Would sir like to taste the wine? No, madam has a better palate!
IT IS a sobering thought for all men who think they know the difference between a decent red and cheap plonk – women make far better wine-tasters.
Women are not just blessed with more discerning palates but also enjoy drinking wine more than men, according to a new study.
The research, which saw 208 volunteers take part in a blindtasting of six varieties – two whites, one rosé and three reds – found that men struggled to appreciate the difference in quality.
After sampling each one, volunteers were asked to rate them. While men awarded similar scores
‘Pay attention, don’t just knock it back’
to each of the wines, women were better at selecting the top bottles.
‘Women reported greater differences between the wines and were able to discriminate among them,’ said Dr Carolina Chaya, of the Technical University of Madrid, who led the study.
Wine critic Jilly Goolden said: ‘My perception of being an astute taster is that it’s all to do with really paying attention rather than just knocking it back. And I think women are much more likely to be thinking about the glass in their hand and the fragrances.’
Ms Goolden blamed the historically male-dominated sommelier profession for the myth that men make better wine-tasters. Only one of the 13 people inducted into the Court of Master Sommeliers last year was a woman. ‘It’s one of those things like men carving the Sunday roast – there’s no reason why men should be better but somehow it’s perceived it’s their job,’ said Ms Goolden. ‘The whole thing is waiting for a shake-up. I’ve found that sommeliers will hand the wine menu to my husband and I just think, “Well, maybe I know something about wine, too?” ’
The research, published in the journal Food Quality And Preference, also found that drinking wine was more pleasurable for women and, in general, they preferred whites to reds.
The researchers said: ‘Women reported significantly higher scores when consuming white wines and lower scores when consuming red wines. Emotions like good, happy, joyful, smile and pleasant were positively associated with attributes such as fruity and floral, and more negative emotions like aggressive and guilty were associated with aged wine.’
A NOSE FOR IT: Women enjoy wine more than men