We all know that one person who says wine is just wine. The one that refers to it as white or red. Most of us know another that tends to smother you with tiny details about what they just tasted that makes you feel slightly inadequate.
What if I tell you that we as humans do experience taste differently and some don’t taste anything what so ever? The amount of tastes and smells we can differentiate comes from our genes and our experience.
So what kind of a taster are you?
Non - sensitives
This group has fewer tastebuds on their tongue (around 15, on a small surface) and believe it or not, but they can not taste bitterness, or can in a very small amount. Around 10-25% of population falls into this category.
These are the people that drink the reds that make your mouth feel as if you’re dehydrated.
Do you enjoy strong tastes? Really spicy stuff? Sauces full of flavour?
If you do, you are one of the non-sensitives. For your love of wine search for high tannic reds like Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon or go for oak aged whites like Chardonnay from New-Zealand or dive into the dessert wine category.
Most of us fall into this category. 50-75% of the population actually. Tastebud wise we have almost double of the amount of what the Non - sensitives do. Therefor the middles can taste bitterness, but it doesn’t really bother them.
Usually they eat everything, like to experiment with tastes, are easy to host and know how to enjoy themselves.
Best part? They should go full speed ahead and taste all kinds of different wines they can get their hands on.
Know anyone who’s a next level picky eater? I mean too salty, too peppery, too fatty, too spicy. Can’t eat this or that, etc? 10-25% on the population fall into this category, with more than 30 tastebuds on a small surface of their tongue. Everything tastes strong and overwhelming. They don’t tend to do well with spicy food, strong textures and harsh temperatures.
If you are one of the hypersensitive ones and really wish to develop your wine tasting skills start with low tannin reds like Pinot Noirs or sweeter whites like Pinot Gris or go for dessert wines.
Knowing the type of taster you are will make it easier for you to make progress with developing your tasting skills and gathering experience. Forcing yourself to taste wines that don’t suit your tastes will slow you down and demotivate you. Start with ones you like and grow from there.
Skilful tasting is something you learn and can develop no matter what group you start from. Plus your taste preferences will change the more you taste.
Go have fun with it!