Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Matter of Taste

Have you ever considered having your buds done? According to an article in today's Washington Post, Tim Hanni, a California wine consultant (and a recovering alcoholic), suggests that the type of wine we prefer can be determined from an analysis of our taste buds.

He classifies the population of wine drinkers into four groups: tolerant (those with fewer taste buds who prefer ripe, concentrated wines), sensitive (those who like more balanced wines without strong tannin), hypersensitive (those who tend toward delicate, slightly sweeter wines such as Rieslings), and sweet (those with confidence in their taste and little desire to like drier wines).

If Hanni’s system is adopted, words like “grassy”, “hint of peach”, etc. will be passe. Instead a score influenced by our physiology, sex, and personal experience will define us just like our shoe size does.

His goal with this approach is to democratize wine – to get rid of the expectation that you must drink white with fish, red with beef, or anything with anything else. He asserts it is purely a matter of personal taste and the public must be urged to trust their palates... and the taste buds on the tip of their tongues.

Can you place yourself in one of those four groups? Personally, I am probably in the hypersensitive group.


Blogger Kate said...

I seem to be between tolerant and sensitive, depending the food I am eating. A lighter wine with richer foods and a richer wine with lighter foods.....always seemed peculiar to me and off balance from others but perhaps it is just my "buds" kicking in! Very interesting post, thank you.

12:33 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Rather than classify my tastebuds, I'd rather taste wine and figure out what I like and dislike. Drinking wine is an art, not a science.

Some days I like red, some days red will give me a headache. I tend towards a specific varietal of white, but some days that doesn't taste right to me either. Are my taste buds shifting their structures from day to day?

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stand any kind of wine-- I've tried, and it ALL just tastes like sour grapes to me. Beer is more my liking!!

2:15 PM  
Blogger Ruth D~ said...

All but tolerant, although on any given day . . . :>)

4:49 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I'm a sweetie - give me a glass of fruity Sangria any day. I don't often drink wine - it gives me a headache.

6:34 PM  
Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

that was fun. I took hanni's quiz - which is easily accessible by just googling hanni tastebud quiz -it appears according to the hanni method of rating buds, I fall in the "hypersensitive" category - but oddly the wines he list are not the wines I like to drink, the wines I love are the wines which fall under in the "sensitive" and "tolerant" buds - I always go for red over white and dry and at times bold get my thumbs up. but twas fun .....I always enjoy such little quizzes - even if they aren't necessarily accurate.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

He needs a fifth group, those who don't drink, but might politely taste it.

2:15 PM  

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