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Friday, June 28, 2013


WHY YOU LIKE THE WINES YOU LIKE; changing the way the world thinks
about wine (HanniCo New Wine Fundamentals, 2013, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-
615750-088-0, $ 25 US paper covers) is by Tim Hanni, MW. He proposes to
find you "new insights about your personal wine preferences, how to
find and enjoy wines on your terms, and how to match wine to the diner,
not the dinner" of food. It is just common sense that different people
will think about and taste wine differently – that's why they are
different. There is currently a real struggle in the wine writing world
to come up with one all-purpose wine glass rather than several
different glasses for different wines, as if that is the answer to
promoting wine drinking. We've already had in the market many all-
purpose wines suitable for parties, or for patios, or for dining. We've
already had many all-purpose rules on what to drink with what food,
such as red wines with flesh. But the rules do not take into
consideration that very few of us actually merge food and wine in the
mouth, and thus there is no modern mouthfeel when it actually comes to
pairing wine and food. You need a merger. Tim was called the Wine
Antisnob by the Wall Street Journal in January, 2008. He expresses his
concept of Vinotypes (wine preferences) early on, from pages 4 to 20.
Your Vinotype is the sum of the physiological and psychological factors
that determine your unique wine preferences and values. So it is a
measure of your sensitivity + your societal background + your wine
likes. [If I say anything more, you won't need to buy the book] He
notes a lot of research about palates and consumers. Topics in the book
include balance, sweet wines, delicate wines, smooth wines, intense
wines – and harken back to earlier writings by Hanni on the weight of
wine and how this should be conveyed and listed on the wine card.
There's material about the future of wine and wine
production/marketing, and some appendices on umami, wine lists, wine
terms, and sensory evaluation. Well-worth a purchase and a read, in
small doses at a time.
Audience and level of use: curious wine tasters, those wishing to read
about controversy in the wine world.
Some interesting or unusual facts: Being a supertaster does not really
mean that you can taste and enjoy the nuances of wine over and above
75% of the population. It just means "Hypersensitive", which Hanni
wants us all to use as the correct term when describing supertasters as
The downside to this book: I think a stronger editorial hand might have
tightened many areas in the book, but that's just the copy editor in
me. And this is a continuing problem with any self-published book.
The upside to this book: "This introductory volume for The New Wine
Fundamentals wine education program is based on two decades of research
by the author and many research colleagues. Hanni's wine and food
principles were adopted last year and taught as part of the Advanced
Diploma curriculum for the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust."
Quality/Price Rating: 92.

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