Do you find broccoli bitter? Is spicy too feisty for you? Or do you avoid creamy cakes at all costs?
If these foods turn your tummy, you may be a Supertaster! Proven to have an acute sense of taste, Supertasters – a term that was coined in 1991 by psychologist Linda Bartuschuk after she found that certain people reacted differently to the distinctly bitter taste of the chemical propylthioracil, or PROP as it’s more commonly called – are rare with only 25% of the global population said to possess these superhero taste buds.
If you’re female, or Asian, then your chances are even higher. Having an overly stimulated tongue made you a major asset to your clan when we were hunter-gatherers, as you could identify poisonous plants. Fast forward millennia, it’s no longer needed to protect friends and family from deadly veggies, but instead is put to good use in the world of wine and fine food to pick up finely-tuned tasting notes and flavours that the rest of us mere mortals simply can’t.
“In the world of wine and fine-dining Supertasters are highly sought after as they can make excellent sommeliers who expertly match a wine to a particular dish, enhancing the tastes and flavours of both. But in everyday life, having this superpower is an advantage too; you can identify the layers and complexity in wines that are otherwise ‘naked’, making the experience richer and more enjoyable,” says Andrew Douglas, The TOPS at SPAR Wine Show Organiser.
Besides revealing who has talented taste buds, The TOPS at SPAR Wine Show hosts a complete wine experience at its popular The Star Wine Theatre, a jam-packed programme of tastings and talks presented by wine personalities and industry celebrities. “The theatre experience has been part of the show’s fabric since it launched 12 years ago” says Douglas. “Visitors love it as they learn about wine from those in the know, how to taste, smell and pair it, as well as understand which wines complement which foods. Handy know-how to have when hosting your next dinner party!”
Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are included in the price of the show’s ticket.
Another signature experience is the exclusive Café Cru Sparkling Wine Bar hosted by Miguel Chan, head sommelier for the Tsogo Sun group where visitors can immerse themselves in the glitz and glam that’s synonymous with bubbly.
There’s also a VIP option over and above general access this year. Think VIP lounge access, a special gift, snacks and canapés, and, and, and....
Tickets are available online with new ticketing provider, Ticketpro.
General admission is R120 online or R140 at the door. It includes a tasting glass, all tastings and access to The Star Wine Theatre and a map to help navigate the show.
I sat with my wife while she sipped on a her glass of wine, when she said, “I love you so much, you know. I don’t know how I could ever live without you.” I said, “Is that you or the wine talking?” She said, “It’s me talking to the wine”.
View a video on extreme wine pairing by French sommelier Jean-Vincent Ridon