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Sunday, July 1, 2007

How you can taste better! (w/out using barbecue sauce as skin lotion)

The new July Buzz at my website is all about building your taste muscles. There's talk about "supertasters" in the beer and wine blogs and sites lately because of a three-part series on about the physiology of wine critics. Mike Steinberger winds up delving into the phenomenon of the 'supertaster,' the person with many more than the average tastebuds. It's interesting, and amusing, but mostly it makes you wonder why the rest of us bother.

Fear not! You can taste more in your beer and whiskey, starting today! Just read my free and educational Buzz, and you can be on your way to a more enjoyable glass of booze in only minutes a day!!


Bill said...

The July Buzz is awesome, and the description of how to build one's personal palate is incredible. Don Feinberg's explanation of getting to know one's likes and dislikes in the process of learning how better to enjoy is great, and your following paragraphs on connoisseur = "person with knowledge" and paying attention to what you do... wonderful.

Lew Bryson said...

Thanks, Bill. I spent three hours with Don, on the grounds of Ommegang and driving up to Cooperstown, and I only wish the tape recorder had been going the whole time. As it was, that interview opened my eyes on chain restaurants and monoculture, on the deracination of American beer, on the use and overuse of hops in beer, on Belgian character, on aged beers, and, of course, the whole connoisseurship issue, including not letting people tell you what you should like. Don's an amazing guy.

Jeff Bearer said...

I could not agree more. However I'm more of a talk about the flavors out loud than I am a write the stuff down on paper type of guy.

I feel that the collaborative feedback of describing a beer in a group makes it easier for novice tasters to get up to speed on pairing flavors to words.

That's probably why you write, and I talk. :)

Anonymous said...

I fail to see what is so awesome and incredible about this July Buzz. Forgive me, but is this not common sense? Knowing what you like, is your taste? Is this Don Feinberg's great revelation? That taste is subjective? And he even goes so far as to say, with more experience tasting, you become a better taster? Wow. I'm stunned. What an amazing moment of clarity. How in the world could he ever come to such a conclusion?

okbrewer said...

When getting new beer judges involved in the process, I always tell them to just describe what they smell or taste, don't worry if you think it is right or wrong. And use familiar language and desciptors that you can relate to. With experience, more elaborate descriptions might flow, but it should still be based on your experience. Like my daughter used to tell me when she didn't want to eat something, "people have different tastes, y'know!"

Lew Bryson said...


Funny ol' world, innit? Something so simple, and yet so many people miss it. Kind of like last month's Buzz, about blind tasting. What's obvious to one person is not so obvious at all to another. But like my old buddy Wellington Stewart always says, I think you worry too much. The folks who need this advice will get it. Oh,'re forgiven. Cheers!

Steven said...

...don't worry if you think it is right or wrong.

There's a right and wrong in beer tasting? ;-)

Lew Bryson said...

There's a right and wrong in beer tasting?

Heck yeah. There's what I say...and there's wrong. Heh.

Steven said...

There's what I say...and there's wrong.