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Thank G-d I'm not the only one. While I don't have a basement full of wine, or a basement for that matter, I've struggled with that same question. Are there really people out there who taste all of that, and am I really that much of a common boob?

I guess that's why I stick to beer, rum and gin.

"I can tell the difference between wines. I can tell complexity from simplicity. I can tell dry from sweet and balanced from unbalanced and tempranillo from cabernet."

You snooty so-and-so! Uh, for the rest of the world, any wine is a step up from Boones Farm.

You just don't drink enough wine. Keep trying, it worked for me. Also, I actually could taste the wine you described, but again, that's just a matter of experience.
Despite all that, my notes occasionally contain the word "winey" to describe a wine. Sometimes that's all there is to say.

I love this post. I consider myself a red wine snob, primarily because I won't buy anything that costs less than $10. (I have standards, you know). But seriously, I love me some California reds, mainly Cabernets and Merlots, some red Zinfandels. I have never, not one time tasted anything remotely like 'chocolate' while tasting wine. WTF is that supposed to be about? Nice that you admit it freely. Way to go.

Yes, people can taste that stuff in wine. No, you can't taste a wine from someone else's description. You can get a fair idea if you should try something by reading a well written review whereas a score only tells you how well a wine succeeds in being what it is supposed to be. People who don't like Bartok will not like Bartok's best work as a composer (which a music critic might rate 95) Call and talk to me about this. Oddly,I ended up being very good at helping people appreciate wine beyond "Lambrusco red table wine" as the police report said...

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