Wine: Is it An Acquired Taste?

At The Wine Rack

with Christopher Reckord

Thursday, April 12, 2018

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Last weekend a group of friends gathered to offer condolences to our group “president” who recently lost his father. There is hardly a time when ladies and gentlemen gather under these conditions without the support of a few glasses or bottles of alcoholic beverage. This time was no different; the only challenge for me was that there was no wine on the menu so it was on to my usual second choice: Campari.

With over a dozen folks around the table and me the only one drinking Campari it led to a range of interesting discussions. Many took a sip of the red drink and the contorted expressions on their faces told the story without a word being said. One of the most unique spirits ever created, this popular bitter orange-flavoured Italian aperitif Campari is an acquired taste. “All spirits or alcoholic beverages are an acquired taste. None of this tasted good the first time we stole a sip!” shouted an avid white rum drinker, and the debate began as to what beverage was to be included or not.

Is wine an acquired taste?

The Collins dictionary defines an acquired taste as “a liking for something that is at first considered unpleasant”. Tart, bitter are some of the terms we hear when folks taste wine for the very first time. I will confess that my first few attempts at this wine thing did not go too well, but as a firm believer that anything can be learned, I persisted. Nothing cures your wavering like being immersed in Napa & Sonoma wine country for a week, a trip that I won in recognition of being one of the top sales persons in the Caribbean for one of the computer brands that I represented. This began my interest in the subject of wine.

When I speak to my friends from Europe, mainly France, I am told stories of allowing the kids a diluted glass of wine at the dinner table; other stories include wine experiences even much earlier in life. Those practices are not popular on this side of the Atlantic as the legal drinking age starts from 18 or higher in many countries.

From experience I generally offer a newbie wine drinker a sweeter wine, which some of us in the industry refer to as a “training wheels” wine. Our brains are wired to like sweet, so it's easier to begin there and then work towards the dryer more acidic styles of wine that more seasoned wine lovers enjoy. Wine is an acquired taste for us, not for most Europeans who are practically born drinking the stuff.

Rest in peace, L G Gooden... he always enjoyed a good bottle of wine.

Christopher Reckord — Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

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