Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wine & Spirits Education Trust Adopts Consumer-friendly Hanni Approach

I am very proud to formally announce that the Wine & Spirits Education Trust will be adopting my principles and approach to the enjoyment of wine with food for their Advanced Course curriculum. Their key textbook, Exploring the World of Wines and Spirits, is currently being revised, translated and reprinted with the new chapter and is scheduled for distribution this fall.

You can download a reprint of the new chapter, with the permission of the WSET, at http://www.timhanni.com/Wine_with_Food_WSET.pdf. I would be delighted to answer any questions and interested in comments on the material. I was in London earlier this month and was able to conduct a Master Class with the WSET team and it was very well received with some lingering doubts and resistance clearly evident from a few attendees.

I know that a lot of my assertions may at first seem extreme but I am very careful with my research and invite others to participate in helping to bring about positive change to an area that has become increasingly confusing and contradictory. My transition from staunch traditionalist to “disruptive innovator” in the wine and food arena did not come about either quickly or easily.

I am more convinced than ever that the way to globally expand wine sales and promote a greater diversity of wine styles will come from the wine community learning to celebrate the diversity of wine consumer tastes and deepen our understanding of individual consumer preferences. Combining this consumer-centric approach with a new and more accurate understanding of the dynamics of wine and food interactions with much-needed revisions to inaccurate wine and food principles could be the key for stimulating wine consumption from consumers who love wine but are off put by the unnecessary, confusing rituals and false promises of wine and food pairing. My mission is to expand wine enjoyment and by introducing a much greater rigor into a community that operates on a lot of half-truths and myths.

Join in with your comments and let me know what you think!


Anonymous said...

Congrats, the cloudy sky is beginning to breakup and it's really nice to see the sunshine

Sondra said...

Congratulations and much success after all your hard work, glad to see they are paying attention.


David White said...

Congratulations, Tim! You exemplify the spirit of WineSpirit...uncovering amazing relationships between wine, food and life's interconnectedness!

May word of your doings spread far and wide!

All the best,

David W

SUAMW said...

These food pairing rules are sensible, well reasoned and rooted in sensory physiology. The only exception I would make is the salt and protein. This one is not really supported by chemistry and sensory physiology - especially as far as mitigation of astringency goes.

Tim Hanni MW said...


The suppressive qualities of salt are well documented - Dr. Gary Beauchamp, president of the famous Monell Institute did his doctoral thesis on this subject and followed with a study in greater detail: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8788095

We are in agreement (I think?) that protein does not mitigate astringency.

SUAMW said...

Actually, there is suppresion of a signal and there is mitigation of astringency. Rare protein does the latter. It binds tannins, the same way buccal cell surface proteins do. When the tannins bind to buccal cell surface proteins, they denature them, increasing the mechanical friction between the inner cheek and other mouth structures - like teeth. A meal rich in rare (un/under cooked proteins binds the tannins in wine resulting in a less astringent mouthfeel/texture.

SUAMW said...

I forgot to say that because of this mechanism, proteins can make the wine more expressive than salt.

SUAMW said...

I forgot to say that because of this mechanism, proteins can make the wine more expressive than salt.

Tim Hanni MW said...


I used to have similar rationale about proteins and astringency but my conversations with the scientific community and continued trials and observations seem to contradict the proposition. The other really intangible piece is that it somehow "makes the wine more expressive" is very, very subjective. I presented the conventionally held theory that the tannins are bound by uncoagulated proteins to a group of sensory scientists about 20 years ago and the idea was summarily dismissed by all, including 2 people who are lubricity experts. In fact, you may have gotten the whole theory from my earlier work I promoted (before this workshop dismissing the idea!).

SUAMW said...


Funny. My "rationale" is also based on trials and on discussions with the scientific community - at Monell.
When you eliminate signal suppression and mitigate the interaction of tannins with oral mucosa, you DO allow the wine to be more expressive. Signal suppression modulates and diminishes sensory data. Tanins interacting with protein do not.
It seems that there has been more work since what you have cited because when I spoke to Bruce Bryant at Monell (about a year ago), he cited the effect of tannin-protein interaction as the most viable factor and mentioned some works which I cannot recall at this moment. Lubricity is a function of oils and fats.