A taste for sauvignon blanc and chardonnay or a liking for Bordeaux or zinfandel can indicate more than just a preference in wines. It could also reveal personality traits.
New research by scientists in Australia and Britain showed that drinkers who preferred a sweet taste in wine were more likely to be impulsive while those who chose dry varieties had greater openness.
"Participants with a sweet taste preference were significantly higher in impulsiveness than their dry preference counterparts," Anthony J. Saliba, of Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia, and his colleagues said in the report.
Saliba and Kate Wragg and Paul Richardson, of Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England, said apart from impulsiveness and openness, no other personality trait was significantly different between the two groups.
"There is some support for the notion that sweet preference develops early in humans and thus could drive the development of impulsiveness," said the researchers, who reported the finding in the journal Food Quality and Preference.
They tested the wine preference of 45 people from Sheffield in South Yorkshire and divided them into two groups — those who liked sweet or dry wine.
Each group was also given personality tests to evaluate their impulsiveness, empathy, openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.
The researchers said there is some evidence that a preference for sweet tastes fluctuates throughout life. It seems to be heightened during childhood and then declines in late adolescence.
They called for more studies to determine whether a causal relationship between impulsivity and sweet taste exists.