This must have happened to you at least once (I’m talking to women here) : the waiter arrives and hands the wine list to “Sir”, and advises you to try such or such wine, rather than another, because it’s “lighter”, therefore better adapted to “Mrs” palate ?
Here’s another example: one of my friends, Anne-Sophie, has specialized in artisanal beer. How many times has she been recommended a Pale Ale or a Wheat Beer just because she’s a woman ? Come on now, it’s public notoriety that ALL women enjoy light beers…
The same goes with wine tastes. ALL women enjoy only light and fruity wines.
Well NO. I don’t know about you, but I’m outraged to hear that a wine might be better adapted to a palate because of the gender of its owner. I’m sorry to tell you this, but they’re aren’t male wines or female wines. It’s all a matter of personal sensitivity? Or maybe I’m not a woman, given my heterogeneous tastes…
But please give it a try yourselves. The experiment can be carried out anytime with girlfriends. Lay out 3 or 4 different bottles (same wine colour). If there are about ten of you, tastes will almost invariably differ. Some of you ladies may indeed prefer a light wine or a young Pinot Noir (Alsace or Bourgogne), others will prefer the Cabernet Franc de Loire, or full-bodied and high tannin wines such as Corbières or a Médoc. Remember my friend Véro. She appreciates Pinot Noir but her face lights up when she drinks a Médoc, a Pauillac, in short a high tannin wine. My next objective is to get her to discover a Corbières.
Do share your personal favourites with me !
SO THEN WHAT DOES « A WOMANS’S WINE » MEAN ?
Women’s wines can be understood as wines produced by women. Women wine-growers getting together to innovate, share, reflect, and develop things together, well I DO encourage this type of approach. Things have been changing a lot on this level even if the wine-making industry is still quite male.
Ma curiosity drew me to read on and do some more research
According to my notes, a “womans’s wine” answers the following criteria :
- WHITE WINES
Women apparently are meant to enjoy white wines which are:
Dry with very fruity aromatics / sweet
For instance: Jurançon, Monbazillac, Pacherenc du Vic Bihl, Coteaux du Layon.
Wow then, HELP. I can see a big problem here. My mind is heating up…
The woman I am is facing an existential problem: I do NOT particularly enjoy any of the wines I’ve just listed. You’ll tell me I’m an isolated exception. So to make sure, I interrogated some fellow wine merchants.
Some young women like to come in and buy a sweet wine, for instance a Côte de Gascogne, for a girls’ drinks and finger foods evening
When I was a student, that was also the kind of wine I’d go for but my taste has mightily evolved since then. I now prefer by far, by very far, a Chablis, a Chenin d’Anjou which was picked at maturity, a Picpoul de Pinet. I also enjoy a Côteaux du Layon on some occasions. On rare occasions.
How about the vionier ? A very fruity and floral grape variety, it should by all means please the ladies! What I’ve observed with my own eyes that it is an exuberant variety which doesn’t please all. There are addicts, both men and women, and there are the others.
LET’S TALK ABOUT RED WINE
- Women apparently favour red wine which is:
Fruity / lower tannin / light /
For instance : Bordeaux : saint-Emilion and alike, Pomerol
But also : Beaujolais : gamay variety, quite easy to drink
Once more my internal sirens are roaring
If I’m to rely on such a list, what am I going to tell my friend Véro? If I tell Véro the Médoc addict she doesn’t answer the taste criteria generally attributed to women, just imagine her reaction.
Now, I do say yes to Pomerol (I even speak about it in this article)
Yes to Saint-Emilion (I have a personal favourite I must share with you)
Yes to Gamay too.
But let’s not limit ourselves to those choices. And let’s resist these all-too-easy simplifications.
I only partly recognise myself in this photography of women taste criteria. Personal favourites exist and can shout out in any circumstance (whether during an evening spent with friends, or during a wine cella visit). Let’s let our papilla (and our personality) decide on what’s good for us, without prejudices, and too bad (or all the better, considering on how you look at it) if the choices we make don’t correspond to a frozen, close-to-cliché list.
Let’s surprise ourselves and let ourselves be surprises! According to me that’s the best way to free ourselves from the stereotypes which are propagated about women on this subject.
So, ladies, let’s continue living like we enjoy to but let’s not hesitate to make it known (quite politely and without hysteria crises) to those who will listen that women’s wines don’t exist.
Long live Saint-Julien!
Long live 14.5% vol. Corbières ! To be drunk with moderation of course…
How about you? What does a woman’s wine inspire you ?
Enjoy your day