Description: Typically a lawyer or someone with an incredible memory (or both!). Not only can they rattle off a wine factoid they read 10 years ago, but they can quote it verbatim from the author.
Pros: Handy to have around at tastings as they do like to chime in. Easy to please with most wines, since they like to try new wines and they can actually remember them.
Cons: Typically, the good memory does not align with a good palate. They sometimes like a wine because they “know” they should.
Wine Recommendations: Doesn’t have to be expensive—just make sure you have crossed your T’s and chilled the wine to the correct temperature. Can’t go wrong with a good Burgundy.
7) Swill Drinkers
Description: You have to love the golden retrievers of the wine world. They buy 2 buck chuck and actually drink it! They are frugal, like to rattle off the prices of their latest low-budget conquests and usually drink more than 2 glasses a night.
Pros: Easy to please. They will drink anything.
Cons: They will drink anything... including the expensive Cabs you were saving for a special occasion.
Wine Recommendations: Yellow Tail Shiraz
8) Casual Wino
Description: Not really into wine but definitely into the social experience that wine or a cocktail imparts. They always have a smile on their face as long as their glass is full of...whatever.
Pros: So easy to please. They often have a palate and can converse about the wine, but they don’t really care. When asked about a wine they will tell you, “Yes, it's great. I like it.”
Cons: When asked about a wine they will tell you, "Yes, it's great. I like it.” They aren’t ever going to love any wine.
Wine Recommendations: Stick to the $10 to $30 range. They do have a palate. A light and bright sauvignon blanc will do the trick.
9) The Classic Collector
Description: Typically a male with disposable income now that their kids are out of college. They don’t entertain that much, but when they do they drink Bordeaux or Burgundy from a distinctive region.
Pros: Usually has a good palate and knows their wine area of interest very well.
Cons: They don’t like to venture out of their comfort zone. A Tempranillo from Spain could send them into a tailspin.
Wine Recommendations: Château Lynch-Bages.
10) In the Biz
Description: In the wine business so has access to fun and interesting wines. Reads, eats, and drinks wine.
Pros: Will drink almost anything, since they need to maintain a palate for what other people are drinking. They will drink and understand anything from a Bordeaux to 2 Buck Chuck.
Cons: People never like to bring wine to their house for dinner (bringing sand to a sand box). Always have wine on their breath from all the "tastings".
Wine Recommendations: Anything!
Again, one type is not necessarily better than another. As long as we're all drinking wine, we should all get along. The wines don’t mind, so why should we?
Over the years, I have met many wine drinkers, and I can tell you, they come in all stripes and colors. I chuckled the other day thinking about all the different personalities I come across and how it sometimes feels like I should develop a Match.com site for wine and people. As many WU members know, I believe wines have personalities, and I often feel like I am pairing the personality of a wine with the personality of the purchaser—winematch.com, anyone?
From that little chuckle about wine personalities, the list below sprang spontaneously into life. Some people can have two or three wine personalities, and people do evolve so it’s best not to pigeon-hole anyone. And remember, one is not better than the other. This is really about celebrating our differences and perhaps laughing just a little bit at ourselves and each other. No matter what type of wine drinker you are, cheers!
1. Point Drinker
Description: Buys wine based on points awarded by Robert Parker. Typically will only let wines with 92 pts or more pass their lips. This type is mostly male (this is a statistical fact, not a stereotype, I swear!).
Pros: Good friends to have as they will spend money on good wine, they like to share, and their 92 point wines are usually fabulous!
Cons: Not good to invite over for blind tastings. They rely on their point system and don’t like the vulnerability of going off the rails—if they lack actual wine knowledge and/or palate, they don’t want anyone to know it, least of all themselves!
Wine Recommendations: Any wine with 92 pts or more that has Michele Roland or Helen Turley as a wine consultant.
2. Real Housewives of Chardonnay
Description: Need I say more? They like Chardonnay and most likely are females, drinking in groups (see note above about statistical facts and stereotypes).
Pros: If you are making fried chicken, invite them over and they can bring the wine. Easy to please with a buttery, chilled chard.
Cons: Easy to displease if you don’t have a buttery, chilled chard for them on hand.
Wine Recommendations: Rombauer Chardonnay for the weekend and La Crema for the weekday.
3. The Traveler
Description: Travels a lot and likes to eat and drink what the locals are eating and drinking. Looks for authentic experiences.
Pros: They are open to trying new varietals as long as they are authentic. They bring interesting challenges back for their faithful wine buyer at home.
Cons: For someone who sells wine, it is sometimes hard to source a specific wine they had on their travels. You won’t find them socializing with the Real Housewives of Chardonnay.
Wine Recommendations: Varietals that are indigenous to an area. Elisabetta’s (Montenidoli) wines, for example.
4. The Color Snob
Description: Usually states unequivocally, “I only drink red wine,” or “I only drink white wine,” or my favorite, “People who drink rosés are strange.” Some people prefer one color. I am not addressing those people here. Color Snobs wear their color association proudly and can be quite obstinate about their preference.
Pros: Whatever color they drink, they are typically open to any price point.
Cons: A real bummer to have around if you are on a picnic and all they want to drink is a big, heavy cabernet.
Wine Recommendations: red wine, white wine, but never—ever—rosé.
5. The Social Climber
Description: Selects wines based on a pretty label or the recommendation of a close friend they want to impress or get to know better.
Pros: Good friends to invite to dinner as they're likely to walk in with a couple of rare bottles that you would never buy.
Cons: Nervous energy abounds if the person they were trying to impress doesn’t take notice or doesn’t show up. Never hand this person the wine list in a restaurant, as you will pay for it one way or another!
Wine Recommendations: Screaming Eagle
To be continued...... there are quite a few more!
Angela Camacho, a certified sommelier and author of a best selling wine tool, The Wine Wheel®, shares her obsession with wine and food.