One of the best ways to discover what styles of wine you prefer is to literally compare different wines side by side.  A comparative tasting can be very informative as well as great fun.  For example, a chardonnay from Chablis and a Chardonnay from Hunter Valley are going to have very different characteristics.  Old world wine regions such as Burgundy set the benchmark for chardonnay and pinot noir but wine makers around the world have to work with different factors that influence the end result.

White wine grown in hotter climates produce more tropical flavours whereas their cooler climate counterparts have a more citrus taste profile.   Everything has an impact from the soil in which they grown, to the height above sea-level or whether the maker uses French, American or steel barrels, or all of them for different periods of time.  Hence, it can be great fun looking for differences between wines that have taken different pathways to get to your table, such as a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc pitched opposite a traditional Sancerre or Pouilly Fume from the Loire.  There are so many opportunities for these tastings.  Chile is a great wine producing country, as is Argentina.  Many of the grapes will appear familiar but their taste will all be individual.  

I also find it interesting to see how our choices are influenced by our emotions or memories from traveling.  Quite often buying that Aussie wine reminds us of a holiday long past, or the Valpolicella that late summer evening we whiled away in the piazza in Verona...

I suggest you draw up a pairing list and get some friends over for an evening of tasting.  No need to spit!

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