September 10, 2015

Are Women Better Wine Tasters Than Men?

Part of me wishes I could say yes, but I actually don’t think women are better at tasting.

I’ve had thousands of wine students over my career as a wine teacher, and I’ve never once observed women being categorically better than men at tasting.

One of the most famous sensory scientists in the world–Dr. Ann Noble, now retired from the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California at Davis—doesn’t think women have any extra tasting talent either.

But she suggests something else fascinating. She says women may have better sensory language skills. Dr. Noble thinks that whoever spends more time in the kitchen and at the food market are always practicing. It’s often a woman, but of course it could be a man. They’re always deciding: Is this a ripe cantaloupe or is this? Which peach should I choose?

Women, she says, have “larger aroma libraries in their brains in general” and may therefore be more adept at describing what they taste.

So here’s one more reason to join your spouse and friends as they do the grocery shopping and chopping (if you’re not that one). It just might improve your wine skills.

Share