Cellar Palate

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All of us have visited wineries where the owner proudly poured his wines ..... and we cringed.

While the proud owner with flawed wine likely is not among the readers of this e letter.....but he or she may be...and does not know it.

An old axiom says: you learn to like what you drink.

Winemakers [just perhaps even some reading this] work so hard at their craft and are so proud of that work, they may not realize that there are flaws [serious or subtle] in their beloved wines.

Cellar palate happens for several reasons -- all of which can cloud a vintner's judgement and hurt sales.

So even if you believe your wines are worthy of a 95 Spectator rating, consider an exercise to prove your point.

Couple times a year, go to a retail shelf and find 2 or 3 wines of the same varieties and similar price points of some from your cellar..

Have a third party pour glasses in a separate room, bring in your team [not just you....perhaps staff, perhaps customers who want you to succeed] and do a truly blind tasting. Then compare notes.

If your wines score higher than the competition by everyone in the room...hurrah. If they don't, call your university extension and do some analysis.

If we are to keep growing as an industry, given the expanding impact of other craft beverages, mediocre [or worse, bad] wine hurts the entire industry. We all need to do a better job to convince more Americans to enjoy well made samples of the beverage we love.

About the author:

Donniella Winchell photo 2013 (002).jpg

Donniella Winchell, Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association...

Donniella Winchell