Are you that one person in the room who can taste strawberries, mint, vanilla or pencil shavings in their wine? You could be a supertaster. What makes one person a supertaster and you a mere mortal, all comes down to your tastebuds and how many you have. Now it’s quite a mission to count them but don’t despair, being a supertaster is not necessarily a good thing. You could be a non-taster, or simply a taster who just enjoys alcohol.
If you’re wondering why tasting wine and recognising flavours and textures in your wine is important, well, a little bit of knowledge signficantly enhances your wine tasting experience as well as being a bit of a cheat’s way of learning self-awareness.
We all experience sweetness, acidity, tannins and alcohol when we sip wine, just at different levels. Supertasters sense taste with greater intensity than the average person. They are more sensitive to bitterness and fattiness in food and show a lower acceptance of foods that have these elements. They tend to dislike strong, bitter foods like raw broccoli, grapefruit juice, coffee and dark chocolate.
Non-tasters don’t mind the bitterness, astringency and acidity in wine as much as tasters or supertasters. Tasters tend to perceive bitterness and irritation from alcohol. Non-tasters may have greater preference for alcohol and therefore be at greater risk of developing alcoholism. About 25 per cent of people are supertasters who have an unusually high number of taste buds. If you love food more than most, you may have supertaster genes.