Taste-1 of 2

What tastes good is a really big deal.

Arguably we are large-brained, bi-pedal organisms today because our forebears learned how to cook with fire almost two million years ago. There has been money, at least survival, in tasty food and drink ever since.

Research reveals most of us sort of know what our palates like and emphatically know what we do not like. Research also shows if you eat or drink something nine times you have a good chance of growing to like it, even if you hated it at the start. The more complex the flavors, the more likely you are to find something to like.

Wine provides some of the world’s most complex flavor ranges (coffee is the competition), so wine writers breezily assert “whatever you like is good wine for you,” while simultaneously urging you to expand your palate.

If you are a jammy, tannic, oaky red drinker, think about becoming a better person by giving Portuguese vinho verde or a Texas viognier a whirl, especially with healthy salads dressed with extra virgin olive oil.

If sugar content is how you evaluate wine, why not try a fruity red, maybe a Washington State or Oregon pinot noir with pork loin roast? Fruity is sweet without the sugar overload.

Do this nine times and open a vast new world of pleasant tastes and experiences for yourself.

When you’ve expanded you wine palate, move on to eggplant and asparagus. People I respect claim those things taste good.

Tasting notes:

• Skinnygirl Moscato. Surprising delight begins with frizzante bubbles; stone fruits; crisp, exceptionally clean, refreshing, not-too-sweet summer wow pour. $12

• Concannon Chardonnay Livermore Valley 2010. Ultra smooth-creamy; apple-pear-plus fruit medley; dry, low tannin, medium oak; tasty winner. $15

• Stoller Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2011. Deliciously approachable; red fruit, nice acidity; sweet, gentle tannins; outstanding Oregon winery. $25

Last round: Coffee keeps me going until it is time to drink wine.