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Cherchez la femme


Nooo…I think there is a subtle difference between rejecting truly awful labels - we can all think of a few - and being attracted by ‘nice’ labels. Screening versus positive discrimination…:slight_smile:


Surely that’s so 19th century?! But I do know what you mean - it’s meant to be reassuringly traditional and ‘safe’

With regard to the topic, my other half is not perhaps a stereotypical female, but does only want to drink a particular brand of white zin, regardless of how many TWS tastings we both go to; I have tried!!!

In our local tasting group, we have a regular gang of 4 men and 3 women - the men drink all wines, but perhaps enjoy red more, while the women do not like red wine. Perhaps this also has an influence in postings to our community - ie less overall interest in wine, but more specific to one colour or another would skew ones input?


This might be pedantic on my part, but you are effectively ‘screening’ the wine based on a picture on the front of it, not by what might be its content…?
The Dveri Pax Blaufränkisch bottle the TWS stocked recently had a truly awful, Soviet-era looking label. The wine inside was absolutely lovely, though!


That’s interesting- about men’s preference to red.

My other half has been a total convert to the beauty, variety and subtlety of white wine, once he dropped the insistence for old-fashion division of red- manly, white- girly. He admitted that many of his male friends (all very emotionally literate) still find ordering white in a restaurant ‘embarrassing’. I have to admit, this division just baffles me. I can sort of see the ‘beefy’ image of red appealing to the ‘beefy’ old idea of masculinity – but one of the most coveted reds in the world is the fragrant, floral, multi-faceted Pinot Noir. And let’s not start going all wax lyrical about Riesling… which I can do for hours given half a chance.

This might be deviating from the subject a bit, but maybe some women still believe they won’t be taken seriously if they openly discuss a love of white wine (or rosé, to that matter). I really hope not, as I never got this feeling on this forum. People of both sexes seem to appreciate both, even if they do have a bias towards one or the other.


Compared with other wine forums, I am pleasantly surprised how MANY females we have here.

And I can confirm that at least one poster who presents in a gender-neutral way is in fact female. Perhaps some females prefer a gender-neutral identity here to remove any possible prejudice, such as that referred to by @Leah?


Yep! This is something that Andy also raised.
It’s a shame if this is the case - as it points to the fact that some women still experience biases (well, we know they/we do) or fear that they will invite a different reaction to their experiences and/or knowledge if they just present as themselves.
The less need for George Eliot there is - the better.


I find it difficult to understand why a man would feel uncomfortable about ordering white wine in a restaurant - I have ordered wines of any colour (and I love a rose) without any issue - surely it’s about how you feel at the time, the person you’re with and the food?

In my experience, some women find red wine too ‘harsh’ or tannic or definitely prefer fruity reds. So, if the thread is about a particular red wine - say Chateau Musar, then someone who doesn’t enjoy red wine wouldn’t join the conversation.

Perhaps the challenge is to expand the overall wine experience at tastings and in the offers, so that women want to join the debate?

Do agree with @Inbar about the historical lack of free time for women generally and also the male hobbies thing. Add in a lack of disposable income for many women, even today and I think you have a bit of the answer.


White for me too, Inbar. To my palate, there seems more variation, freshness and interest at lower price points than red.
I once posited this theory to the Decanter forum and they pointed out that to develop subtleties in red wine takes longer. Therefore more complexity means higher prices than whites of the equivalent subtlety.


So pleased I started musing about this, as you’re all raising such interesting arguments!

Perhaps that’s the position of the Wine Enthusiast; I wonder if for those less in the know, the old perceptions of what women drink v’s what men drink still hold firm. And I can’t tell you how many men I met who poo-poo rosé, for what seems to be a colour bias, more than anything else. Tell them it’s actually made with red grapes and they change the conversation.

Spot on! I also have a hunch that there is still a visceral resistance to the notion of the woman ‘leaving’ the home to pursue her own interests. Some people happily construe this as ‘selfishness’ in a way they will never do with a man.

My sentiment entirely! Though I do love reds too. Albeit the floral, more acidic types… :wink:


Yes a shame, but I do think it’s good that t’internet makes it a viable option until the world changes.


