy then I’m the first to rebel against it :slightly_smiling_face: But inevitably what others say has an influence, and I wouldn’t be where I am now without that influence. Very far from it.

Kind of inevitable that people might think Thymiopoulos is the only one making great wine in Greece, when he’s pretty much the only one TWS sell :smile:


#9

Ah, the Groucho Marx ‘Any club that would have me as a member I wouldn’t want to join’ argument. I was similarly contrarian for many many years but in wine at least I can’t be bothered. Can’t understand Musar though :grinning:


#10

I don’t think there’s much chance of us all developing a hive mind :robot:. Wine is so subjective that whatever is being proselytised on here can’t appeal to everyone.

It’s very healthy to hear a dissenting voice if it makes you re-examine your opinions or assertions. It helps to reduce the slight risk of this community turning into an echo chamber (Musar! Musar! Musar!).

For me, the opportunity to learn and expand your horizons is pretty valuable. Like @Embee, my drinking choices have certainly been influenced by this community, in an overwhelmingly positive fashion, apart from the influence to my bank account, which has been overwhelmingly negative! I hadn’t considered the potential effects of me criticising a wine (sorry Aldi sparkling shiraz), but I hope it wouldn’t cause others to hesitate to contribute.

Incidentally, @Andy999, I would be interested to read the articles mentioned about Winemaker’s palate.


#11

Just things that came up when I googled cellar palate and winemaker’s palate, nothing obscure. I can’t even remember what got me thinking about it; probably some offshoot of a discussion on here in all likelihood!


#12

Have to say I do go along with the “consensus” on Musar, though :smile:


#13

As an aside, I’m with @Oldandintheway on Musar. I’ve only tried it twice and it left me ambivalent although I could understand why people like it. I probably broached the bottles too soon but should admit to finding its chewy texture and feral complexity a bit hard to handle.

Hopefully my palate will have evolved sufficiently by 2022 to enjoy the half case of 2007, received through a Vintage Cellar Plan, that currently sit in reserves.

As a ‘bee’ I will now return to the safety of my hive before any brickbats come my way !


#14

Weird. I never came across the 07.

Main thing with Moose is never to drink it on the day you open it. Always give it 2 or 3 days open.


#15

This is a minefield, isn’t it?
There are so many variables. I don’t like white wines refrigerated, so will inevitably have a different palate experience from those who chill it to within an inch of its life.
Similarly with sparklers. I’ve probably mentioned before, but I was told of the ‘best’ way to discern the quality of a sparkler is to let it get to room temperature and flat, then treat it as an ordinary wine tasting.
Thus a group like this will have differing ways of arriving at a palate opinion, but only agree on classifying wines in broad categories. The online tastings give an opportunity for live discussion and to guide each other. I’ve learned a lot from other Community people.


#16

The buyers notes = Musar is particularly exotic in 2007. Lower yields and a summer heatwave resulted in a powerful, muscular wine with concentrated dark fruit and spice flavours.

Based on my past experience, it’s the ‘particularly exotic’ note that worries me !

Thanks for the tip about opening well in advance. I may need to work on my organisational skills but will try to do so.


#17

Possibly a little extreme, but I agree with the general sentiment! Good to try it after 1, 2 and three days open, if there’s any left…

I remember being at a Majestic tasting where it was featuring, and a number of people were trying it from the bottle as soon as opened as it were, and were largely running a mile as the bouquet was to put it mildly all feral and farmyard. I loitered for an hour tasting other stuff, then came back, poured a generous glass from the now decanted bottle, and it was just coming round…

The number of tasting notes on Musar (and views thereof) suggests that the cult is fairly large, and it’s surprising the price of the wine isn’t maybe higher as a result, though it has gone up a bit…


#18

Was that Majestic tasting a while ago? Asking because this was of course common when i got into Musar (90s vintages), but I have never found any brett at all in any post 99 vintages.


#19

Can’t remember, a few years definitely and not sure of the vintage either. I am pretty sure I have encountered it in either the 2001 or 2003. Definitely not in 05, 08 and haven’t opened any more recent ones yet.


#20

@Andy999 it looks like you’re right. Everyone is talking about Ch Musar now!!! Incorrectly imho