Women better at tasting wine than men- another study

Over the years, I have yielded to the ladies in the crowd for the final decision when I had a hint or suspect about a wine being flawed as in corked, containing Brett or VA. Here’s another study confirming women as being better tasters than men:

I have long thought women have better palates then men on a whole.

I used to do blind tastings at a wine bar I used to work at, and would pick out eight wines, paperbag them and ask all my customers to identify them.

Usually, the more you knew about wine, the worst you did (Could this be Chasselas?) but one thing always came out in the end. Women would guess more correct than men, and usually it was the women who knew the least about wine that would nail them all.

I have a very sexist theory that women grow up with their mothers in the kitchen, and are exposed to different spices and flavors etc at an early age.

That is definitely very sexist.

I do believe there is a biological reason that women tend to have better smell/taste receptors than men on the whole- but it has nothing to do with cooking- more due to reproduction- I know most (many? all?) women get extremely sensitive to smell during pregnancy.

My wife’s dad did all the cooking for the family growing up. Is that why my wife has such a bad palate for wine?!?


My wife has a far more perceptive palate than me, but also far less interested in wine, generally. Is is sexist to suggest the possibility that someone who has lived an entire life sensitized to scents from perfumes, lotions and soaps - many of which have scents found in wine, like citrus fruits, red fruits, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, etc. - might actually have greater sensory perception than someone that played sports his whole life, thus is more attuned to stink, sweat, dirt and jock strap? Is it any wonder that I like Chinon and my wife finds it rank? :wink:

Oh sure, but who is better at DRINKING the wine, huh?

I’ve seen studies that have stated women have more olfactory cells than men and here’s one that says it almost 50% more: Women really DO have a better sense of smell than men | Daily Mail Online

I remember a tine a few years ago when I opened a wine in our kitchen and my wife who is standing a good 10 feet away says it`s corked" and she was right.

Thought I saw somewhere that women, in general, have more taste receptors than men, and that is why there are more ‘supertasters’ among women than men.

Alfert, your wife has great taste. Most women do, it’s the utter wankathon about wine they avoid.

Lol, you are just saying that cause she went ga-ga over your Pinot!

As the first woman to chime on this thread, I will say that my own experience is that a few of the women I know who also are very interested in wine have incredible palates, but most women I know, unfortunately, don’t really care about wine and it’s hard to get a meaningful sample size.

However, I have been fortunate enough to be invited to some events with a fantastic group in Florida, and several of the men have told me that, hands down, the most respected palate in the group belongs to one of the women.

And many of the guys I am friends with who are into wine respect my thoughts and often reach out to ask for my opinions and love to discuss wines we are buying. I don’t think my palate is better than most people who are knowledgeable about wine, but I do think I detect flawed wines way quicker and much easier than most others I have drank with.

Thanks for your input Sherri. You just provided one more confirmation of my opening remarks about yielding to the female opinion and taste/ olfactory perceptions especially on flaws. I’m thinking most of us who are seriously into wine recognise this fact.

My wife absolutely has a more sensitive palate than I do. I’d actually argue that’s probably more of a curse than a blessing, as I don’t think you need a particularly great palate to have exceptional wine experiences. In fact, a more sensitive taster is probably likely to have fewer since they are more likely to encounter nuances that they don’t enjoy.

I think it’s mostly a disadvantage to have a less sensitive palate if you’re one of those males around here (you know who you are) who is competitive and needs to be “best” at everything (and let everyone know it).

Some folks are much more sensitive to flawed/off bottles, I know first hand and usually am first, even a slight flaw.
The natural ability to detect and identify olfactory input by wine rookies has amazed me several times.
My mother was an avid and an adventurous cook who, when first exposed to better wines, showed a strong preference for red Burgundy and Bordeaux and immediately traditional food pairings fell into place for her.
Cristine has asked visitors with minimal vinous experience if they would like to go wine tasting while visiting the Bay Area. Twice we were taken by surprise; their descriptors not only got us, but a tasting room staff in one case and Robert Talbott the other. The woman showed her ability by stating this wine reminds me of raking up damp autumnal leaves back East as a child, upon her first whiff at a Sonoma Winery. She went on describing rapidly and totally naturally. Robert Talbott took over the tasting portion of our winery visit and said to the newbie “that is a descriptor the winery staff uses for that wine” as the beer loving gent ventured forth initially.
Physically and culturally, these rookies two could not have been more opposite; superior tasters are lurking out there, untapped.
Lastly, the unknowledgeable wife of a good friend who was not participating in the tasting came into the room, took a few mini tastes from her husband’s glasses and rattled off several of the brands still in brown bags. She simply and obviously had the right olfactory awareness.

I don’t dispute that women have a more sensitive sense of smell than men, but I fail to see how this recent study says anything about wine-tasting ability. It seems to be all about emotional response to wine. If of value at all, it is more of use to marketing people than anyone else.

Clearly, she has excellent taste. champagne.gif