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A new study out of Penn State finds that wine experts may be naturally more attuned to their sense of taste than laydrinkers, reports NPR’s Allison Aubrey.John Hayes, a professor of food science at Penn State, evaluated hundreds of wine drinkers–expert and casual–to conduct the study.
He fed them a chemical that measures reactions to bitter tastes and found that wine experts were around 40 per cent more sensitive to it, writes Aubrey.
Dave McIntyre, wine writer for The Washington Post, doesn’t buy this study’s findings. He told Aubrey that some drinkers might just be naturally gifted (what some call “supertasters”), but he thinks that a discerning palate is based mostly on experience.
What this study seems to ignore is the notion of connoisseurship. If someone with sensitive taste doesn’t like a particular wine, it doesn’t mean he can explain, personally, why that is.
“A great connoisseur is a person with immense experience coupled with the connoisseur’s approach,” writes wine critic Matt Kramer in Making Sense of Wine. “Experience alone is not enough.”
He goes on: “The ideal connoisseur is actually somebody who can say, after tasting a wine, ‘This is a great wine. But I can’t stand it.'”
Now check out the seven best restaurant wine lists in New York City >
This story was originally published by Food & Wine.
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