This is not one of those TV psychobabble things, but fact. It's based on a variety of studies at places like Yale University’s school of medicine, where Linda M. Bartoshuk, Ph.D. , is one of the world’s leading authorities on taste. One of her papers is “Chemosensory factors influencing alcohol perception, preferences and consumption.”
What this means is that women are more likely to have better palates than men. Better means that they can taste more flavors and smell more aromas because they have more taste bud receptors. Bartoshuk’s research divides the world into three groups: super tasters, about 25 percent of the population; tasters, about 50 percent; and non-tasters, about 25 percent. The first group is above average, the second is average, and the third is below average.. Women are a little more than twice as likely to be super tasters as men, according to her research.
This goes a long way toward explaining why men seem to prefer big, tannic, over the top red wines, which women tend to shy away from. Women, with more sensitive palates, can taste all of the off-putting flavors that men miss. (Men in the wine business, not surprisingly, tend to discount this stuff – and even get annoyed when it’s brought up.)
Another way to look at this: Wine that women prefer is going to be less tannic and the flavors are going to be less aggressive, more subtle and softer. It’s not necessarily that one wine or the other is better, but that men will prefer a more boxed-shape wine. Women will like wine that is more circular, with rounded corners.