Wine How To Redux: Avoiding Palate Fatigue

Nearly two years ago I wrote the following blog post about palate fatigue. It’s one of the Top 10 posts on this site so I thought maybe I should review my advice and see if I still agree with it!

Fortunately, I do.

During the past week, I tasted a lot of wine: about 2 dozen wines at Bridlewood with winemaker David Hopkins, 15-20 wines at three Ventura County wineries on Friday, a couple of bottles on Saturday at home for blog posts, on Sunday another 20 or more wines at 4 Ventura County Wineries,  two more wines on Monday, then on Tuesday about 50 wines at an industry event in Los Angeles. That’s a lot of wine, but I didn’t have any problems with palate fatigue (no hangovers, either).

And I’m preparing for Dark & Delicious where I will taste as many as 50 different Petit Sirahs! Insert image of red wine tongue here!

So in addition to the ideas about palate fatigue in the post below, I’ve learned this about attending tastings:

1) Drink lots of liquids before (and after) the tasting; don’t drink water during. I like protein shakes before.

2) If you taste a lot of wine often, you don’t get palate fatigue like you do as a beginner.

3) Dump. Spit. Dump. Spit. Dump. Spit. You’re not going to offend anyone!

4) When in doubt, don’t drive. When your palate is fatigued, maybe this is a sign for you to stop tasting. There was a woman at the tasting Tuesday who insisted she could drive home. While I prayed the valet didn’t give her her keys, we went for sushi and let the traffic die down. I didn’t want to be on any road she was on.

5) Wear dark clothes!

Keep reading for more tips on what to do about palate fatigue.

Wine How To: Avoid Palate Fatigue When I applied for the “dream job” as Caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef I discovered a whole community of fellow applicants–warm, interesting people who share my interests. Same thing around this time as an applicant for the Murphy-Goode’s Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent. One of the cool people is Andy over at Andy’s Goode Life Blog where she’s hosting a blog carnival by asking us to respond to these three questions: When I drink red wine … Read More

via Wine Predator

Wine How To: Avoid Palate Fatigue

Gwendolyn Alley IS Murphy-Goode!  Please vote here:  http://www.areallygoodejob.com/video-view.aspx?vid=MEPRrfj1uHUWhen I applied for the “dream job” as Caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef I discovered a whole community of fellow applicants–warm, interesting people who share my interests. Same thing around this time as an applicant for the Murphy-Goode’s Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent.

One of the cool people is Andy over at Andy’s Goode Life Blog where she’s hosting a blog carnival by asking us to respond to these three questions:

  1. When I drink red wine, I often get the dreaded “red wine teeth,” which is an embarrassing condition to have at a party when I intend on talking, smiling, or otherwise showing my newly wine-stained chompers. And is there any way to reduce this affliction without hampering my enjoyment of red?
  2. What are your tips to avoid “palate fatigue” when tasting so many wines in a session?
  3. Why smell the cork?

Since I discovered I had several stories I wanted to share, I chose to answer all three questions but in different posts since it was getting so long! So here’s my answer to #2. And please head over to Andy’s place and vote for one of my blog posts! Good practice for voting for me over at Murphy-Goode…

2. How do I avoid palate fatigue? I smile at this question, thinking back to the Delicious Wine Tasting in Santa Monica earlier this month. I brought three friends with me, Helen and her partner Grant who both work in the hospitality industry and influence wine selection at the high end restaurants, and my friend David who I’ve learned to rely on for good notes, a delicate palate, and a willingness to drive f I don’t do enough spitting.

Helen does a local TV show called “Tidbits” and we were shooting a segment, so we had a camera and mic. We were interviewing and tasting. It was exhausting, partly because most of the people we were talking with were French and we’re not. Plus our French is awful but our curiousity great. The food had run out early on, right after we’d had something after our nearly 90 minute drive; I’d even heard an organizer make a snide remark about one of my friends “making a meal out of a bread bar.”  So another 90 minutes later, when more bread and cheese arrived, we filled the tiny plates, chose different wines to see what happened with the food, and settled into some couches outside the room to compare notes and take a break.

This is where I answer the question, by the way. Continue reading