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Who's Your Buddy

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Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 12:00 am

I'm an insensitive guy. that's according to Tim Hanni's Budometer at yesterday's Lodi International Wine Awards. (See Marc Lutz's great article in today's paper.)

Insensitive - to wine - turns out to be neither good nor bad, but simply

"tolerant" of huge tannins and flavors. It predicts that I'll like the big dry reds that are popular with industry-shaping critics like Wine Spectator's James Laube and Robert Parker, who likely have "tolerant" palates.

Working in the wine industry, I've been heavily indoctrinated to over-think the tastes I get from wine. Many of you simply relax and drink, then buy more of what you like. The whole purpose of the Budometer is to be confident in your own, unique palate, which is very naturally going to be different (not better or worse) than many others. If you can understand your palate better, you'll be able to spend your wine dollars more effectively.

You'll be able to find wine "buddies" that have similar palates, and look to them for recommendations. For example, I do usually trust Laube's ratings.

You'll also be able to go to the "tolerant" (or "sensitive" or

"hyper-sensitive") section of a progressive wine shoppe and quickly select the right wine for yourself.