Making a map back to your favorites at a wine tasting


I love the opportunity to explore that wine and food tasting presents.  You have a real opportunity to try out new things without feeling bound to your order when you find it’s not exactly your cup of tea.  In this moment you can tap into your sense of adventure and try tastes and smells outside of your normal palette range.  With the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair upon us there is the perfect opportunity to try out some of the best of the best when it comes to food and wine in the Houston area and beyond.  There is, however, some skill required to successfully bringing what you love from a tasting into what you love at home.  The challenge can be overwhelming when at a tasting as there are good food and smells all around.  Ambiguous attempts to try everything can result in being too full of food and drinks to remember which ones were the perfect fit.  Even when you find something right up your alley it may slip from your mind two or three stops later.    Here are some tips to winning after a tasting so you not only find the treasure but also complete the map back to it so you can find it again.

1. Less can be more.  It is very tempting to start off a tasting in a sprint and end up at a slow crawl.  Trying some of everything can be an impossible task.   An important lesson can be learned here from the tortoise as slow and steady can really win the race at a tasting.  Unless you absolutely love it, you are not obliged to finish it.  By going at a manageable and steady pace you have space for the things you love while giving more items a shot at make the list of favorites.

2. Devil is in the details.  You know what you like so finding what moves you can come easy while tasting.  It’s two or three days or weeks later that it becomes more of a challenge to remember what you loved and more importantly why.  You may, for instance, find a vineyard with a wine you adore and quickly jolt down the name to purchase later.   When you show up at the store, however, choosing from the merlot or cabernet can seem a lot less clear.  When you write down what you like give yourself more specific details like the type and why you like it.  Your answers to the “why” helps with the recall when the restaurant or wine would work perfectly for your craving or occasion.

3. Ask questions.  Tastings are a great opportunity to get one on one with the people who know the product the best.  Take advantage of the opportunity to engage them on how things are made and why their brand is so different than the rest.  Taste may be the most important factor, but other factors like availability, price, and even where it is made may make an impact on you purchasing the product in the future.

4. A picture says a thousand words.  The schedule of wines provided by most tastings is nice but how often do you keep it long enough to really gain from the notes you made in it.  I like to take a picture of what I love in my phone.  It is pretty easy to make an album in most phones and by dedicating an album to your foodie or cocktail loves you can go back to the things that catch your eye quickly and with ease.  If you have a group of folks who have a similar palette you can also share the album and get everyone in on the fun that discovering food and wine can be.


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