If you look at the great wines of California and the women that have a hand in them, you can easily see a strong correlation between female winemakers and fantastic wine. I would like to propose my theory as to why women are naturally better at making wine.
First, for evidence, I present the following very short list of great female winemakers and some of the wines that they are currently or have previously been involved with:
• Heidi Peterson Barrett: Screaming Eagle, La Sirena, Paradigm, Jones, Amuse Bouche, Grace Family
• Sarah Gott: Quintessa, Joseph Phelps Insignia
• Celia Masyczek: D.R. Stephens, Staglin Family
• Martha McClellan: Blankiet, Sloan
• Francoise Peschon: Araujo
• Pamela Starr: Crocker & Starr, Gemstone, Ristow
• Helen Turley: Marcassin, Martinelli, Pahlmeyer, Blankiet, Colgin, Bryant
There are many, many more, but even this incomplete list leads me to believe that there must be some natural correlation between women and acute taste perception.
I started formulating this theory, which has certainly been influenced by many other lecturers in the wine industry, when my wife Lynda was pregnant with our first daughter Madison. While pregnant, Lynda seemed hypersensitive to anything that was sour or bitter, but fairly accepting to most things that were sweet. In nature, most things that are poisonous or spoiled are either sour or bitter, and those that are ripe or fresh are sweet. This applies to poisonous plants, vegetables, and meats, milk and, yes, even grapes.
Since women have the task of carrying an unborn child, I feel that nature has given them more heightened taste perceptions as a mechanism to protect a child that they may carry – whether they are pregnant or not. I believe that this extra-sensitive palate helps them avoid poisons, toxins, anything spoiled, etc. In fact, research has found that more women than men are super-tasters--people who have more taste buds than others and are therefore more sensitive to bitter foods.
Many of the elements that can cause wine to be unbalanced or flawed--such as tannin, alcohol, acid balance, volatile acidity--seem to be more easily distinguished by women. Could this be why many women avoid tannic red wines? I believe that this gives them a natural advantage over their male counterparts. In general, the wines that they produce are generally elegantly styled, balanced and supple. Although I do not have much scientific proof to back this up, I think I see a pattern here.
I’m not trying to take away anything from the great male winemakers out there, because the list of them is long and distinguished. I am just trying to point out an ability that I feel women possess naturally.
This is why I believe women just taste better, no pun intended. I would love to hear your comments.
Glenn S Lucash — November 18, 2006 10:00am ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — November 18, 2006 12:38pm ET
Glenn S Lucash — November 18, 2006 4:07pm ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — November 18, 2006 5:46pm ET
Chris Lavin — Long Beach, CA — November 18, 2006 8:12pm ET
John Gavin — CA — November 19, 2006 11:21pm ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — November 19, 2006 11:45pm ET
John Gavin — CA — November 20, 2006 12:29pm ET
Mr Guy Azera — November 20, 2006 12:33pm ET
Robert Fukushima — California — November 20, 2006 7:24pm ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — November 21, 2006 1:19pm ET
Matthew Segura — Pleasant Hill, Ca — November 21, 2006 6:33pm ET
Tim Sylvester — Santa Monica, CA — November 21, 2006 7:03pm ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — November 21, 2006 8:18pm ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — November 21, 2006 8:41pm ET
Tim Sylvester — Santa Monica, CA — November 22, 2006 4:56pm ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — November 22, 2006 6:31pm ET
Agustin Huneeus — November 22, 2006 6:41pm ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — November 22, 2006 7:37pm ET
Peter Cargasacchi — Sta. Rita Hills — November 23, 2006 9:29am ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — November 23, 2006 11:23am ET
Dave Joyce — Winston-Salem, NC — November 25, 2006 7:35pm ET
James Molesworth — November 28, 2006 1:16pm ET
Tim Mcdonald — Napa,CA — November 30, 2006 6:41pm ET
Patricia Sciortino — December 1, 2006 4:21am ET
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian — Las Vegas, Nevada — December 1, 2006 1:20pm ET
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