Decent quality wines have this crazy ability to transport you to the time (and place) they were made. While many other food products can do this (Italian tomatoes anyone?), even the novice can quickly identify regional differences in wine. For this reason, wine is one of the few agricultural products that reveals its environment, or terroir. Of course, not all wines have this ability. There are many wine products that are made in such a way that will remove all but hints of their origin. For some wine drinkers, this is the real difference between a good and a great wine.
I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that wine isn’t naturally sour and sometimes bitter in taste. In truth, it’s this balance of fruitiness, acidity, bitterness, and body that makes wine such a subtle-yet-captivating beverage. More than likely, if you’re into wine, you’ve become increasingly welcome to the idea of drinks that are well beyond most western palates–from oolong tea to Junmai Daiginjo (sake).