Thursday, 9 May 2013

On supermarkets and sweet vinotypes

I've been reading the new text by Tim Hanni 'Why we like the wines we like' and while I find the style a little abrasive (it's very chatty and American) there's no doubt in my mind that it's the most interesting and thought provoking wine book I've read in a good while.

The central tenet of his take on wine is that there are essentially four different palette profiles extant in the general populace, of which only two, sensitive and tolerant are really paid much attention in the wider wine world. He spends a lot of time discussing, sweet and hypersensitive palette profiles and how they often find delicate wines such as Pinot Grigios and softer sweeter wines like White Zin more appealing.

I'd been chewing (swilling round my mouth) over what I'd read I found myself looking for something drinkable in my local Morrisons (I'm in Camberwell and sometimes I forget to pre purchase the evenings drinking) it dawned on me that the bulk of the whites would cater very well for the sweet and hypersensitive drinkers. I stopped, mused on some statistics that I'd remembered.

image nicked from Yapp wine's blog, a really good wine merchant

Sweet vinotypes: 21%:7% Female to male. That's a 3 to 1 ratio of female to male.
Hypersensitive: 36%:38% pretty much even.
Tolerant (the palette type that appreciates big gutsy reds etc, your Parker wines if you will) is 2:1 male:female.

I also remembered that I'd read somewhere that supermarket wine purchasing is some 80% controlled by women.

So ensuring that the wine selection will appeal to the palette preferences most likely to present in the consumers most likely to be spending money in the shop. All of a sudden the predominance of wine styles that were likely to be appreciated by the dominant spenders in the shop didn't seem all that unusual.

I guess the supermarket wine buyers do know what they're doing...

Jamie Goode on the same topic..

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