The Palate: In Good Taste

The Paso Robles Wine Region is home to over 200 wineries and an untold number of artisan food producers who make everything from olive oil and salami to French bread and goat cheese. Visitors to Paso Robles enjoy both the scenic and gustatory pleasures while riding around the back roads, visiting wineries and tasting winez. Over the course of a few days or a long weekend, the average person can encounter all sorts of new tastes—some pleasing and some, not so much. So, why is it that what pleases one person’s palate is a total fail for another’s?

The mystery of the palate has long been pondered, but the science behind taste leaves little to the imagination. The palate is located on the roof of the mouth where it separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity, but that separation doesn’t mean that smell doesn’t affect one’s sense of taste.

On the contrary, taste is a complicated matter that includes not only the tastes buds (those raised bumps on the tongue’s surface) but a processing of temperature, texture, and even psychology—or past experiences.

The average adult has 10,000 taste buds located in an intricate network of taste receptors. When food—or drink—comes into contact with these receptors, they process the information and send a message to the brain. The brain then sorts out the information and decides whether the taste is pleasant or unpleasant.

Pleasing tastes vary widely from one individual to another and a person’s taste buds can even be influence by genetics. As a person ages, they have fewer taste buds, which explains why tastes change as we age.

The best way to keep young is to tantalize your taste buds with all sorts of new tastes. A Wine Wrangler Adventure Tour can take you wine tasting throughout the Paso Robles Wine Region where you can enjoy a day of introducing your taste buds to all sorts of new things to love.