Tasting wine — or food — combines the sensory input of all the different taste receptors at the same time.
You can have different molecules binding to several bitter receptors, activating the sour sense, and also binding to a couple of sweet receptors — all within that same swig of wine.
The taste receptor genes are highly polymorphic — there are lots of common genetic variants that affect the function of the receptor.
All these mix together to create unique individual abilities to taste wines differently.
And, as it turns out, my taste receptor gene variants put me squarely in the ‘this wine tastes like… umm… wine’ category. Sorry, wine aficionados.
How do your genetic variants influence your taste?