A few weeks ago, I went out to dinner at a luxury hotel in Hong Kong. I was with the parents since I rarely allow them to go out on their own -to the annoyance of my father. When we got a table, I unceremoniously sat myself down. The parents did the same.
Sumptuous-sounding dishes were on the menu and after telling the waiter what we’d like to eat, my father asked for their wine list. When the wine came, it was uncorked in front of him and they gave him the cork for him to sniff. It was right then when a thought came to mind, what if it was just me and my loving mother who went to the restaurant? Would they have done the same thing? Probably.
Whenever I went out on dates, it’s always ALWAYS the man who would have to decide whether the wine is good enough or not. It is never the lady who makes that decision. This must be because it is expected that men should know their wine and wines for that matter, and that those who commit vinous faux pas are deplorable human beings. Maybe. I don’t really know.
I have been witness to waiters who automatically offer a pre-serve taste to the man sitting at the table. If there are two men, it’s usually the man who asked for the wine list or in Asia, the oldest in the group. At least that is my experience.
When the food came, I couldn’t stop thinking about this gender divide because I do know that scientifically, women have better, if not superior, tasting capabilities. There are many women in winemaking and many of them have invaded vineyards and cellars all around the globe.
I told the parents that a friend of mine inherited a wine recipe from her great grandfather. Interestingly enough, it was only passed on to the men in the family until she came along. Basi del Diablo Wines is run by a female winemaker.
“The world has changed,” my father said. It indeed has but why do waiters still give the pre-serve taste to men?