I spent the last few days in Los Angeles, where I learned that I’ve lost the ability to enjoy bad cheap wine. I knew this day would come, so I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise. I’d just been drinking so much lovely wine lately that the first taste of something not so nice (I won’t name names, but it was red) was shockingly bad. I prefer to think of this as a positive change, a reminder that I’m refining my tastes and learning to appreciate what a grape can really do. And it was really empowering to be able to pinpoint why the stuff was yucky: no finish, no middle, flatness, wateryness, simplicity, not enough tannin or fruit or even anything interesting. However, it worries me a little that this might continue to the point where I can only enjoy really really ridiculously good, expensive wine. Do you think that happens? Or do you think it’s possible to appreciate the best wine at all price points — minus the lowest one, which, apparently, my taste buds have designated to cooking wine/anticidal status? I do hope for the latter, as it really is inconvenient to give your friends reason to stress out when they’re trying to figure out which wine to bring to your dinner party. Well, for now, don’t worry, compadres. Take heart. I’m not a total snob yet. And there are plenty more ants left to kill.