The decision, at least in the U.S., is an easy one.
The answer, apparently, is white wine, and that’s now been backed by multiple studies.
According to data released by Sex Sites App, most users, men and women alike would prefer to drink white wine before a date or hookup, and find it more attractive for a potential partner to drink white wine.
The National Restaurant Association recently asked consumers whether they choose red or white wine for date night. More than half said they’d choose white wine, which is the traditional choice in Europe.
Wine critics are divided over the issue. Some feel that white wine is less interesting than red and can’t match red’s ability to enhance the foods that go with it. Others argue that white wine, like white bread, is often a better choice than a red, because it has a milder, fruitier taste and doesn’t leave one feeling as tired after a meal.
But do these distinctions really matter? If you’re having dinner with someone else, is it really important?
It’s not always easy to pick the right wine, and in the end, it comes down to personal taste. But what does science have to say about the difference between white and red wine?
Why Is White Wine More Popular On A Date?
The simplest explanation for the difference in popularity between white and red wines is that white wine is generally easier to drink.
The color of wine comes from the presence of anthocyanin compounds that are produced in grapes after they’ve been crushed. Those chemicals contribute to the vivid color of red wine. However, the grape itself doesn’t actually contain anthocyanin compounds.
White wine, on the other hand, contains anthocyanin compounds, but they’re not in the same amounts found in red wines, so white wine doesn’t have the vivid red color.
If you take a taste, you can detect that white wine has more of a “light,” fruity flavor than red, while the red wine has a stronger, more powerful flavor. That’s the flavor of the anthocyanin compounds.
If you’ve had a glass of both red and white, you’re probably aware of that difference. But what does the science say?
Does the Color of Wine Matter?
The fact that white wine has a lighter, more fruity flavor is not a matter of debate.
If you compare the flavor of red wine and white wine, you can clearly detect a difference. But is the flavor difference enough to affect your preference for one or the other?
In a study published in 2013, researchers wanted to find out. The study looked at data collected by two previous surveys, one involving about 20,000 people in the U.S., and the other about 8,000 people in Italy.
What did the researchers find?
People in the U.S. and Italy tended to like wine the same way. They tended to choose white over red wine in a blind taste test. In both surveys, the majority of those tested chose white wine.
The only difference in the taste test was that those in Italy favored red wine by a little more than a point.
The researchers pointed out that the difference was not statistically significant. That means there’s no scientific basis for the belief that red wine is more popular than white.
It’s possible that if a person is more familiar with a particular type of wine, that may be part of the reason they prefer it, but that’s not the whole story. The researchers also pointed out that many people might be unable to distinguish the taste of a red wine from a white one.
Why does it make sense to prefer white wine over red?
White wine tends to have a lighter, fruitier taste than red. This makes it easy to pair with a wide variety of foods, because the wine’s flavor has the same basic structure — it’s composed of different types of fruit or other flavors that go with food.
Red wine, on the other hand, has a stronger, more powerful flavor. That means that when you pair it with food, the flavors of the wine and the food tend to clash. In other words, you can’t easily mix and match a red wine with food.
Should You Drink White Wine On A Date Over Red Wine?
In the end, the decision about what to drink for date night is very personal. Some people like a more intense wine, and that might be their preference for a special evening.
Others prefer a lighter wine, perhaps a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc. In that case, the difference between white wine and red might not matter.
The key thing to remember is that the choice of wine is a personal decision. If you choose to drink white wine because you prefer it, you’re certainly not wrong. But if someone else in your party prefers red wine, don’t feel obliged to change just to please them. It’s a personal choice that only you should make.
This is an educational article intended to promote discussion and insight on the issues of drinking alcohol. Please drink responsibly.