09 Feb 2010 Have you had your palate go on the fritz before?
 |  Category: Wine Production, Wine Review

A couple of days ago I was checking the final blend of the 2008 White Hawk Vineyard, Sangiovese, Santa Barbara to make sure it was ready for bottling.  A very interesting thing happened to me — my palate was not working due to the nasty cold that has been around.  This is the first time that I have had this happen to me.  It was very strange — I could smell the lovely aromas of dark cherry, sour cherry, boysensberry, floral and tar notes; when I put the wine in my mouth, I was expecting to have similar flavors and good concentrated wine based on the depth and intensity of the aromas I smelled but I got a nasty surprise.  I could only taste fruit and oak tannins with a bit of white pepper on the finish.  It really kind of freaked me out. 

I took a sample home with me to have some of my friend try to see what they picked up in the wine.  Thankfully, they really enjoyed the wine and gave me some good feedback on the wine.  My palate had started to return to normal that day but it take take another couple of days before my palate returned to normal. 

Your taste is primarily driven by what you smell.  So, if your nose is stuffed up, you tend not to taste sublte flavors or any flavors at all.  In my case, I had nasal congestion but I could still smell the great aromas which was a good sign for the wine that I picked up such strong and pleasant aromas.    I have done a small amount of research on why the temporary loss of taste bud sensativity but I have not found anything yet.  If you know of any reason why this is, I would love to find out more about it.

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