Women should test wine at dinner as they have better palates, study shows

For any man who has ever lifted a glass of wine to taste, hoping to feign an appreciation of vintage and terroir, it is a sobering discovery: women make better wine tasters than men.

A study has found that while men have a stronger emotional reaction to all wines than women, the female palate is more discerning.

Researchers asked 208 volunteers to take part in blind taste tests of six wines: two whites, one rose and three reds.

Dr Caroline Chaya of the Technical University of Madrid,  who led the study, concluded: “In general, men reported higher scores on significant emotions than women for all the wines.

“But women, although they gave generally lower ratings than men, reported greater differences between the wines.”

The study, published in the scientific journal Food Quality and Preference,  also examined the effects of age on the emotional response to wine tasting, with older drinkers more likely to enjoy any glass of wine whatever its attributes.

The researchers concluded: “All of the wines evoked significantly higher scores in older adults than in middle-aged and young adults for most emotional terms.

“However, young adults showed higher discrimination between wines than the other age groups, in terms of emotional responses.”

Light, floral and fruity wines were found to elicit positive emotions among the study’s participants, while liquorice, clove and vanilla notes engendered a neutral or negative emotional response.

The study may give oenophiles cause to reconsider traditional gender roles, which see men more often offered wine to taste in restaurants.

Last year only one of thirteen inductees to the Court of Master Sommeliers was a woman.

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