Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Last night, I had a great dinner matched with a fine wine from a nice vintage and wine region. The wine steward said that the wine was great because of its great midpalate. What does he mean by midpalate?
—Catosa, Los Cabos, Mexico
Some people break the sequence of tasting down into three stages: "attack" (the first impression as the wine hits the palate), "midpalate" (what registers as you hold the wine in your mouth before swallowing) and the "finish" or "aftertaste" (what's left after swallowing or spitting). For most wines, most of the interesting flavors happen on the midpalate, so to compliment it may not be saying much. If the impression between the first taste and swallowing is disappointing, sometimes a wine is described as "hollow" or having a "hole in the middle."
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.