Because we like to do things different at Vine Styles we like to salute tasters, growers and retailers out there who are shaking things up in the wine community.
We had the great opportunity to speak with Tim Hanni, celebrated Master of Wine and respected wine educator whose mantra is “ Understand, Embrace, Cultivate”. Tim has worked in the industry for over 35 years and is valued in the wine community for his knowledge on balancing food and wine flavours. Like Columbus was eager to prove that the world wasn’t flat, Tim’s mission is to prove that enjoying wine isn’t all about possessing a sophisticated palate, rather it’s something rooted deeply in personal preference and taste. According to this savvy oenophile who refers to himself as the “whistleblower of untruths”, wine preference is like shoe size; If you’re a size 8 then don’t try and jam your foot into a size 7.
Turning Wine Convention Upside Down
How many people do you know who approach the topic of wine with reservation? Wine in our culture has become something associated with exclusivity and many people are turned off when they feel like they’re just not getting it. As Tim puts it “Wine is supposed to be the beverage of civility and enjoyment but instead it can be one of fear and intimidation”.
Tim’s groundbreaking ideas that are laid out in his book Why You Like The Wines You Like discuss how everyone is actually hardwired to having their own unique tasting experience based on 2 things: 1. Physiology and 2. Experience. What does this mean? If you don’t get excited when tasting tightly wound left bank Bordeaux or find Chianti Classicos to be insipid, this doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you; it probably means the wine isn’t suitable for your taste buds. While these ideas mean turning traditional wine convention on its head and challenging established practices, many restaurants are starting to take queues from this way of thinking.
After completing a great deal of research, Tim has identified four types of tasters known as vinotypes. Based on these classifications, Tim has been able to assess what styles of wine appeal to each kind of taster.This idea is completely logical when you consider how people feel about certain foods and drinks. Some people have hated tomatoes since they were children while others can’t get enough. Black coffee is another great example. Some people crave the taste while others find it to be way too bitter and intense for their liking.
The other condition that Tim believes controls our wine preferences is more psychological. This concept is known as ‘framing’, which can be described best as the way our brains file things. To further elaborate on this idea, Tim talked about some of the ‘collective delusions’ we have around food and wine pairing, for instance thinking that white wine can’t go with red meat. Because of the pre-conception we have of pairing, there’s a good chance that when we actually pair white wine with red meat, we’ll already be prepared to dislike the combination before it even hits our mouths.
Similarly, someone who has been identified as a sweet vinotype will be more likely to prefer off-dry Rieslings. However, time spent backpacking abroad might bring to mind fond memories of trying big Chateau Neuf de Papes from the South of France, which will ultimately sway that person’s preferences.
After speaking with Tim, it was clear that his approach is really just about helping people learn to trust their own palates and this concept is revolutionizing the way that people are buying and enjoying wine. If you like this sound o f this straightforward approach then you’ll love the way we do things at Vine Styles. Here, the customer is in charge and we are exited to help you discover your unique palate and preferences. Come visit us soon!
To learn more about these concepts you can visit the site: www.timhanni.com