As crazy as it may seem, that’s the truth. Psychologists say they can understand our personality type based on the wine we prefer. Research carried out at the University of Macerata (Marche) and the University of Verona (Veneto) with a sample of 1,200 people aged between 18 and 87 showed just that. Participants were given a version of the Big Five Inventory — a test that focuses on the five fundamental dimensions of personality, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and openness — and asked what was their favorite wine. Results showed that people who enjoy red wines are in general quite reflective, but also more realistic and attached to traditions. They also tend to be less likely to be adventurous but like romanticism. Apparently, emotionally stable people like rich, full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, while people who are mentally open like stronger flavors and reds rich in tannins.
Interesting. Let’s see if we can find out more. A study from the National Wine and Grape Industry Center at Charles Sturt Univerity, Australia, sheds further light on the subject. If you like Chianti, you probably enjoy your routine and don’t really care much about wine at all; if, on the other hand, your favorite is Brunello di Montalcino you may be a tad too full of yourself — their words, not mine. Barolo is the wine of those who are direct, stubborn, and always speak their mind. If, on the other hand, you ask for nothing more than an evening with a good bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella you probably enjoy solitude and are a bit mysterious.
If Lambrusco is your pick, then you may have issues letting go of your past and of happy times that are not going to come back. Do you enjoy Bordeaux? Then you are cosmopolitan and like making new friends, but if you are a woman, it means you’re into sports and physical activity. Last but not least, Pinot Noir, the wine of those who like challenges.
And what about white wines? Well, according to the Australian study, white wine lovers are usually honest, straightforward, and tend to be more carefree than those who like reds. They enjoy partying, staying with friends, and spending time outdoors. There are some peculiarities, though, depending on what you select: for instance, if you like Chardonnay best, then you may be seeking reassurance and peace; if you pour Vermentino in your glass, you probably like the sea, the summer and all that you can do outdoors. Gewurtztramier, it seems, is a good choice for a first date, while Riesling is your wine if you are super-organized and hate unexpected events.
Last but not least, let’s take a look at sparkling wines. It seems that women and younger people, in general, are most fond of bollicine. These are wines for creative, fun individuals. If you like Franciacorta, you have high-end tastes and a lifestyle to match, while those who go for Valdobbiadene enjoy their habits and the sense of security that comes with them. If champagne is your most beloved tipple, then you are fun-loving and want to show off a little.
You may wonder what’s the point of knowing all these details about people and their favorite wine, besides having something quirky to tell your friends next time you meet for an aperitivo. In truth, it all boils down to one word: business. Identifying with a certain accuracy the specific target market of a product can help wineries to develop strategically their advertisement campaigns and reach people who are more likely to enjoy a specific type of wine. There is no point to try and sell champagne to a solitary philosopher type, get them a bottle of strong red. And if you have to supply wine for a college reunion, go for Lambrusco.
So, what do you think? Are these results accurate? What’s your favorite wine, and do you find yourself in the personality type associated with it?