Friday, April 19, 2013

Wine tasting with no taste

Elaborate door in winte tasting place

The crowds getting their tastes
According to recent studies, there are super tasters, tasters, and no tasters. The no-tasting is a recessive trait. The no tasters lack the bitterness receptors on their tongue. These people can be quickly identified by their ability or lack of ability to taste an extremely bitter substance PTU. According to my 9th grade genetic studies, I am a non-taster. Later, I had to swallow huge PTU pills three times a day for a year in order to stop the symptoms of Graves' Disease. They were neutral to me but others complain of their vile bitterness. What foods appeal to us in part depends on this trait. I am more likely to drink IPA beer (very hoppy) and gin and tonics than a super taster. Presumably, we are more likely to make bad food choices going for high fat containing ones. I can taste bitter though. Some of those Italian appertivos I found intensely bitter especially the one made from gentian flowers. As I cook by taste and think (maybe I am delusional here) that I am a good cook, I must be somewhat discrimatinating. However, after spending the last 2 days tasting 'good' wines, maybe I am truly one with no taste.

I do like wine, maybe too much. Over the years, I have had what I beleived  excellent wines, some in Italy and some in France. However, as I saddled up to numerous wine bars, I would hear and read descriptions of these prize winning wines rated in the 90s (by whom?) costing more than $50 a bottle, I would be asked to compare this one with that and I couldn't. After a while, they all tasted the same to me and I could not tell a prize winner from an also ran from two buck chuck. They had distain for generic California wines such as our friend two buck chuck grown in hot central valleys and then thrown together any which way. Good wines have to suffer; they have to grow in crappy soil. Some how the grapes' suffering brings taste to the wine. The descriptions of the wines themselves sounded wonderful with all the hints of this and that they promised, so easy to make fun of. One wine had notes of a fine Cuban cigar (their words, not mine).

The grounds of the wine places were lovely. Ornate buildings; beautiful gardens. Even though Steve no longer drinks (convenient for me to have a sober driver), he appreciated the grounds. We had ideal weather. The area is beautiful and we drove for miles. We stayed in a nice place complete with a whirlpool and pretty gardens. Ate great but expensive food. I took zillions of pictures which I am stillm processing.

I am back in Half Moon Bay from our trip within a trip perched on top of a very steep hill overlooking the ocean. I didn't run earlier in the week due to a cold and then travel but today I have no excuse. As soon as Steve gets up, it is down to the water.

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