Would sir like to taste the wine? No, madam has a bet­ter palate!

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Jonathan Bucks

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

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