For my dad, it's sweet wines and Zinfandel. For some people, it's White Wines In General. For others, it may be Merlot.
For me, it's Pinot Noir. After the pretty darn good movie Sideways, people started loooving Pinot Noir and hatin' on Merlot. No really: Merlot sales dropped in the US while Pinot Noir sales rose 16%.
Yup. The wine that Miles (Paul Giamatti) describes like this:
"It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet."....I don't get it. I'd rather have the Merlot. I don't find Pinot Noir brilliant OR thrilling. I may be able to taste the complexity but....it doesn't DO anything for me. I've had my fair share that truly taste like watered-down grape juice. Maybe sometimes a hint of strawberry.
In keeping an open mind, I've found one or maybe two Pinot Noirs that have gotten me excited. I can't say I've drunk a lot of high end Pinot Noir, either--usually, when at winery tastings, I skip over the Pinot Noir in favor of a Cabernet Sauvignon or even a Syrah (not my favorite either). In fact, I think the most enjoyable Pinot Noir I've had was from a Trader Joe's.
(I once had a dinnermate order a PinoT Noyr, pronouncing it in the most exaggerated American accent possible. I usually don't mind someone mispronouncing the varietal, but he was trying to put on SUCH a show, that I couldn't help but shake my head and roll my eyes at the attempt at pretense.)
I will continue to try the fickle, temperamental Pinot Noir grape, and hopefully find a bottle or two that I enjoy. I may not like any of the ones I try. But I can rest, assured that I abide by my wine philosophy in that I a) will try anything once and b) stick to my own guns and not "trends."