Here’s the reasoning behind Vinome’s concierge wine program: If genes can affect people’s sense of taste and smell, they can also influence wine preferences, they say. “If there’s a gene that tells you whether you like Brussels sprouts or not, and whether you like cilantro or not, why aren’t we using genetics to tell people whether they would favor a certain wine?” reasons Vinome co-founder Sara Riordan. If you’re not convinced of this DNA game, we’ve got our own local food-wine pairing guide.

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To receive their personalized profile, members send in a DNA sample via a saliva kit, and answer a questionnaire on their taste preferences. Genetic scientists and wine experts (plus, there are health benefits) then analyze the information and match 10 genetic markers related to smell and taste to eight Vinome taste profiles which range from “Vibrant Grove” to “The Big Bold.” 

Customers then receive a science-based analysis that reveals how likely they are to respond to different tasting notes and wine flavors, be it leather, minerals or honeysuckle (but don’t you ever settle for bad wines).  


Drinkers who fall under the “Vibrant Grove” profile, for instance, are partial to citrus flavors in their wines, and respond well to wines with minerality, passion fruit and melon. That means an overall preference for white wines, like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or crisp viognier. 

Wines to avoid? Those that feature notes like coffee, chocolate and pepper (or these that stain your teeth). Vinome also proposes wines from a collection curated among small family wineries located in Oregon, Washington and California.


This story first appeared on AFP Relax News, July 7, 2017.