I love canned tuna. I just do. I also love Twinkies, so I consciously avoid them in stores. I love deviled eggs, and pre-sliced cheese, the kind that comes individually wrapped and it’s only probably about 2% cheese. I love WonderBread and I’ve been known to make a gourmet meal out of 25 cent ramen. But I also love anything from the right bank, or a good Amarone -the kind that would suck up an entire week’s salary from my first job at a video store-, or those Rutherford cabs that fill your mouth with so many notes of fruit, chocolate, tobacco and earth that you can almost chew them. And I have been known to make a killer Spanish tortilla, or to toss a homemade Capellini aglio e olio in the trash and start from scratch because the garlic was over sautéed… for my taste.
When it comes to taste, there are no rules. Or are there? Nobody, other than you, should have a say in what you like. What tickles your fancy. You may take a sip of a 2009 Pomerol and feel like you’re sipping a godly liquid made from the summer air in Bordeaux, or get home, unscrew the top of a 7-dollar magnum of Chilean red bearing the name of a California company before you kick back and watch the sun go down from your patio after a long hard day at work.
Wine enjoyment is as much about personal choice and personal taste, as it is about the circumstances under which you drink. A common observation many people have made to me is “We had this wine at the winery in Tuscany, but when we found it in our local wine shop and brought it home, it didn’t taste the same”. Well, no. A ten-year-old wine slowly sipped under a blooming trellis in the Tuscan sun while you were on vacation will never taste the same when you pop it open in your kitchen while you wonder if you paid your credit card.
Wine, be it cheap or expensive, exists for the sole purpose of bringing joy. So while there may be no rules when it comes to taste, you should always follow two rules when it comes to drinking it: never drink it alone, and always drink it over your favorite dish. Even if that is 25 cent ramen.