Matching Wine with Your Personality
Are you a sensual Merlot or a zesty Muscat, an elegant Pinot Noir or a sophisticated Cabernet Sauvignon? Wine is just like people - you won't get along with all of them, and you shouldn't be expected to. The choices we make in life are based on our personality, with different smells, tastes and colours resonating with different types of people. Wine selection is more art than science, with people able to match wines with more than just food. Have you ever thought about pairing wine with your mood, your location, maybe even the colour of your dress?
For too long now, the world of wine has been stuffy and serious, with traditional regions and selection criteria still a mystery to most consumers. While education is always a good thing, a more intuitive approach to wine selection can be a great way to expand your palate and find the local drops that work for you. Instead of selecting a wine based on habit or trusting the well-meaning sommelier, sometimes it's best to choose wine that matches your personality.
Perhaps the most significant difference in personality types is the split between introverts and extroverts. Are you the life of the party, or would you rather spend a quiet night indoors with people you love? While wine can be enjoyed anywhere, different wines lend themselves to different occasions. Extrovert drops are bold and decisive, with their style and sense of confidence noticeable from across the room.
Champagne is the most famous extroverted wine, with bottles of bubbly the life of every party. While not everyone's favourite choice, champagne drinkers are often generous and normally heaps of fun. For a less in-your-face type of confidence, why not try an outspoken bottle of Sangiovese or a matter-of-fact glass of Tempranillo.
Cabernet Sauvignon is another wine that exudes confidence and intelligence, with its worldly personality sometimes bordering on pretentious. In fact, there are lots of reds that have big and bold personalities, including Malbec, Shiraz, and Petit Sirah. If you really want to kick your natural extroversion up a gear or two, high-alcohol wines such as Sherry, Port, Madeira, and Rutherglen Muscats can be a great way to end the night.
Introverted wines are quieter, calmer, and just as happy with dinner for two as they are with a loud club or fancy dinner party. While many white wines lend themselves to the gentler side of life, including Chardonnay, Riesling Fume Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc, there are some notable exceptions to this rule. Some fruity and zesty wines are practically begging to be enjoyed on a yacht or around the pool, including White Bordeaux, Dry Roses, Gewurztraminer, Muscats, and Viognier.
During the quiet evening and late night hours, people often choose to sit back and enjoy a nice glass of red. Merlot is a softer, more considered drop than many of its brethren, with this smooth and silky wine somehow highly responsible and socially aware. Some reds have a lighter body that helps their inner introvert to shine, including Pinot Noir, Gamay, Schiava, and Grenache. Many fine and full-bodied reds also lend themselves to the gentle side of life, including Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and some types of Shiraz.
Granted, choosing wine that matches your personality is far from hard science, with choices dependent on the environment and known to change over time. What is a rugged and confident drop to one person may be sensual and refined to another. The relationship that we have with wine should be about much more than food, however, with the injection of fun and personality into the selection process allowing us to relax, expand our horizons, and enjoy everything the world of wine has to offer.