From the first sight of the bottle to the flavour of the wine and swallowing it, there is a ‘tremendous range of sensory, motor and central brain systems involved in a wine tasting’, says neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd from the Yale school of medicine.
Summarized, these processes involve more brain activity than listening to music or solving a complicated maths equation. All this and much more is analyzed in his new book:
Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine.
The book explores all of the many complicated neural processes involved in tasting and appreciating wine, including the visual assessment of the bottle and the wine in the glass, and the interplay between different substances in the mouth – involving movements of jaw, tongue, diaphragm and throat. According to a report on Shepherd’s book on the NPR website, molecules in the wine stimulate thousands of taste and odour receptors in the human body.
Unlike a maths equation – which requires a limited amount of brain activity – assessing wine engages multiple sensory systems, including vison, smell and taste.
So if you’ve ever wondered how many muscles there are in the tongue, if a high-fat diet can affect the perception of wine, or if it’s possible to experience the full flavor of a wine that’s been spat out, Gordon Shepherd has the answers in the following article:
And by the way, the best wine i’ ve ever drunk is Badischer Wein 😉
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