6 Palate Profiles to Consider

Are you more New World or Old? Geek or hipster?

 


While I encourage everyone to explore the world of wine in as deep and broad a capacity as each can and wants, the fact remains that people find their own groove. Some people love Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, while others are always on the search for new experiences. Neither approach is right or wrong, or better for that matter; but those of us who can’t stop exploring tend to eventually narrow our focus.

These palate profiles, inasmuch as they can be, sort of reflect the various places people find themselves happily stuck in. Not your thing? Move on, but I think you might find a profile of your palate somewhere among these hipsters and geeks!

The New World Palate

The New World palate loves intensity and gobs of sweet fruit. Acidity? That’s for salad dressing. Bring on the hedonism.

The New World palate loves:

  • Argentine Malbec! Yes!
  • Anything Chris Ringland has made! 99 pts!
  • Isn’t Brunello a Super Tuscan? It’s so dark!
  • Super Toro – Ribera del Duero! It’s even darker!
  • Napa cults! Get on the list!
  • Favorite punctuation? Exclamation points!!!

The Wine Geek Palate

In comparison, the wine geek palate is driven almost exclusively by acidity. Geeks tend to geek about everything, so these are the folks who are building food and wine pairing apps. Since wine is a part of their daily life, it must go with food at some point.

The Wine Geek palate loves:

  • Traditional Rioja. This stuff ages better than Bordeaux.
  • Cabernet Franc. That’s pronounced Saumur-Champigny.
  • Austrian Gruner Veltliner. This stuff ages better than White Burgs.
  • Burgundy from the Cote de Beaune. Corton is the new Grand Cru.
  • German Riesling. Love the Saar and the Grosses Gewachs. Trocken, baby.
  • Favorite punctuation? Das Umlaut

The Old World Palate

The Old World palate is in deep trouble. With each passing vintage, fewer and fewer wines seem to satisfy these folks. “Does this seem oakier than it used to be?” is a popular refrain, and while there are plenty of wines that meet their needs, these curmudgeons seem to see their Bordeaux stems as decidedly half-empty.

The Old World palate loves:

  • Bordeaux from no later than 1990. Because after that, things went to crap.
  • Barolo. You know the five producers we’re talking about.
  • California Cabernet from no later than 1986. Because after that, things went to crap.
  • Portuguese wines from the Douro. Rustic and rich, like me.
  • Burgundy from no later than 1993. Because after that, things went to crap.
  • Favorite punctuation? The period.

The Hipster Palate

The hipster palate, which exploded from small pockets in France and most recently Brooklyn, searches out the wines that someone with the Old World palate might have grown to love, had they had time to sit with them as their palates evolved. These are cutting-edge wines and as with all things cutting-edge, there are many flops along the way – but that’s cool.

The Hipster palate loves:

  • Grower Champagne. The harder to find, the better. Seriously, that’s a rule.
  • Sherry. All sorts of profundity can be found in each and every bottle.
  • Nebbiolo. Not Barolo, but rather Carema – wait, I meant Boca. Carema is so 2007.
  • Skin contact whites, a.k.a. orange wines. These are the real shizzle.
  • San soufre. Wines without sulfur are hot. And occasionally exploding.
  • Favorite punctuation? The Irony Mark. Seriously.

The Point Chaser's Palate

The point chaser’s palate loves pointy wines. They’re not sure what it is about these wines (mostly the point, they think), but they love them! Gotta have them. Join the lists, earlier the better, and develop those retailer relationships because we all know the hoops we have to jump through to secure those 99 and 100 point wines!

The Point Chaser’s palate loves:

  • Zeros.
  • Pairs of nines.
  • Favorite punctuation? The interrobang, most commonly following a WTF.

The Park Avenue Palate

The Park Avenue palate is where we all would like to reside, or at least visit. With money no issue, it’s fun and easy to breeze through the world’s finest wines. These folks don’t know from points, they’re always talking triple digits, though sadly, they have yet to find the $100 rose.

The Park Avenue palate loves:

  • Napa Valley wines. Of course, they can’t be available at retail, though…
  • Bordeaux. First growths, maybe a Super Second for the weekend BBQ….
  • Grand Marque Champagne. Dom? That’s a house pour…
  • Burgundy. Grand Cru from the Cotes du Nuit…
  • Domaine Ott rose. We have to drink something in the Hamptons, St. Barts, St. Tropez…
  • Favorite punctuation. The ellipses…

Want to learn more?

