Why Women Taste (Wine) Better Than Men
Is it genetics? Age? Right brain? Or do women tend to be more adept at tasting wine because they’re just that awesome?
There’s really no consensus on what we and others see in tasting rooms across the land: women more often than not sniff out nuances in the wine first. But no one can agree why.
We went hunting for some of the best theories and picked up the scent of a few tasty ideas. Truth be told, we see more women than men at Penns Woods Winery, and they’re having a great time. There certainly is accounting for taste, and we raise a glass to our wine-lovin’ ladies who know what they like and show it in the tasting room. (Note to men: you’ll find lots of women in our tasting room. Good reason to stop by, yes? Need we say more?)
Get a whiff of these theories and let us know what you think:
Women Have Good Genes
Mother Nature has a hand in how we all taste—bitter and sweet in particular. There’s even a science of how genes influence taste: nutrigenetics (warning: scholarly link alert!). Seems Mother Nature gave women an upper hand in sense of smell, which is closely related to taste.
Younger women may very well have the most heightened sense of smell of all, making them excellent tasters. Yup, this comes from another science-y study that found women of reproductive age were tops. The illustrious faculty honchoing this research surmised moms developed a sensitive nose to protect their kids from contaminants and toxins. Go moms!
Women Are Fast Learners
Let’s get a little closer to the wine industry: two professors at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa Valley, Calif., observed that “women pick up wine-tasting faster, learn it faster and have faster sensory recollection.” Christie Default and Robert Bath—having taught thousands in the CIA’s wine and beverage studies program—were quoted as saying, “Women consistently develop a stronger ability to identify characteristics in wine.” Cheers to these savvy future female sommeliers.
Women Have More Taste … buds
We’re heading back to school. Scientists at Yale dubbed people with more taste buds "supertasters." Lo and behold, the study found 35 percent of women, and only 15 percent of men, earned that elite status.
More tidbits from the same study suggest men tend to categorize wine using the left side of their brain. Dudes, bros and their brethren value scores, ratings and all the details surrounding wine. Dudettes, ladies and their sisters are more likely to use the right side of the brain, which is more sensory, creative and artistic. Women are therefore drawn to the taste of a wine.
The Good News
Our friendly staff members in the Penns Woods Winery tasting room welcome wine lovers of all levels. First-timers to seasoned wine aficionados, women and men, those who love wine and those who love other libations but are up for the challenge: everyone will find all the info—and sips—needed from our something-for-everyone wines. We’re tickled when we can trade tasting notes with our guests and are just as delighted to show you the ropes.
Are you a man? Think the scholars, academicians and observers are wrong? Stop by and show us your stuff, sir. Game on.
Penns Woods Winery is a family-run Pennsylvania winery. With more than 40 years of experience in the wine business, winemaker Gino Razzi and his daughter, Carley Mack, produce award-winning wines from Pennsylvania-grown grapes. Penns Woods wines can be found in restaurants throughout Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. Stop in to your local state store and pick from a limited selection of wines, or visit our tasting room for the full offering. The tasting room in Chadds Ford provides an all-around vineyard experience and hosts live music, food and wine pairings and other exciting events each weekend. Score Penns Woods Winery news in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter today!
Photography provided by Nina Lea Photography (lead image) and Alexandra Whitney Photography (remaining images).
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Go behind the scenes with the Penns Woods Winery team in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.