Palate fatigue is not an issue that many people can consider a job hazard. However, it is a problem that many winemakers experience and one that Cal Poly grads Andrew Macaluso and Nicole Chamberlain encountered while attending in the college’s enology program. “The average person can evaluate about six wines accurately before tannins coat the palate and interfere with their ability to perceive flavor differences,” explains Macaluso. So when the pair discovered in chemistry class that natural fruit pectin and cellulose gum bind with tannins, they set out to develop a drink—now marketed as SanTásti (santasti.com)—that could lift tannins from the tongue.
SanTásti’s triple-filtered carbonated water is blended with undetectable traces of citric acid and cane sugar to restore the balance of acidity, sweetness, and astringency. Though it tastes like simple sparkling water, it is scientifically formulated to enhance any tasting experience. Macaluso and Chamberlain encourage tasters to try an experiment. The challenge is to taste a white wine, then a bold red wine, then return to the white wine. With a swirl of SanTásti, they claim you can sip, and actually sense the subtleties, of the first wine … even after a tannic, tongue-roughening red.