Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wine Stereotypes

I had a very interesting experience today. I got to go to the 2006 Wine Event at the Expo Center at Nassau Coliseum. [A big thank you to Marilyn Howland of Main Street Wine & Spirits who made this possible.]

The Wine Event was a lot smaller than the pharmacy trade shows that I'm used to attending, but it certainly was more fun. Rows of booths were set up, and you were handed a clean, empty glass as you entered the show floor. Basically, you could just walk up and down the rows, tasting wines until your taste buds failed you.

In another post, I'll write about some of the interesting wines I tasted, but what I wanted to talk about here was what I call "wine stereotyping" - in other words, when people ASSUME that because you look a certain way, or are a certain gender, you are going to want to drink a certain type of wine. Almost everyone I approached immediately thought I wanted white wine, a chardonnay or something. When I told them I wanted red, they asked me if I wanted a "light" red. Most of them seemed a bit surprised when I told them I wanted a big, heavy red - preferably a complex cabernet sauvignon. Meanwhile my dad, who was looking for a light, sweet white wine, was constantly being offered dry reds. Is it me, or is there some "wine sexism" at play here? Do people just naturally assume that a woman wants a sweet white wine and a man wants a big bold red? It certainly seemed that way today. Now, in all fairness, I have to report that many of the women I saw at this event DID seem to want to drink white. But still...

In any event, despite the wine stereotyping, we had a marvelous time. My dad ended up with a couple of very sweet whites, and I actually bought a bottle of mulled wine.


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