The negative stigma that accompanies a persnickety palate has often earned wine enthusiasts the title of Wine Snob – to which I say, “I like what I like…get over it.”
I, for one, think that knowing what you like and owning it is the best way to enjoy all of the finer things in life. Whether it’s red, white or bubbly, everyone has a type of wine that they gravitate to. The same applies for men: tall, muscular, outdoorsy, intellectual, dreamy…ahem.
Jokes aside, identifying your type is the first step to Nirvana. Once you know your type, you spend a lot less time being disappointed in your selections, and a lot more time enjoying yourself.
Identify Your Type
My type? Opulent, bold and complex (I’ll let you decide if I’m talking about wine or men).* In order to figure out what your “type” is I have several recommendations (and you don’t have to know anything about wine to figure it out!):
- Select a wine that you enjoy.
- Research common characteristics of that wine (I like this website because it’s very approachable and easy to understand)
- Now that you’ve jotted down the characteristics, look at other wines that possess similar traits. A Syrah and a Cabernet Sauvignon may appeal to a similar palate, for example.
- Buy a bottle of the other wine you have found with these new traits.
- If you like this wine, you can pretty much use those characteristics as your “type” and build on them for future reference.
Now, many of you will say that this sort of thinking is narrow-minded, arguing “if you don’t try new and different things you might be missing out on what truly appeals to you!” Ok, devil’s advocate, I hear you. I’m not saying to not try new things, BUT when you’re investing in a bottle or investing your time in someone new, to thine own self be true, darling. Having “deal breakers” is not only acceptable, but necessary and efficient. Which brings me to my next point….
Establish Deal Breakers
In the world of wine, one might say that opening a bottle is an educated guess, and most certainly a gamble. The more money you spend on a bottle, the higher the stakes are that you’ll enjoy this wine. That’s where your deal breakers come in.
For example, if you like delicate wine (such as a Pinot Noir and many white wines) and a wine is described as “bold” or “robust”, that should be a deal breaker for you. Some of my deal breakers include wines being considered oaky, earthy, sweet and having notes of honeysuckle or rose. Because of these deal breakers, I don’t waste money on glasses of wine that just don’t live up to my expectations.
In terms of love life…I think this is kind of obvious. When it comes to investing, your time is the most valuable asset you have. No matter how silly your friends might tell you the deal breaker is (like not liking Thai food…which is totally valid), if it’s something that bothers you enough, just don’t continue to invest your time in that person. Some people have grocery lists 40 items long, but when it comes to their personal life they can’t come up with more than 3 qualities. Moral of the story: be even more picky about how you spend your time. If a wine sucks, you can usually get your money back, but time doesn’t work like that.
No, really. After deciphering your type and your deal breakers, go to a restaurant or wine bar where your friendly neighborhood Sommelier can take the notes that you have given him or her and find you a masterpiece. If what they return with isn’t something you’re over the moon about, describe what it is about the wine as best you can that you didn’t enjoy. Your Somm may be able to steer you in the correct direction when you provide this feedback.
To be perfectly honest, I’ve got nothing on this one for dating. Every blind date I’ve ever gone on has absolutely sucked…may the odds be ever in your favor?
*Obviously this is about wine…I’m not looking to date Prince Harry.