Check out our article on:

Wine Words: The American Palate

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Comments

  • Snooth User: Nicki Gig
    Hand of Snooth
    178306 4,202

    great article. well I guess I would say I am part new world, part wine geek palate b/c I appreciate acidity but am not exclusive to it. fun read!

    Apr 12, 2011 at 12:21 PM


  • Carema is ALWAYS in fashion. Besides, Luigi Ferrando is one heck of a great guy-- but a scary driver after a morning tasting in his cellar and a five wine lunch on a mountaintop.

    Apr 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM


  • OMG! I thought I was old world til I read what is considered "wine geek" - 'Tis I!' though still and always old world forward. tra-la-la! ...and you?

    Apr 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM


  • Snooth User: cuda
    350000 1

    what about redneck ,boonse ,box wine and more. they are big sellers but small ticket items

    Apr 12, 2011 at 4:31 PM


  • Snooth User: Vveritas
    764182 11

    Seriously? Redneck, Boone's, and box?

    Why that would be no palate at all.

    Apr 12, 2011 at 4:56 PM


  • Snooth User: brittmc
    514670 13

    Sometimes I think this website should be called Snoot.

    Apr 12, 2011 at 5:03 PM


  • Snooth User: Kumdoka
    648252 1

    American Palate: Put Penfolds Koonunga hill Shiraz {on special $9.99 and thats Ozzie $'s } into a Grange bottle {never on special} and the dipsticks in Park Avenue would not know, would not care because its all about the label

    Apr 12, 2011 at 7:12 PM


  • Best. Article. Ever.

    Apr 12, 2011 at 10:06 PM


  • Snooth User: skiferg
    540879 17

    Enjoyed the article. I must admit I am New World, yearning to be Old World, with a little Wine Geek thrown in. So be it.

    Apr 14, 2011 at 2:44 AM


  • Now, we, of course, have gentlemen's palates.

    A gentleman's palate is refined and cultured, which automatically excludes many Californian wines.

    It is educated, and so refers to wines in non-varietal terms; claret, not red bordeaux, please.

    And it is familiar with the rituals of proper wine drinking, such as the direction in which port should pass.

    Only poverty afflicts a gentleman's palate - for as we all know, impecuniousness is sadly now the mark of true gentry...


    Apr 15, 2011 at 7:00 AM


  • Snooth User: wrw5
    803503 1

    I guess I would call my palate how much do I want to spend in relation to what do I want to drink now. The criteria are where can I get the most of the best of all the many things I love and look for in the almost infinite number of wines out there to choose from. And sometimes it's just drink it because it's delicious.

    Apr 16, 2011 at 10:17 AM


  • Snooth User: gerrad
    79282 57

    someone said it best, -just drink the stuff, dont spend all day talkin absolute w@nk about it. its so easy to be precious about what wines you think are important, but in reality, regardless of what you say, hardly anyone agrees anyway- which is as it should be. ID CROSS THE STREET TO AVOID ALL THE CHARACTER-FLAWS (i mean palates) YOU LIST ABOVE- but we actually have good wine in Australia of our own, so all that 'lets find the latest thing we can stomach' is a moot point here. in summary, i like snooth, but this discussion encourages everything thats wrong about wine culture and especially why those not immersed in it think 'wine is for tossers'- IT WOULD SEEM ACCURATE from this type of chatter.

    Apr 26, 2011 at 2:58 PM


  • Snooth User: valnaples
    749418 2

    Am definitely Old World...love the more traditional French reds, Italian too...lower alcohol for one thing to me tastes SO much better...the hot 14-15% American wines are horrid on my palate.

    Aug 19, 2011 at 7:05 PM


  • Snooth User: gerrad
    79282 57

    cant comment re; american wine quality or alcohol level, as im an aussie retailer/consumer/winemaker. as my 'no-one agrees anyway' line suggests, you have your familiar styles and we have ours. ours have more alcohol (often, not always, we do make euro-styled wines also) but also more fruit/body/weight than many of the northern hemisphere wines available here, so they carry the alcohol easily. or not!

    Aug 20, 2011 at 12:30 PM


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