You'd be hard-pressed to find a sommalier who'd argue the point that wine is a treat to be shared. But it helps if you both like the same grape extract. Now there's evidence that over time, both of you will enjoy a common vintage, regardless of what your tastes were before you started imbibing with your significant other.
According to a study in Appetite released in January, researchers concluded that a long-term impact of smells and tastes on couples in a relationship will result in a shift towards a compatible preference. They also deduced that longer relationships will further solidify common tastes and preferences.
The study involved 100 couples in varying durations of their relationships, who were asked to rate the degree of satisfaction with their respective partners. They were then exposed for five seconds to a variety of scent samples (ranging from roses to onions) administered from felt-tip pens, before rating them on how much they liked the smells. Researchers then sprayed into participants' mouths five types of tastes (from sweet to sour), which were also rated.
At no point during the procedures were participants asked to identify the senses. As well, to prevent any tainting of results, study subjects were told not to smoke, eat, or drink anything (except water) at least a half-hour before the experiments began.
These experiments revealed that couples in early, more romantic phases of their relationships didn't experience much of a shift in "chemotherapy perception" towards the same characteristics of their significant others. However, those who were together for much longer shared roughly the same taste and smell preferences. Researchers concluded that in this case, domestic environments played a large factor for those results, given that most longer-term couples live together. In other words, they share the same meals, eat and drink similar items from the refrigerator, and are exposed to the same culinary smells wafting in the kitchen.
That said, researchers were astounded that the findings did not reveal that similar tastes did not result in more satisfying relationships, an outcome they believe warranted further investigation.
At least couples can agree on what's in their stemware.