"Gender Jive

  by Fred McMillin


From 20 years of teaching wine classes I can say emphatically that women are better wine tasters than men.

...Matt Kramer, author of Making Sense wine books.

The Rest of the Story


The wine literature pretty much agrees with Matt's opinion. So, I looked back over 80 wines in my tastings to see which ones women rated much higher than the men. Here are the eight with the greatest difference, expressed in percent (difference divided by men's rating x 100).


Wines Rated Higher By Women

% Higher White or Red Varietal Price Winery, Vintage, etc.
56% Red Merlot $25 Kenwood/Sonoma Vly./'95 (pictured)
58% Red Merlot $8 Caliterra(R.Mondavi)/Chile/'96
58% White Chardonnay $17 Clos du Bois/Flintwood/'96 (pictured)
65% White Chardonnay $8 Casa Donoso(Parlmt.)/Chile/'96
85% White Sauvignon Blanc $16 Kenwood/Reserve/Sonm.Vly./'95
97% Red Cabernet Sauvignon $16 Staton Hills/Wash.State/'93
108% Red Syrah $10 Frey/RedwoodVly./organic/'96
170% Red Gamay $8 Duboeuf Regnie Beaujolais, France, '97



There were less than 25% non-California wines in our 80, yet there are 50% non-California wines in the above Slate of Eight. This tells me that the more sensitive nose and taste of the ladies lets them appreciate the less familiar more than we less-gifted males!


Regarding Matt Kramer's opening praise of female tasters, he offers this ray of hope for the males. "I DO know an impressive number of men who are good wine tasters. BUT, I've met only a few that have not had to work surprisingly hard at it." (Oh yes, which of our above Slate of Eight was rated highest by the feminine palates? It was the Staton Hills Cab.)


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