So you found your favorite wine. You are so smitten by this wine that it’s your new everyday go-to. In fact, you buy it so often that people are starting to question if you have stock invested in the brand. But one day, something changes. Maybe the wine doesn’t taste the way you remember it, or maybe it’s become so popular that the price has inflated. In this situation, I will tell you the same thing any stock broker will tell you: It is time to diversify.
As humans, we love consistency. As consumers, we practically demand it. We want what we want, when we want it, and we want it to be exactly how we remembered it before. That’s why many people are disappointed when they find that the divine bottle they enjoyed with loved ones on vacation doesn’t taste the same back home; or when their favorite wine just isn’t as remarkable as they remember it being last vintage. Wine, however, is a living entity. It changes constantly. We, as consumers, need to change with it. Drinking the same wine time and time again leaves our palates stagnant. We begin to dislike the things we once loved. It’s kind of like eating pizza every single day. After a while, you don’t love pizza that much anymore.
The thing that most consumers don’t realize is that there are thousands of different grape varietals outside of the mainstream ones. Italy alone has an estimated 2,000! Many of these fantastic wines are hidden gems accumulating dust on American shelves because they’re under-marketed and hard to pronounce. Grapes such as Falanghina, Cannonau, Greco Bianco or Aglianico are all underrated and deserve much more appreciation by people other than wine professionals. Too often it seems that people are willing to buy over-marketed and mass-produced wine versus the family-owned wines from grapes and regions they’ve never heard of before at the same price point. Thus, the wines sit there waiting to be swooped up.
The bottom line? Diversify your wine selection! Don’t let your palate get stuck in a rut by drinking the same wines over and over again. Choose wines you’ve never heard of from producers that are reputable but not necessarily famous. Venture out to try new grape varieties from regions you’ve never had. The less you can pronounce the name of the wine the better! Explore the world through the wine you choose because there is no greater representation of place than the time vessels we call wine bottles. The truth is, you may never get to enjoy the same bottle twice. Sometimes you strike gold but that wine simply runs out of supply. I will probably never drink another 1947 German Riesling on the River Rhine, but I did it once and it was amazing! When you realize that wine should be made to best represent the place it comes from instead of the market it’s going to, you sacrifice endless availability for the wines’ integrity.
Keep your palate alive by switching it up a bit in the wine department. German Riesling, White Rioja, Austrian Grüner Veltliner, Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc, Rhone Valley red blends… Ask your Wine & Spirits Specialist for their favorites and you might be lucky enough for them to share their secret treasures with you.
Janessa Schuster, Wine & Spirits Specialist – Wesley Chapel