“This wine doesn’t taste the same!”
Have you ever heard those words coming out of your mouth? It usually happens after you’ve been to a wine tasting or restaurant, or perhaps you’ve been to a party. The wine you’ve been served is absolutely fantastic and you can’t wait to buy a bottle and open it up at home!
You buy the bottle, open it up, take a sip... and then reality sets in. The wine doesn’t taste ANYTHING like you remember.
So why does the wine tasting experience change? Here are some of the more common reasons for the difference in wine taste you may come across:
1. The food you ate while wine tasting is different. Yes, it’s true. Wine is usually made to pair with food, so if you don’t have exactly the same food, the wine is going to taste different.
2. You are tasting wine with a different group of people. Don’t believe me? It’s true – if you were having a good time or a bad time, doesn’t matter. Your emotions affect how you perceive the wine you’re tasting.
3. The mood you’re in is altered. Definitely related to number 2 above. Our moods are closely related to how we perceive things because it’s all about the chemistry in our brains. We taste wine with our brains, so if you were having a bad day or a really good one, your brain chemistry is going to affect what you taste when you sip wine.
4. The scents in the air have changed based on where you are. Because most of our taste is created by our sense of smell, anything that you are smelling in the air can affect how you “taste” the wine.
5. How long the wine was decanted (or allowed to “breathe”). If, during your initial wine tasting, you had a great bottle of wine that had been decanted then it’s possible you haven’t given your bottle enough exposure to air.
6. The temperature of the wine. Your wine may have been served cooler or warmer than you remember. Temperature definitely makes a difference as to what you can taste in the wine.
7. The wine’s vintage. You may have tasted a wine from one year but bought a wine from another. Wineries do their best to make wine that’s consistent across years, but in the end a bad year in the vineyard can make for a lesser quality wine in the bottle.
In the end, all that really matters is if you enjoy the wine you are tasting right now. And if that wine is a little different than you remember, try changing a few things – and then enjoy it for what it is!