Research finds there are four types of wine drinker

Wine drinkers fit into four different preference categories according to Tim Hanni MW, who believes that wine preferences are determined by genetics.

Woman having glass of wine

Hanni asserts that people can usually be grouped into one of four ‘vinotypes’: sweet, hypersensitive, sensitive and tolerant.

In addition to genetics, Hanni believes that wine preferences are determined by your environment and that people’s tastes change over time based on experiences.

Flavour maven Tim Hanni MW

Formed predominantly of women, ‘sweet’ types are picky wine drinkers and have a preference for light and delicate sweet wines. They tend to find other types of wine too harsh in alcohol or strong in flavour.

‘Hypersensitive’ types are more adventurous than sweet types and like to explore new wines, but prefer clean styles that aren’t too loud on the flavour front.

Hanni puts ‘sensitive’ types at the centre of the sensory sensitivity spectrum. They are flexible, free-spirited, adaptable and adventurous and enjoy a wide range of wine styles. According to Hanni, the majority of wine drinkers fall into this category.

Finally, ‘tolerant’ types crave intensity and powerful flavours and can’t understand why others drink “wimpy” wines. They have a preference for rich, full-bodied wines.

Researchers at Michigan State University recently put Hanni’s theory to the test by surveying a group of adults on food and drink preferences and consumption patterns.

Participants were also asked to rate food and wine at 12 different tables both individually and paired together. Hanni’s theory was found to hold some weight as the researchers were able to predict wine preferences based on consumption patterns and preferences.

The study found that vinotypes correlate with other food and drink preferences, with sweet types showing a preference for fizzy drinks and tolerant types enjoying strong coffee.

“The palate rules, not someone else’s idea of which wine we should drink with our food,” said former chef Carl Borchgrevink, lead author of the study.

Hanni, a former chef, is one of the first Americans to be crowned a Master of Wine, earning the title in 1990. Known as the ‘flavour maven’, Hanni believes his vinotype theory should be used by sommeliers and retailers when suggesting wines to customers.

Hanni lectures around the world on flavour balancing, sensory sciences and culinary history.

4 Responses to “Research finds there are four types of wine drinker”

  1. James Clarke says:

    Really! I am quite surprised, I am thinking which type of drinker I am

  2. Ruth Logsdon says:

    Well said! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. John Casey says:

    How does this relate to ‘PROP sensitivity’, and/or super PROP Sensitivity?

  4. Peter Hanna says:

    If Tim Hanni says it – then its OK by me. He was the most influential mentor I had for food and wine pairing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Administrator

Ellis Wines
Hanworth, Middx, IU

Sales Support Executive

Davy's
London, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - Greater London

Maverick Drinks
London/M25 belt, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - North West

Maverick Drinks
Manchester, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - West & Wales

Maverick Drinks
Bristol, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - South East

Maverick Drinks
Brighton, UK

Events Sales Executive

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

Sale & Operations Manager

Marussia Beverages
Marylebone, London, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more