A new book by Tim Hanni, MW, CWE
A revolutionary and personal approach to the enjoyment of wine, and wine with food, was published recently by author Tim Hanni, a Master of Wine, Certified Wine Educator and professionally trained chef. 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.
It is the first book written focusing primarily on wine consumers versus the common approach of wine books concentrating on the product. Hanni states that one of his primary intentions is to have “Why You Like the Wines You Like” become the new “Wine 101” for all wine education programs. Hanni declares, “Learning about your own sensory sensitivities and preferences, and then how dramatically these vary from one person to the next, establishes a greater confidence and engagement of wine consumers and professionals.”
Central to this new approach is segmenting consumers by Vintoypes®, a combination of perceptual sensitivity ranging from sweet to tolerant, and also taking into account psychological factors accounting for wine preference changes over time. According to Hanni, “The value of this information for anyone involved in the hospitality sector is tremendous and provides the means to individually tailor recommendations to anyone who enjoys wine.”
“Our observations of sensory sensitivity differences begin in childhood at the dinner table,” Hanni explains, “where of three children, one will happily eat broccoli and one will eat it with a bit of reinforcement. The ‘bad’ child, usually the one with the greatest perceptive sensitivity, will be punished for refusing to eat it when he or she simply has a much higher level of taste perception. Our preferences for both wine and foods continue adjusting through life due to learning, new experiences and different social environments. No wine expert can tell you unilaterally what is right or wrong on a personal level unless they understand your Vintoype – your personal sensitivities, expectations and general wine preferences.”
A Vinotype assessment consists of various questions that help us determine your sensory sensitivities and tolerances (sweet, hypersensitive, sensitive or tolerant) combined with questions that determine your aspirations and level of interest in wine. The result is your Vinotype – the unique combination of sensitivities and values that comprise your wine personal preferences.
“Our findings are challenging many of the myths and misunderstandings of the ‘Tyranny of the Minority’ of wine experts including the entire concept of wine and food pairing,” says Hanni. “The mission is to expand enjoyment and end the intimidation that is associated with wine, while eliminating the false assumptions and misinformation that have become so prevalent in wine education.”
The book also includes a chapter written by Sarah Scott, former Executive Chef for the Robert Mondavi Winery for 14 years, outlining how she incorporates Hanni’s flavor balancing principles in her food preparations. Last year these same principles were adopted and taught as part of the Advanced Diploma curriculum for the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust, replacing wine and food pairing.
“Over the course of the last 40 to 50 years, wine and food pairing has become an imaginary and metaphorical exercise with little basis in fact or reality,” Hanni says. “I am on a mission to have everyone learn to pair wines with the diner, not the dinner. This book outlines a new plan to restore the true traditions and role of wine at the table.”
George Taber, author of “The Judgment of Paris” and former Time magazine correspondent and editor, provided the foreword to the book after spending nearly a week with Hanni while researching his own new book released last year, “A Toast to Bargain Wines.” Taber writes, “I am fortunate enough to have spent many hours with Tim wrestling with some of his ideas while they were still in the formative stage. It was both an exhilarating and an exhaustive experience. With a broad and deep knowledge of wine and food history as well as their complexities, he is not afraid to challenge the way things are done and to suggest alternatives. He’s not dogmatic in his beliefs but he demands that conventional thinkers think again. The payoffs are insights that you would never have considered. You may not agree with all his conclusions but I promise he will make you think.”
Tim Hanni is one of the first two Americans to earn the title of Master of Wine. He is an industry consultant and educator, hailed by The Wall Street Journal as “The Wine Anti-Snob” and is on faculty at Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute. Hanni is a widely-recognized leader in developing wine marketing and education programs around the world, and is involved in sensory and behavioral research projects to foster a better understanding of consumer wine preferences.
“Why You Like the Wines You Like” is available in book and Kindle e-book format from Amazon for $25.00 plus shipping. 250 pages, b&w photos and illustrations.