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Friday, April 1, 2011

Tim Hanni - The Swami is in
Tim Hanni is a special kind of dude. He was the second American to be awarded the Master of Wine designation. As the Swami of Umami, and a former chef,  he was one of the first to really delve into the "fifth taste" beyond the embarrassingly simplistic sweet, sour, salty, and bitter conundrum - a fantastic overview is here. His recent research has involved categorizing consumer taste profiles into four phenotypes: sweet, hypersensitive, sensitive, and tolerant (in descending order of sensitivity). He is also looking at behavioral models and how they interact with taste bud physiology.

So if you go to or you can gorge yourself on high-strung nerdy stuff of the contentious sort.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area he is hosting a seminar with Swanson Vineyard on June 4th (the first flyer). If you are really ambitious you should probably attend the two-day conference in Lansing, Michigan on May 4-5th,

He is a love or hate kind of guy, and there are plenty of people on both sides. However, his wine knowledge and understanding of food and wine interaction is above reproach, and his research and consulting are having an impact on wine culture already. And if he helps people drink more wine (responsibly, of course), we are all for that.

What is the brouhaha you ask? Here are choice morsels from the naysayers on the internet:
·         "you are - in my opinion - an idiot."
·         "Seriously, your argument is ridiculous."
·         " more pathetic than anything else. Hanni should know better.”
·         “…this is utter bunk…this theory gets what it deserves: F” The Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine

Obviously, this is worth serious investigation.

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