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Wine Tasting: Only YOUR tastebuds know for sure

A recent study has revealed what we have often suspected; the most important wine taster is you the wine consumer.

“A wine critic may describe the balance between, let’s say, sweetness and acidity, or sourness and astringency, or fruit and wood,” said Gary Pickering, a professor of wine science at Brock University and co-author of the study with John Hayes, director of Pennsylvania State University’s Sensory Evaluation Center. “But the overall intensity of these sensations will be different for Joe Consumer, and that’s a function of his biology. It’s not because he’s not clever or smart or verbose or because he lacks lots of experience.”

This research, published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, demonstrates something previously unproved but widely suspected. The reason that the value of the professional’s opinion may be exaggerated comes from a study of peoples tasting abilities.

Wine experts are more likely than non-experts to be so-called supertasters. A supertaster is a person who has an abnormally high number of taste buds and who are thus able to differentiate a wider than normal variety of taste sensations.

Dr. Pickering and Dr. Hayes administered a taste measuring test to 330 wine drinkers in Ontario. One-third described themselves as wine professionals, including winemakers, retail workers and critics, while the other 220 qualified as non-experts. The upshot: Professionals were significantly more likely to be either supertasters or medium tasters.

The bottom line is “If you like the wine it is good and if you don’t it isn’t”. And that’s what makes wine tasting parties so much fun!

The Wine Butler would like to remind all it’s customers, to always drink responsibly.