Dealing with Picky Eaters? Vinotyping Explains more than Wine Preferences

Tim Hanni, a Napa Valley-based Master of Wine who explores the phenomena of taste and Vinotyping in his newly published book, “Why You Like the Wines You Like” is challenging the wine industry to reconsider its attitude toward consumers who may not like the 99-point, high alcohol wines. He also wants the industry to accept and respect all wine preferences, including those of consumers who drink sweet wines like the often-maligned white zinfandel.

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It's time for the industry to accept and respect all wine preferences, including those of consumers who drink sweet wines like the often-maligned white zinfandel.

Napa, California (PRWEB) March 24, 2013

Tim Hanni, a Napa Valley-based Master of Wine who explores the phenomena of taste and Vinotyping in his newly published book, “Why You Like the Wines You Like,” is challenging the wine industry to reconsider its attitude toward consumers who may not like the 99-point, high alcohol wines. He also wants the industry to accept and respect all wine preferences, including those of consumers who drink sweet wines like the often-maligned white zinfandel.

Discovering your own wine preferences may not only let you truly enjoy a glass of wine, but can yield a bounty of information about your other tastes, and those of your friends, family and even your children.

These preferences, Hanni says, are based on physiological traits that are evident in childhood. The number of taste buds people are born with can vary dramatically, he notes, and those with a high number of taste buds are often unable to tolerate bitter flavors; high alcohol wines can actually burn on their palate. These ultra-sensitive tasters often crave sweet flavors, which mask bitterness that does not bother those with fewer taste buds.

This hyper-sensitivity does not just show up in wine preferences. “They live in a cacophony of sensations,” Hanni says. “They are sensitive to the volume of music, to tags on clothing, the feel of linen, and please, get the temperature of a room right for them.”

According to Hanni, “While these highly sensitive types can be stigmatized as adults for preferring sweeter wines, children with high sensitivity quotients can also be unfairly considered difficult.”

Hanni began his research into food and wine preferences more than two decades ago when he noticed that the one wine or food and wine pairing could provoke a range of responses ranging from people who loved the offering to those who found it intolerable.

He began collaborating with Dr. Virginia Utermohlen, a pediatrician who was doing research of the science of taste at Cornell University. Their research resulted in the method of “Vinotyping,” which Hanni outlines in his book. A series of questions about preferences provide the basis for determining a sensitivity quotient to guide readers to discover wines they with genuinely enjoy. And it may also explain why one child will eat broccoli and another won’t touch it.

Dr. Utermohlen noted that, like high alcohol wines, broccoli contains compounds that can be perceived by sensitive palates as unpleasantly bitter.

“You can serve broccoli to three children,” Hanni says. “One will eat it all, one will taste it, and one will refuse to even take one bite.” The latter child is not just being a problem; it’s all about taste.”

In general, Dr. Utermohlen said, children have a far greater sensitivity to taste, which tends to wan as they age. “At 40 you may find you can tolerate foods you never could before,” she said.

Nonetheless, Utermohlen and Hanni agree, the key is to respect preferences whether it’s in wines or vegetables.

“Why You Like the Wines You Like” is available through amazon.com. For more information about Vinotyping visit Tim Hanni.

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About Tim Hanni, MW
Tim Hanni is an internationally renowned ‘flavor maven.’ A professionally-trained chef, he is one of the first two resident Americans to successfully complete the examination and earn the title Master of Wine. He is a Certified Wine Educator accredited by the Society of Wine Educators. He has been involved with wine- and food-related businesses, education and research for over thirty-five years. Hanni has a unique perspective on food and wine, providing a modern and innovative approach to the subject.

His techniques for creating easy to use wine lists and retail wine programs are combined with tried and tested culinary philosophies on "balancing" food and wine flavors. These techniques are employed by thousands of restaurants and hotel outlets around the world and have provided the foundation for Napa Seasoning Company's unique new product Vignon™, the first Flavor Balancing Seasoning designed to simplify food preparation. Hanni is recognized for introducing the concept of the "umami" taste phenomenon to the wine and food community. He has lectured in over 27 countries around the world on the topics of flavor balancing, sensory sciences, wine and culinary history.