Katy Rutland
February 4, 2015 | Katy Rutland

Avoid a "Groundhog Day" Tasting with These Tips

Ever had one of those tasting trips where everything started to taste the same? No matter what the varietal was, what winery produced it, what winemaker made it, every wine smelled, felt, and finished exactly like the wine before it?

Bill Murray knows this feeling well.

Rather than have your own “Groundhog Day” while out tasting, follow these tips to find the wine love of your life.

Water is your friend

At some point while wine tasting, you’ve probably heard someone say, “Cleanse your palate.” A phrase like this, when heard enough, can start to lose meaning, much like a song played over and over.

And over.

Revitalize this phrase—and your taste buds—by drinking a sip of water between tastes. This will help rinse your palate and keep you hydrated. Other good palate cleansers are crackers (not the salty kind), bread, and crisp white wines.

Avoid anything too cold, like ice water. Your taste buds can go numb, and then every wine really will taste the same. Can’t taste without your taste buds!

Your nose needs refreshing too

Fun fact: your sense of smell can become desensitized in a matter of minutes, much faster than any other sense. Rather than letting your nose get too relaxed and start to make wines smell humdrum, bring along something totally different. Smelling coffee beans and lemons are sure to wake up your nose and keep it from hitting the snooze button.

Practice makes perfect

Like learning the piano, tasting wine takes practice (we are fond of this idea). Also like learning the piano, it’s very easy to learn how to hate wine tasting by over-doing it. Rather than totally killing your palate by tasting 30 wines in a day (palate cleansers work only so much), spread it out over multiple days and weekends. Have a list of seven wineries you want to visit? Try three one weekend and four the next. That way there’s something new to experience. Which brings us to our last tasting tip.

Variety is the spice of life

This is where you can get a leg up on poor Bill Murray. Whenever you go out tasting, try to hit at least one new winery or try a new varietal or blend. There is always something new to discover about wine. Maybe Sangiovese is the grape you never knew that you loved!

Wine is far from boring and monotonous, and we hope that these tasting tips will help your wine adventures remain exciting and new and not at all like that movie named after a small holiday in February.


Veni, Vidi, Vinum!

Terra Blanca


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