Europe Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Travel help
  2. 2 Help deciding on how to tour England/Ireland/Scotland
  3. 3 How busy are the Rhine & Mosel River Valleys in early May?
  4. 4 Suggestions for Drive to Milan
  5. 5 8 days Skiing, City and Christmas Markets in Central Europe in late Nov
  6. 6 Another strong earthquake in central Italy
  7. 7 European Cooking Secrets
  8. 8 Trip Report Ger's Trip to Rome & Bologna
  9. 9 Travel vs. Babies
  10. 10 Two more earthquakes strike central Italy
  11. 11 Where to stay in Paris? So many options!
  12. 12 Trip Report CDG much improved
  13. 13 London tour and theatre ideas
  14. 14 BEWARE of EUROCAR
  15. 15 Trip Report Espagne, Olé! Ancient to modern, through Andalucia, Toledo and Madrid
  16. 16 Trip Report Trip Report: Krakow and Warsaw
  17. 17 Lake Garda, Where to stay
  18. 18 Trip Report England and Wales by public transport
  19. 19 Italy's central lakes!
  20. 20 Solo trip across Europe covering 18 countries
  21. 21 Paris with Layover in Munich. Can we leave the airport?
  22. 22 Early Spring Air Sales To Europe
  23. 23 Trip Report Rome, Florence and a cruise this fall
  24. 24 10 days Ireland June 30-July 11th, 2017
  25. 25 20 Days in Europe
View next 25 » Back to the top

Is understanding wine a talent, or can a novice oenophile learn?

Jump to last reply

Dear Foodie/Wine Fodorites, I am a lover of wine who lacks entirely in the art of tasting and pairing. Is there hope for me?

- I do know when I taste a wine what I don't like about it.
- There have been many occasions when I have a dish with a wine and I know that the wine brings out something good, or makes the dish or the wine taste worst.
- I also can SOMETIMES understand, when taking in the aroma before sipping, what I detect in the wine (e.g. berries, flowers, etc.).

Unfortunately, this very low level of understanding of wine is all I possess! And I am close to several people who, when they taste wine, seem to get it all.

My question: is understanding wine a talent, like drawing, or is it something I can learn? I hope yes! But I would like to know if it's really something you (or rather your nose, mouth, and brain) are born with.

If as I dearly hope one can learn, how? Is it a matter of taking practical steps (e.g. noting in a log somewhere that X varietal tastes good with Y cheese)? Can I just hang out a lot with people who know and who are willing to patiently teach? Or is it a more complex process of studying different smells and tastes?

I know what sommeliers will tell you (what they are trained to tell you): drink what you like! But I also know that sometimes a wine just doesn't work with some food, while another wine will work perfectly, and I don't just want someone to tell me what to order, I want to KNOW what to order.

I know many Fodorites are keen foodies and wine lovers, and I hope this question will provoke a good discussion but also some helpful answers.



3 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.