I have noticed quite a number of knowledgeable, insightful and literate reviews by female members on wines they have tasted on the WS pages.
I think that it would be terrific to see more female members participate within this Community.

A growing number of women are sommeliers and some who have by dint of their considerable talent been elevated to higher echelons! Women in my experience are better at expressing themselves than the males of the species, so describing a wine even in basic terms should be an absolute doddle. Most of my male friends can do no better than “nice,” “good,” or “smooth,” on a good day, so the bar is really not set very high. More Snowdon than Everestine!! (not a real word, but I am Welsh after all!!) lol
My view is that once a few more get involved, a confidence will grow and there will be a less obvious disparity.
One question to ask is what percentage of the current membership is female and what steps has the Society made to increase that number?


Well I try to do my bit on that score, for as you rightly say Leah women are often bypassed when wine is offered, mentioned, tasted, I have for many years when the wine is brought to the table in a restaurant and automatically presented to me on the assumption I will taste, told them the wife is tasting it, in earlier days this was met on one occasion with a laugh though the laugh stopped when I said I would cancel the wine unless he did as I said.
Why do I do that, not for any altruistic reason but for two others, my wife will be drinking the wine as well and as I have said before on first impressions she is better at it than I am, I still get the automatic to me with the wine but when I tell them the wife is tasting the reaction is no longer one of surprise.





A builder was giving us a quote for some work a few years ago, and even though the other half and I were both standing in front of him, and even though we both clearly displayed an equal lack of technical knowledge about the work needed, and even though she was the one who contacted him and would be paying him with her own hard-earned cash, the builder only ever really talked to me :roll_eyes:

Well, it’s progress of sorts, I guess…!


Don’t get me started on such subtle sexism… I provided the deposit for our house, found the house and dealt with the mortgage broker… But any mortgage letters always have my husband’s name first - as if it’s some automatic birth right. I plan, organise and purchase all our travel tickets, but emails always start with “Dear Mr Johnson…” .
It’s nothing tragic, of course, but I can’t help feeling sometimes that we live in a world where the man is still seen as the 'head of the household '…

Still, would rather live now than at an era when it was actually the case.


Toujours ca change, toujours c’est la meme chose (sorry for lack of accents)

All wine fora are the same.

I would imagine the overwhelming prepoderance of men puts some women off. Maybe they feel they may be put down in some way?

Or maybe it’s just it’s mostly men who like to pontificate/ramble on/discuss (delete as apppropriate) about wine. In my experience women prefer to just drink it. Gross generalisation, of course, but like most generalisations there’s most likely some truth in it.


Just replying now, been too busy cooking much of today :slight_smile:

I buy most wine without even seeing the label (there are some pretty dire labels in my wine cabinet, including Pataille Marsannay!), so my comment was mainly referring to the casual purchase where I see the bottle ‘in the flesh’. I think that there is a particularly naff Chablis label too, and a Cote Rotie which looks like particularly bad wallpaper…

I don’t buy wine because of a ‘pretty’ label, but I might also not buy wine where the label looks dire, amateurish and inaccurate, on the basis that the wine inside might reflect the label! I will happily ignore this if someone I trust tells me the wine inside is good though.

I will also state that I unashamedly order white in a restaurant when I feel like it! Usually but not always followed by red…there is a saying I think that gentlemen have a bottle of white while deciding what bottle of red to have…


I am not a frequent contributor to this forum but I am a woman and could not pass on this thread! I also happen to be the chief decision-maker for all things wine-related in our house. The reason I’m not posting frequently and still have to get to the Introduce Yourself thread is Catherine’s point above, essentially. I have a newish job often involving long hours and a two and half year old daughter who takes up the rest of my time. so I mainly don’t post because I often can’t get to the forum for days and don’t want to be a disappointing company in a virtual conversation… I do enjoying reading the forum a lot though and introducing myself on the right thread is on the to-do list! :slight_smile: Elena


I think that hits the nail on the head generally speaking. Saying women generally prefer “just” to drink it may sound negative to some, but I don’t see it that way. The drinking is the raison d’être of wine - the rest is often hot air.


Very true, Steve!

Or maybe it’s also just that many women have more of a life than to need to pontificate about it, after drinking it?