I spent last weekend in California wine country and must admit to imbibing a few select years. Although, not a connoisseur of the fermented grape product, I’ve always considered myself more of a rose/red wine type gal, and have been known to steer away from anything but sweet white wines. That left me surprised, when at one tasting, I relished all the samples, including the whites.
|Glasses lined up in front of each person, waiting for the wine to be adding for sampling.|
Honestly, I shouldn’t have been surprised, because our hostess did her homework. She had checked the rankings of California wines from the area, learned where the leading brands’ grapes were grown, who used them in their products, and which wineries had the best reputations. Ultimately, she chose a winery for the tasting she believed would be perfect for her wine loving friends. Thus, even those wines I considered my least favorite, turned out to be excellent.
Before you quit reading, thinking I’m on a spoiled girl rant, this wine tasting set my writing and reading mind on alert. Several times before the tasting, people declared they only drank reds, didn’t care for blends, or preferred whites. Yet, at the end of the tasting, they had been pleasantly surprised and enjoyed a wine they had been convinced their palate disliked.
So why am I bringing to light this fermented topic? Because I’ve recently heard similar things from readers about books. Readers find a niche they feel comfortable reading. They like a romance with a happy ending, or a cozy mystery with a humorous heroine. When a friend suggests they might enjoy something slightly different, they respond with “I don’t read that genre. Tried it once and it wasn’t for me.”
Perhaps their reading palate is biased. Sure, they may have tried those genres in the past, but did they do their homework? Did the reader simply snatch up what “everyone else” was reading and discover, while popular, the characters didn’t pull them into the story, and the plotting was next to non-existent. I suggest to readers (and that includes me), do your homework. If you love strong heroines, ask other readers for authors who create them. Read about the author on Amazon or Goodreads. See if any of the reviews resonate with you. If you hate cliffhangers and that is the author’s specialty, move on, but broaden your horizons. There are so many great stories, don’t limit yourself and miss out on an incredible novel, character, or series.
|So many wines, so many types. Surely there are more than one that will suit your taste...just like books.|
So, expand your reading palate. Take a chance or two on sampling new books outside your comfort zone. At the special wine tasting my friend set-up, we sampled seven wines, and even combined them with foods known to enhance the taste. I quickly became a fan. So I toast to you, hoping you do a little sampling on your own, and discover a few new authors and genres.
|While chips and dip enhanced one of the wines, I have it on good authority (wink) that chocolate goes well with most books.|