I have a dear friend who prefers lean white wines like sauvignon blanc. I have learned over the years that that is my least favorite wine and have thought our relationship was doomed since he doesn't like what I do. He will drink red wine to placate me but it's not a real pleasure for him. After relearning last week how to improve your experience of a wine from Liz Thach, Sonoma State University Professor of Wine Marketing and one of the few women in the world who has achieved master of wine status, I tried it out at our recent dinner.
I had purchased a light chardonnay, not too high in acid. On my first taste - ugh. But I was serving it with shrimp scampi and pasta so I knew that the wine would taste very different with food. So first tip - give food a chance. If at first you don't like a wine but your friends or partner do, wait until you taste it along with some food.
I did that, tasted our meal, and still didn't like the wine while he loved it; it was a light white wine after all. So remembering Liz's tips, if a wine tastes too acidic or sharp (like a big tannic red) add salt or something sour to your food. What worked in our meal was a squeeze of lemon on the pasta dish and suddenly the white wine tasted good to me.
Finally an easy solution to bring different palates to a tasting agreement: I can drink the white wine he prefers and he's discovering that red's not so bad providing he seasons his food a bit differently.
So not only does a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon improve your experience of a wine, it may also improve the longevity of a relationship.
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