Style + Living

I Took A DNA Test To Discover The Best Wine For Me

November 22, 2017

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Helix for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Wine DNA Test

Photo by Girl Eats World

As a 28-year old blogger, I still know nothing about wine. I know there are red wines and white wines, and then rosé. Dry, fruity, or sparkling. But if you ask if I like chardonnay or riesling, I have no idea. So, I took a wine DNA test.

SEE ALSO: 17 Best Patios In Austin To Wine & Dine

Enter Wine Explorer by Vinome (genome + vino) that’s here to analyze your DNA and taste preferences to scientifically match you with wines you might like. So how does that work exactly you ask? The founders at Vinome, who are all genetic counselors, have curated dozens of scientific studies to isolate genetic variations shown to be associated with taste and smell. Our personal taste is determined by chemical receptors on our tongue and nose that detect individual elements of flavor.

Wine Explorer looks at the DNA that codes for different taste and smell receptors and other parts of your DNA known to influence flavor preference, in addition to survey questions about flavors you do or don’t enjoy (regardless of how you detect them). For example, I don’t mind the flavor of cilantro but for some, it tastes soapy. I also prefer fruity flavors over grounded flavors like mushrooms and toasted nuts. Vinome has partnered with esteemed wineries throughout the U.S. to curate a boutique of high-quality wines, scientifically tailored (via DNA and survey data) to your palate. With Wine Explorer, you can discover hard-to-find, curated wines uniquely tailored to your Vinome taste profile. And as you give feedback on the wines you enjoy, the better Vinome can match you to future selections. Vinome is a part of Helix, the DNA store that allows you to sequence your DNA once and learn from your DNA over the course of your lifetime.


Helix DNA test


Purchase Wine Explorer through the Helix store to discover your own scientifically matched wine selection. You’ll have Wine Explorer (by Vinome) and the Helix DNA kit both added to your shopping cart. You won’t have to purchase Helix DNA kit again and your DNA sample will be ready if you want to try other Helix DNA products like Fitness BuddyCarrierCheck™, or Neanderthal. You can get a 30% discount off any purchase with the code HelixElAY. The code is good for the first 25 readers who use it.


Helix DNA test


Gross, I know, but it’s so easy. Just spit into the funnel, screw the cap, and shake.


Helix DNA Test


Drop your saliva sample in the pre-paid shipping box that’s already provided and drop it off in the mail. A couple of weeks later, I received my results!

A Taste of Koko


According to Wine Explorer, I might enjoy Pinot Gris that have notes of melons, honeysuckle, and peaches. If I want a sweeter note, then I should reach for a glass of sweet Riesling. My palate overall lends itself to white wines. So if I’m at a restaurant, I am more likely to enjoy an unknown white, than a random red. Looking deeper into my genetic results:

  • Tonic water is less bitter and less intense.
  • Caffeine tastes less bitter.
  • I enjoy the taste of cilantro.
  • Drinks with a higher alcohol concentration are likely to cause a burning sensation.
  • I am more likely to taste propylthiouracil, a bitter chemical found in Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables.
  • I should have a higher preference for sweet foods and drinks.
  • I may enjoy the taste of coffee more.
  • I may be less able to detect the smell of cis-3-hexen-1-ol, a chemical that has a grassy odor.

I love that Vinome and Helix helped me discover more from wines. I’ll be ordering plenty of Pinot Gris and Riesling!

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Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.