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How (Or If) You Wear Underwear May Provide Insight to Wine Preferences

on 11/04/11 at 9:50 am


Individual sensory sensitivity manifested in strange ways.

“My research colleague, Dr. Virginia Utermohlen MD, and I are proposing that the range and intensity of sensations we experience varies, often dramatically, from one person to the next and these individual differences play an important role in determining individual wine preferences. It is well known that people often argue about the characteristics and qualities they perceive in a wine—it’s as if they were not tasting or smelling the same thing. This disagreement is known to occur among experts, even when they are sharing from the exact same bottle. We propose that these differences in perception often stem from sensitivity variables. Furthermore these variables are evident in a spectrum of individual attitudes and behaviors and may even influence the development of our personality traits.

Someone who is extremely sensitive to touch is usually more sensitive to other sensory stimuli: light, sound, taste, and smell. This insight helps explain a lot of things people disagree on in life, from the temperature in the room, to the use of cilantro in a recipe, to the volume of the television, to the sheets that you sleep on.

Virginia and I were recently reviewing data collected from wine consumers and discussing how heightened taste sensitivity is manifested in many other behaviors related to sensory sensitivity—ranging from finding the right thermostat settings to the need to cut tags out of clothing because it is so irritating. She inquired, “Have you ever asked people if they wear their underwear inside out?”

{Full story via Swami of Umami}

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