My thesis will explore vinotypes, a method used to distinguish a wine taster’s sensitivity, which will be defined further, and an understanding of the physiology of taste and flavor perceptions in pairing wines with desserts. I will explore this topic by examining the evolution of man’s original perception of wine throughout history, leading to how wine is perceived today. Specifically, I will focus on the three prevailing theories, which will help me identify the main factors in creating a successful pairing. The first theory is based on sommelier Francois Chartier’s understanding of how molecular gastronomy affects one’s flavor perception. I will then contrast Chartier’s theory with a recent study developed by The Monell Chemical Center. The Monell study focuses on the concept and importance of fatty, smooth, and astringent mouth feels and how they affect our perception of taste. This will then lead me to Tim Hanni’s theory that individuals have a specific vinotype determined by their personal taste perceptions. I will be conducting primary research in the form of an experiment, eliminating the biases from psychosocial factors, which are the factors outside of the tasting that could sway a person’s perception of the wine. I will compare individual’s reactions to pairing wines with three different types of desserts that will each represent one of the theories listed 3 above. I intend to challenge what most wine enthusiasts believe are proven successful pairings. One such pairing being challenged is that of red wines, such as Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, with rich chocolate desserts. By analyzing this data, I will draw conclusions about which factors are most essential when considering pairing wines with desserts.
Vazquez, Cristina, "Beyond the Wine Menu: Understanding Flavor and Taste Perception as a Factor in Pairing Wine and Dessert" (2014). Honors Theses - Providence Campus. 13.