February 26th, 2008
No, it’s not a tool for measuring how much Budweiser you drink, it’s a way to find out what kind of wines your taste buds prefer. Check out the Taste Budometer. “The Taste Budometer will ask you simple questions about salt, coffee and mixed drinks that are proven in many studies to align with taste sensitivities,” says the web site. Once you complete the survey, you’ll be assigned a classification based on your taste preferences.
According to the Budometer, I’m what’s known as a Tolerant Taster. “We demand intensity, plenty of oak and power. BIG is better! High alcohol wines often taste rich and delicious.” My supposed favorite white wines? “Reserve-style Chardonnays from around the world. Rhone-style whites. Frankly I’d just rather have red wine.” And my favorite reds? “Cabernet Sauvignon and blends. Rhone and Rhone-style blends. Old-vine Zinfandels. Brunellos, Super Tuscan, Barolo, and Amarone from Italy. Intensely flavored reds from France, Spain and South Africa.”
Based on my relatively limited experience with wine — my income allows me only a passing familiarity with a lot of the fancy stuff named above — those results are pretty accurate. But they’re limited. I like a much wider variety of whites, for example, as well as some lighter reds. Granted, the Budometer is still in its beta stage. As the web site explains, it currently takes into account only the “sensory discrimination” aspect of your wine preference, not its “aspiration value.” Huh?
“The founders of the Taste BUDOMETER postulate that people’s preferences in food, music, wine and all things ‘sensory’ can be best understood in two primary dimensions: Sensory Discrimination and Aspiration Value. While people are distributed all across these two dimensions, the deep genetic and cultural influences at work mean, in reality, that people are highly clustered into groups within the Flavor-Aspiration Matrix.”
Apparently, the prime-time version of the Budometer will feature a way to measure that “aspiration value,” the better to find out where you fall in the Flavor-Aspiration Matrix. Finally, a personality test for winos.
Thanks to Stan Hieronymus, author of Brew Like a Monk, for the Budometer tip. It happened to be part of a post on his Appellation Beer blog that mentioned my latest Ms. Mug column for Ale Street News, The Pink Elephant in the Room.