Ways To Expand Your Wine Palate

Understanding what types of wine you prefer can be complicated. Unsure what to pair with that cooked steak? Learn some ways to expand your wine palate here.

As we mature in our years, so do our taste buds. Maybe you previously enjoyed triple-chocolate ice cream with dozens of toppings, but now you prefer plain vanilla bean. It’s no wonder that, as we grow, enjoying wine becomes a luxury, leisure, or social experience. There are numerous ways to expand your wine palate, so don’t be intimidated!

Take a Sip

The first step to learning ways to expand your wine palate is simply trying a glass. Wine can be overwhelming, as it varies between dry and sweet. Some categories of wine include:

  • Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chianti, and Beaujolais
  • White: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling
  • Sparkling: Champagne and Prosecco 
  • Dessert: Ice wine and Moscato
  • Fortified: Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Marsala
  • Rosé

Wines fall into these different categories based on their growth periods, their fermentation methods, their added flavors, and the grapes from which they’re made. Where you choose to start is up to you!

Join Wine Events

WTSO’s Virtual Wine Tastings

Explore the world of wine with your friends, family, and colleagues from anywhere! Customize your experience with many preferences, including the varietals to taste, dietary-friendly food & recipe pairings, and the option to add a wine expert to the event.

Check Locally

If you aren’t sure what wine to purchase for yourself, take wine parties and events into consideration. You can find restaurants, wineries, and sampling events within and outside your community. Events may even offer discounts if you purchase bottles that same day.

Invite Your Friends

You might know a wine snob or two; how about inviting them along? Someone with wine experience can steer you in the right direction and make public tastings feel less intimidating.

Sample with Dishes

Pairing Foods

Palate interaction is an exciting experience. Understanding what foods to sample with which wines heightens all the flavors and textures. An example is a red Cabernet Sauvignon: due to its high acidity and full-bodied black fruit and cherry profile, it would pair nicely with rich and savory foods, including:

  • Red meat
  • Braised dishes
  • Potatoes
  • Gorgonzola cheese

Specialty restaurants often offer wine and cheese boards. Another option is creating your own charcuterie board by purchasing a wine tasting box set and searching locally for cheeses. The selections at Wines ’Til Sold Out rotate regularly to refresh our expansive catalog. The options are right at your fingertips.

Hopefully, today you have achieved a better grasp of wine flavor and palate exploration. Some samplers explore wines from dry to sweet, but you might consider going the opposite direction. Don’t worry; everyone starts somewhere. The world of wine is vast and fun!

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