Not that long ago DNA was used primarily for genetic testing, and in criminal court cases. Now, thanks to the marvels of modern technology, your DNA can help you analyze sleep patterns and personalize nutrition plans. But, what type of wine should you be drinking based on your DNA? It's no secret that wine is the go-to drink for millennials, and because of that we've even changed the way it's bought and sold.
Business Insider reported that millennials' demand for on-demand wine has "led to the rise of wine delivery and check-in apps, as well as products that promote convenience, like wine sold in a can." If that's not enough, your DNA can now match you with best varietal for your unique palette. Boutique wine delivery company Vinome uses DNA marketplace Helix to analyze your DNA, and deliver your wine matches right to your front door.
If you want to get your perfect wine match, you can order your DNA kit for $80 to get access to curated wine recommendations uniquely tailored to your taste preferences and scientifically selected based on your DNA, according to Wine Explorer by Vinome.
This sounds kind of genius. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? That's exactly the question Vinome co-founder Sara Riordan asked.
"If there’s a gene that tells you whether you like Brussels sprouts or not, and whether you like coriander or not, why aren’t we using genetics to tell people whether they would favor a certain wine?” Riordan asked news outlet Star 2.
While some have questioned whether or not the process is truly scientific, or simply just fun, Vinome explained on its website how it works. "Your wine palate is defined by your senses of taste and smell. These senses, in turn, are largely defined by your genetics. In fact, there are over 400 genes that code for the cells on your tongue and in your nose that allow you to distinguish between different tastes and smells."
Perhaps my genetics pre-determined my distaste for sweet white wines — my mom doesn't like them either. Brian Ring, Ph.D. noted in research on Vinome that, "a variant in a taste receptor (TAS2R46) that has been associated with the ability to taste bitterness in coffee and other foods was negatively associated with liking the sweet Riesling and positively associated with the more bitter red wines."
Hmm. I'll admit that I'm intrigued. Additionally, Vinome noted on its science page that "scientists at Vinome curated dozens of scientific studies to isolate genetic variations shown to be associated with taste and smell." They determined that both genetic and environmental factors play a factor in your wine preferences, and your test results "will reveal your primary wine flavor affinities and how you're likely to respond to flavor nuances lake traces of leather, minerals, honeysuckle, and more."
After you take the DNA test, you can join the Vinome wine club and get boutique wines delivered at winery direct prices (no in-store markups) based on your personal preferences. Perhaps preferences you didn't even know you had. However, Ring noted that the method is not foolproof.
"Unlike medical tests, which must have ‘actionability’ (the ability to offer clear directions of an optimal and effective treatment plan), consumer genetics lets us be in the driver seat," he explained on Vinome's website. "Genetics can be a flexible and highly useful aid that gets us part of the way to making a decision, but isn’t a complete answer."
Basically, you can think of this like a tool you use to get where you're going faster. Just like maps apps can direct you to the fastest route while you're driving, using DNA to determine your wine preferences can give you more information to make informed decisions about what varietals you'll like the most. Apparently, a lot of people like Rosé because a new report from Wine Access named it as the fastest growing wine in the U.S.
Whatever your varietal or flavor you savor, if you love wine, and you like to base your decisions on science, this new technology just might be for you.