How genius taste wine

The most interesting thing about the Wine Bloggers Conference is meeting people. That is why I made it all the way to Porland, Oregon, on the Pacific cost of the US. Very long trip from Portugal and less 8 hours time zone difference, which mean, in my personal case, many days to adjust to jet lag.

This year there were over 370 people participating, mostly from the US. Plenty of new faces but also some old buddies that are veterans at this event. Although what really makes me to go to the American Wine Bloggers Conference are the people, it is not about them that I want to talk about today. I would rather focus on a session that pointed me to something I have never thought about: neuroscience of wine tasting. What is that? Neuroscience, says wikipedia, “is the scientific study of the nervous system”. So I think we can conclude that neuroscience of wine tasting is about how your nervous system behaves when your are tasting wine. Tim Gaiser presented a compelling research about the neuroscience of wine tasting, which I’ve posted above. Going through this slideshow, specially after the slide 40, which is when conclusions start to come out, we can better understand how your brain reacts to different impulses on a wine tasting. It is a long presentation, but worth to check. For instance, grab a glass of wine; bring it to the nose and think about which flavors you find in the wine; write it down; ok, so while you are thinking about these flavors, does not matter if they are fruits, spices or any other thing, your brain is building images for each one of it. Now, think about the one that you feel more (lets call it strawberry); roll your eyes to the top and make the image of the strawberry much bigger in your head, as big as possible. Keep the glass close to the nose; is not more intense the strawberry flavor?

You may have found an easier way to convince your friends to find the flavors you smell when drinking wine together. But, as Doug Frost points out, “Changing any structural aspect of the images of either fruit or words makes the experience artificial and unreal”. And, this is my humble comment, the bigger you see the strawberry, the smaller the rest will look like, and less complexity will be found in the wine.

Please bring your comments to the discussion when you try this experience. This one is safe to try at home!


2 Comments Added

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  1. g-man Thursday August 30th, 2012 | reply
    I will say I snickered a little. Take about taking the enjoyment out of wine =)
  2. Frank Sunday September 2nd, 2012 | reply
    My daughters would enjoy and relate to the slides, they have far more understanding than I do. The most complicated question I ask myself is if I would have a second glass! The slides are very interesting and I have a lot to learn. thanks for posting this

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