Monday, June 25, 2007

Do You Want To Be a Supertaster?

After reading Mike Steinberger’s third article on the physiology of the oenophile. No I’m pretty sure I don’t.

Some gems from the article:-
1) By far the biggest consumers of wine criticism are male Caucasians, who according to Bartoshuk are also disproportionately represented among nontasters—35 percent of white males fall into this category. So it could be that, from a purely demographic standpoint, the ideal wine critic would be a low-sensitivity taster. (Hanni suspects that some of the more prominent wine critics are indeed low-sensitivity tasters, given their fondness for heavily extracted, high alcohol wines.)

No prizes for guessing who that is directed at!

2) If biology were determinative, I, as a PROP nontaster, would probably enjoy those sweet, soupy, high-alcohol Australian Shirazes and might not think so kindly of light, acidic red Burgundies. In fact, I generally can't stomach the former and adore the latter. Something happened in my life that dictated these preferences, and it clearly wasn't the genes I was born with.

Some might call that wine snobbery, or even bias. But then both wine styles are unlikely to appeal to supertasters.

3) Sure, there is near-universal accord about what attributes a top wine should have—appealing aromatics, ripe fruit, good structure, a sense of harmony in the mouth and a long finish. But given how enormously varied individual palates seem to be, one wouldn't think that there would be much consensus regarding individual wines. However, the critics tend to agree about wines a lot more than they disagree.

If critics are more likely to be non-tasters that would help reach consensus! More likely critics look for the same objective qualities in wine.

No comments: