At first glance, you'd think that the idea of "perfecting your palate" involved acquiring greater tasting acuity. Not so. Taste acuity-the ability to identify oak or residual sugar or tannins-is useful, sure. Winemaking schools emphasize it because winemakers, like carpenters, need to know how to put a wine together-and how to analyze what went wrong. It's helpful for wine tasters too. But here's the kicker: It's not essential. Wine Spectator contributing editor Matt Kramer explains.