Is wine tasting simple a pleasurable way to pass time or is there another benefit to sipping the good stuff?
According to a recent piece by Richard Woodward at Decanter, it’s the latter:
From the first sight of the wine bottle to manipulating the wine in your mouth and then swallowing it, there is a ‘tremendous range of sensory, motor and central brain systems involved in a wine tasting’, says Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd.
In other words, tasting wine actually stimulates processes within brain, even more say (says Shepherd) than listening to music or solving math equations. This is all addressed in Shepherd’s new book, Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine.
Shepherd’s findings come after a study was reported last September in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal, arguing that Master Sommeliers require so much mental agility to make the grade that the sensory part of their brains becomes physically thicker.
It seems that all the tasting, evaluation, and attempts at recognizing key characteristics actually makes us smarter – or at least challenges our brains to the point where they change physically. Pretty neat, no?
For more information, we highly recommend both the original article at Decanter and Gordon Shepherd’s fascinating book (link above).