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Wine Term: Palate

Variations: Entry, Flavor, Flavour, Hint, Invokes

Alternate Usages: On the palate, redolent with, on the entry, upon entry, with flavors of, detecting hints of, invokes flavors of

What it really means: How the wine tastes

Ah!  The moment of truth!  It took forever for your friend to stop talking and just pour that glass of wine, now, time to taste it!  But you don’t want to get caught talking about how the wine “tastes” – total faux pas.  Instead, speak about what flavors are “invoked” by the wine, or what flavors you’re finding “on the palate.”  If you get a strawberry flavor for example, say you “get strawberry on the palate” – not “tastes like a strawberry” – save that kind of talk for crazy uncle Jim.

How to effectively use it:

Any time you want to say “it tastes like” simply replace with “I get (whatever you’re tasting) on the palate” – this will go a long way in the wine world.  You are now perceived in being in tune with your palate.  But why is that?

By definition, the palate is: “a person’s appreciation of taste and flavor, especially when sophisticated and discriminating.”

Aha! “sophisticated and discriminating.” – That’s you now!

And as always, don’t forget to fluff it up with important sounding words that fill space, emit CO2, and ultimately get you closer to a better experience with your tasting room attendant or sommelier.

***POINT OF NOTE: Confidence is key when speaking the language of wine, and wine is subjective, so even if you say you get pineapple on a wine and no one else does in your group, said correctly, no one will even question you, but instead start magically finding pineapple, or become impressed with your “super palate”***

Bad idea: “Tastes like oranges.”

Better approach: “I get oranges on the palate.”

Best approach (fluff party): “Upon entry I get hints of orange peels on the palate evolving into delicate orange blossom florals.”

Real talk, the wine tastes like an orange, but you just got one step closer to godliness in the eyes of the wine professional who didn’t expect much from you to begin with, now, time to keep up the talk and see what goodies might be in store for your wine drinking future.



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