Tag Archives: science

The Grand Cork Experiment – stunt or science?

At the end of July, The Grand Cork Experiment was launched with as much fanfare as could be mustered in the wine media. According to an article in The Drinks Business “a space in Soho was transformed into a laboratory to test whether … Continue reading

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Neuroenology, and I Taste Red – two book reviews

Here I review two recently published books that cover similar ground. Both describe the science of how we perceive wine. As is made abundantly clear in both books, we use all our senses in wine perception, not just smell and taste, and we … Continue reading

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Why four’s the aroma limit

I recently had an article published in Circle Update (the magazine of the Circle of Wine Writers). It concerned the number of aromas used in wine tasting notes. If you are interested you can view and download a PDF offprint … Continue reading

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How smell is like vision, and what that means for wine

Considering the very different impressions that vision and smell make on us, there are surprising similarities in how the two senses are processed before they reach the brain. And it is quite possible that these similarities may throw some light on how we … Continue reading

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Tasting order and wine scores

It is well known that your perception of a wine is affected by what was tasted immediately beforehand. This is similar to how other senses behave. If, for example, you sit in the dark for several minutes and then expose yourself … Continue reading

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Solid evidence for terroir influence on wine flavour

I recently stumbled across what seems to be solid evidence for some effects of terroir on wine. It is not new research, but for some reason it had managed to elude me, and was only brought to my attention by … Continue reading

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Daily temperature variations and wine storage

It is often stated that daily variations in cellar temperatures are more damaging to wines than consistently higher temperatures. As far as I know empirical evidence for this is lacking, but that is not to say it is necessarily wrong. … Continue reading

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Gestalt perception of flavour

Give your Man On The Street a glass of wine and ask him how it tastes, and you could well get the response “it tastes like wine”. Nothing wrong with that – it is what might be described as a gestalt perception. Wine contains hundreds … Continue reading

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How many identifiable aromas in a wine – my conclusion

I have now done enough scene-setting and pussyfooting around: see my previous three blog posts (in chronological order 1, 2, 3). It’s time for me to nail my colours to the mast and say what I really think about tasting notes that … Continue reading

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How many identifiable aromas in a wine – tasting experience

I continue to investigate the number of aromas we can detect in a wine. There seems to be a conflict between scientific research, which has shown that we are incapable of identifying more than four odours in a mixture, and the testimony … Continue reading

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