Reaching into my bag of tricks layered in the thousands of useless information compartments flowing with electrical impulses more commonly known as my mind, I found this subject worth revisiting.

Yes ground covered again, not for the General Patton’s of the world but sometimes we see too much and need remind those whom still fall prey they have choice.

Our society has changed in many ways since I was a thin teen in high school so many years ago! Much of our innocence gone, and in many cases stripped away without permission.  Much of what we have become since those days long ago is for the better, some not so much but this is not an article from Mad Magazine (Spy vs Spy) those were the days, no this is about the Bully Culture being removed from our schools, work places and social groups. Yes, one of the good things we have come to realize.

I ask the question why? Why do we accept the bully in our tasting groups, our wine dinners, our evenings with friends at our favorite restaurant?  Why?  The answer lies in this humble writer’s opinion, (never attached the word humble to me, but hey it’s worth a try), Intimidation, appeasement, or insecurity?

Let’s start with the premise that a person’s palate is unique, a word that stands alone. One cannot be very unique one can only be unique! So, if all palates are different, having one owner, a Monopole if you will, then they by definition are unique and cannot be confused with anyone else. Your palate is akin to a fingerprint, optical scan, or a snow flake. We all have reactions to certain spices and herbs that seem universal, Basil smells like anise, Rosemary smells like, well rosemary and these particular ingredients are more universal. But Wine is not in the same category, even when being used to deglaze a pan!

Wine is a living thing it evolves every second of its life. And even after its life is over, (not palatable), it continues on. Wine is a montage of flavors we so adore and is linear in a sense, as great wine goes on and on, finding other hidden flavors as air changes the wine for good and sometime not so good. However, the constant is we receive these changes differently from person to person. A great wine is complex, meaning many flavors and tannins, acid and never can be completely described by one individual. I believe with all that I am, a wine needs many to get to 80% of what it really tastes like. Think of that for a second because if I’m right we will never fully appreciate any bottle of wine, the trick is to appreciate enough.

Back to the bully, sometimes well read, sometimes pretending, enters the room full of themselves and waiting to show all what he or she knows. They dominate the conversation, and by your willingness to give up your own self awareness, and individuality at the expense of appeasement! You become a follower and give up your unique prospective and retard your growth.  Let me be clear, I do not think it a bad thing to ask someone for their tasting notes, hell wine makers all include them freely. I find however it is a better exercise to trust one’s own taste buds and write what you have tasted down then share individual experiences. You might find you have a very similar palate to others and then again you might find you are nothing like the group as a whole. Either way there are no wrong answers as they are individual to you and not the person who memorized the Wine Makers, or Wine Writers notes and spurted them out as gospel. You have something to share so do so!

The secret to a great palate is trusting one’s self, to unfurl your inner Zen or self esteem and throw away the inhibition that we all must fight. Turn your attention to the bully for only to tune that person out and rely on what gifts you already possess. Or you could just punch the bully in the face, that also works!

Greg Linn

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