The questioner is writing a book, and his final chapter will include answers from wine lovers to this question. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that I can help him by providing an answer.
Wine is not like that for me. Some times I am in the mood for one type of wine or another. I have had great wines that did not impress me at the time because of a variety of factors, and some of my favorite wine experiences were with lesser wines due to the company, the situation, or the meal. Even weather can have an effect on what I want, or how I percieve a wine.
Even more importantly, for me, much of my love for wine stems from searching for new experiences. I want to taste something new, discover a new favorite, learn something new in every glass.
If anyone does have an answer to this question, I’d love to hear it. Cheers!