MOTs for your pallet (an edited version of this first appeared in Harpers)

Everyone who joins the trade should have a palate MOT
We know that our customers are all different. ‘I don’t know much, but I know what I like’ they say.
But do WE know what they like?
We know that loads of wine drinkers talk dry, but drink sweet. The industry tries to pretend that this isn’t really true. We try to disguise popular wines that are not bone dry by avoiding mention of sweetness, and focussing on ‘softness’ and ‘fruitiness’ instead. We know that lots of people do not like the bitterness of tannins, or the acidity of certain grapes or regions.
Are they wrong?

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