Men and women don’t always speak the same language - in life and in wine! One of my favourite wine themes to explore with clients is ‘women in wine’ - where we talk about some of the differences in the way that women and men think about, talk about, choose and consume wine.
Some classic stereotypes:
1. Women like rose wines more than men
2. Men prefer red wines, especially heavier more classical styles
3. More women than men drink white wine
4. Women prefer sweeter styles of wine
My own experience is that these ‘rules’ are a myth - everyone is different and there is no pattern at all for preference by gender.
But what are the wine words when it comes to women in wine? And - although many people think that women have superior tasting skills to men - is there really any hard evidence to back that up?
The best data we have suggests that women do indeed tend to perform a bit better than men in olfactory tests (how good we are at using our sense of smell) but it may be that this is a learned skill rather than a genetic difference. Some studies suggest that women ‘get it right’ when describing wine around 57% of the time, compared to 46% for the men.
One thing is for sure - learning to taste and describe wine accurately is a skill that can only be learned through hours of hard practice. A good palate for wine is something we develop, we’re not born with it - and that happens through practice and training. Sensitivity is developed over time.
From my own experience at delivering corporate virtual wine tastings, I do think that women are very good at describing wines - they’re often a little less self-conscious than the men when it comes to being brave and making that flavour association. Lots of the women who join my corporate virtual wine tastings are very articulate and they’re happy to venture an idea or an association that the wine is bringing to mind.
Wine words are about power, about memory, about control over your wine world and about giving yourself the platform to share and compare your wine thoughts and journeys. I hope you find your wine words to be a rich and exciting addition to your vocabulary.