Taste Bud Count and Subconscious Responses to Flavor Recognition

Did you know that your preference towards sweet wine or dry wine could be due to the number of taste buds on your tongue? People who prefer sweeter wines generally have more taste buds than those who prefer dry wines. It’s true! At Turtle Run, we teach the concepts behind this radical science. People who prefer sweet wines, generally speaking, have more taste buds than the average person, a lot more. Per Tim Hanni’s research at www.timhanni.com people can have as few as 500 taste buds to more than 12,000. So the folks on the high end have a lot more which means that flavors are amplified, or more intense. The single one disruptive intense flavor they do not like in high intensity amounts is bitters. As it turns out, sweet and salt are bitter suppressants, so high taste bud count people tend to have sweetness and salt around for a variety of foods and beverages: coffee with sugar and creme for instance. Alcohol is a bitter! Uh oh. Wine has alcohol. Though we won’t give this proprietary number away, we know exactly what that percentage of alcohol is for which a high taste bud count person can detect alcohol in a solution, be it water or wine. I can tell you that it is no accident that the “My Mind” wines are between 9% and 9-1/2% alcohol and at 3% or so residual sugar. This ratio provides me the lowest calorie still sweet wine I can make. But I will tell you this, if a winery allows a wine to ferment to dryness and that dryness is near 12% alcohol, they may want to add close to 12% sugar to achieve the same sweetness level and enjoyment of flavors that our “My Mind” wines have. And that wine at 12% alcohol and 12% residual sugar, has a whole lot more calories.

Our subconscious and conscious can recognize up to 40,000 specific aromas and flavors tied to moods and events experienced positively or negatively. Ever gotten sick from a food or beverage? Still consume it? Ha ha. Probably not, or if so, you probably re-learned how to like whatever made you ill or your subconscious tied to your illness. On the high negative and positive taste memories, our subconscious will tie into your subsequent flavor experiences, any primary, secondary or tertiary aromas and flavors from the original experience in a heightened delivery to you.

So when Biff the wine snob says you should taste this, that, or the other, it’s pure nonsense. Tasting sheets identifying all sorts of confusing flavor may have some merit for Mary, but not for Jane. Think about this math: Taste bud count (500 to 12,000) plus 40,000 aromas and flavors, plus mood, plus positive experience plus negative experience…Whoop de do!!! Taste and flavor recognition is highly, highly individualized. Which leads me to another crazy thought.

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