When it comes to tasting wine, some people have an advantage. It’s called “supertasting”, and it’s a superpower that YOU might have and not even know it!
So how do you discover your superhero-ness without getting bitten by a radioactive spider? It’s easy, and it involves drinking wine (so of course, we’re all for it)!There are three categories that people fall into regarding their tasting abilities. You could be a supertaster, an average taster, or a non-taster. Don’t worry – all three of these groups have their own special superpowers!
How to Find Out What Kind of “Taster” You Are
You will need:
- a small piece of wax paper or clean thin plastic
- a standard hole punch
- red wine (or fruit punch if you’re underage – the key is to dye your tongue)
- a mirror
- your tongue
First, drink your wine! Make sure you swish it around in your mouth, so your tongue turns very red. Then, punch a hole in the wax paper or plastic. Put the paper on your tongue, and count your taste buds that appear within the hole (the larger spots, called papilla). Once you have a number, read on to find out what kind of taster you are!
The Supertaster: More Than 30
Supertasters are very sensitive to all flavors because they have extra taste buds. Most supertasters can’t stand eating bitter vegetables such as kale or brussels sprouts — the bitter taste is too intense for them. For the same reason, they can be very good at wine tastings, and especially at determining different flavors within the wines. That said, most supertasters don’t like a lot of tannins in their wine. If you’re a supertaster, stay away from drier, full-bodied reds (such as Bordeaux) and try lighter varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon or Moscato.
The Average Taster: Between 15 and 30
Average tasters still taste everything that the supertasters can. The difference is in the intensity. A bitter food will still taste bitter, but the average taster is less likely to make an awful face and spit it out. Being “average” in this case is actually beneficial — your superpower is that you try pretty much any wine. You may like medium to drier kinds of wine, like Burgundy or Pinot Grigio.
The Non-Taster: Less Than 15
People with less than 15 taste buds are called non-tasters. This may sound like kind of a letdown, but wait… you have a superpower, too! You can eat the spicy things that most people can’t handle! Some of you also can’t even taste “bitter” at all (believe us, you’re not missing much). You’re more likely to like highly seasoned foods than supertasters and average tasters. When it comes to wines, you’ll love dry reds with lots of tannins, such as Chianti.
No Matter Your Type, You Can Taste Wine
While supertasters may be better at distinguishing the flavors of a wine, even non-tasters can be good at wine tasting. Training yourself to really pay attention to the flavors, dryness or sweetness, aroma, and color of wine can be done by anyone.8