Tasting wine involves a bit more than swishing it around in a glass and taking a sip. Wine experts know that different parts of the tongue detect different flavors and that growing conditions, soil composition, and weather will all impact how a bottle of wine tastes. But does gender enter into it? Does it matter if a woman tastes a wine or a man? According to recent research, there might be a difference.
While the role of a sommelier in high-end restaurants is still a male-dominated field, research published in the Journal Food Quality and Preference, showed that women made better wine tasters than men, at least regarding recognizing wine types. Men were more emotional in their responses to tasting wine, whereas the women picked up on the varieties of wine, the flavors and "notes" that were present in each. When restaurants hire a sommelier, the goal is to have someone who knows the details of different varietals and how the flavors will present in a particular wine. According to the research, women have a better sense of these details.