When it comes to wine, opinions are wide-ranging. Wine preferences are all over the place, from cheap to expensive, red or white, New World or Old World. Some people only drink very specific wines from certain places. You can choose wine based on the winemaker’s story, or what the label looks like. You might choose a wine based on your mood or what’s for dinner. Maybe you just like the shape of the bottle or you remember a favorite wine from a trip.
With so much variety and complexity in the wine world, it can be hard to choose. What do your wine preferences say about you? We reached out to several experts for their wisdom and experience to develop eleven types of wine drinkers. Which one fits your personality?
The Red/White Wine DivideWhile there have been many polls over the years, Coravin, the wine-device company, ran a survey about a year ago, on National Wine Day. About 2,000 wine drinkers, who drank an average of four glasses of wine per week, participated. The results listed the traits of red-wine drinkers versus white-wine drinkers.
Below, the Coravin chart contrasts characteristics of red and white wine drinkers. Those preferring red wine were somewhat more knowledgeable and willing to spend a bit more. Coravin learned that while most wine drinkers prefer to drink at home, when going out they tend to drink whatever everyone else is drinking.
While intriguing, there are, no doubt, a gazillion exceptions to the above.
Everyone Has an Opinion on Wine
If you go online and type in “What does your wine preference say about you?” you’ll get a variety of different articles and opinions, some more serious than others.
Below, we went beyond the general Buzzfeed quiz - we won’t tell you what your wine personality is after you answer five off-topic questions. Instead, read on and decide for yourself.
Here is our take on what type of wine drinking personality you might have.
11 Wine Drinker Personalities
1. The Wine Newbie:
Someone new to wine usually starts with a sweet or semi-sweet white wine. If you are learning to drink wine, white wines can be easier to taste, fruitier, less challenging, and refreshing, with lighter body and alcohol.
The inexperienced pay less for wine, opting for the $10 or under range. With an appealing price and simple taste profile, Gallo’s Barefoot wines became crazy popular among this group.
Many of these wine drinkers will stick with a simple wine because it's so easy to drink. You’ll find more women in this category.
For those celebrating their 21st birthdays and looking to get the most bang for their wine buck!
2. The Wine Tourist:
Wine tourists want to bring home memories to savor, whether from the post-college backpacking tour of Europe or the romantic vacation to the French or Italian Riviera. They don’t care about wine quality or price; they want to cherish the experience and relive the freedom and joy of touring.
Maybe you took a once in a lifetime vacation to Tuscany and just loved the wine. Maybe you just took a long weekend in Baja California and loved the wine at one of the many wineries there. It's all about the experience and rekindling those memories.
For those who went on a Grand Tour of Europe and returned home enthralled by Chianti Classico, Bordeaux, and the great Riojas of Spain, the wine tourist is eager to share the wines that accompanied their personal experience!
3. The Wine Adventurer:
For the Wine Adventurer, every bottle of wine is an exploration to a far away land to indulge the senses in the tastes and smells of vinous diversity. These are wine aficionados who want to learn about wine around the world.
From Patagonia (high elevation Pinot Noir) to Georgia (Saperavi made in amphora) , the wine world’s infinite variety keeps them engaged. They’ll buy mixed cases of wines from different countries, refining their palate as they taste.
Friends will be subjected to a new country or variety every time and may find maps on the Globalist’s wall with little pins checking off the countries and regions. Checking off another region brings them joy.
For those who prefer the perfect (large) glass with a favorite documentary!
4. The Old World Wine Traditionalist:
Only Old World will do for these wine drinkers. None of that fresh and fruity stuff from the New World. People who are traditionalists drink in homage to France, Spain, and Italy. They’ll occasionally allow a German wine, but rarely.
If a country has made wine for thousands of years, they must know best. Traditionalists tend to have wine cellars where they can store their favorite Burgundy, Bordeaux, or Brunello di Montalcino.
For those who love sharing their cellar’s bounty with their wine dinner guests!
5. The Wine Socialite:
Just go with the wine flow for these folks. Mostly learning about wine through friends or partners, they try whatever is around, but prefer soft, fruity dry wines, like Merlot.
They won’t go out of their way looking for something unique but will bring the cheapest version of the most popular wine to a party. From a 3-liter box to large-format bottles, whatever is on the table is okay by them.
For those extroverts who are always having a party!
6. The Wine Loyalist:
This is your friend who always shows up at your house with their own wine, preferring it to whatever you serve. Some stick to the same wine because they don’t know what else to try. Others don’t want to try new brands, even if similar in style.
Be it a buttery Chardonnay or a California Zinfandel, they know what they like, and that is that.
For those who love a beautiful glass of wine while watching the sun go down from their porch!
7. The Wine Showboat:
It's all about the status and the money, honey. Napa Valley or high-end Bordeaux wine is the promised land for these guys and gals. You’ll find more men in this category. The competition, the inaccessibility, the high prices, the power!
The scions of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Manhattan move in these wine circles. They drink big, tannic, oaky wines with or without food but often with a cigar. Their language is all about ratings, scores, and prices. If the wine has been blessed by Wine Spectator, James Suckling, Antonio Galloni, or The Wine Advocate, then this drinker confirms he has chosen a verifiably outstanding wine.
For those with the resources to treat their guests with the most extraordinary experience!
8. Amateur Wine Somm:
Wine is the only drink when it comes to food, and it must enhance, not detract, from whatever dish is served. They view wine as an essential element of the meal, like bread or salad.
Foodies typically prefer wines with elegance, higher acidity, and lighter alcohol and body. Pinot Noir is a favorite grape, but they know how to find the proper wine to make every meal seamless.
For those who ensure that every meal is properly paired!
9. The Wine Lover:
Wine enthusiasts to the max, this group encompasses the traits of many of these groups. They appreciate wine in all its complexity and variety. From the lowliest Pinot Grigio to top-flight Champagne, these wine drinkers love it all. This is a daily wine drinker.
They may have personal favorites, but they are always challenging their palate to grow their knowledge and love of wine. Wine is not just a beverage but a way of life.
For those who love wine for all its splendid diversity!
10. The Thrifty Wine Lover:
This wine lover is a Backyard Betty who just loves wine, at the right price. She tends to purchase 1.5L Magnum bottles and boxed wines, mostly from the grocery store or her nearest liquor store. She likes her wine cold, often adding ice to the wine.
She prefers a softer, lower alcohol, diluted wine that she can drink all night (or all day). Heavy red, tannic wines, and mouth drying oaked wines are not for her.
11. The “Healthy & Clean” Wine Drinker:
These wine drinkers approach wine the same way they approach food. They care about everything they ingest. They read labels, do research, and find out exactly what is in their food and drink. They have a preference for wines that are labeled organic or biodynamic. They look for labels that they know are made naturally, “clean” without additives. Often, the health-focused wine drinker prefers wines that are lower in alcohol and lower in sugar.
They may be on a keto or paleo diet, or are concerned over added ingredients or those that are not natural. They buy everything organic, going to farmer’s markets and Whole Foods. Only natural will do, including natural wines.
For those who prefer everything organic!
Enjoy More Wine!
No matter who you are as a wine drinker, we encourage you to try more wine. Branch out beyond your favorite grape or brand or preferred region.
Cheers! Santé! ¡Salud! Salute!