What makes us think a wine tastes good? | Daniel Glaser

By: Daniel Glaser | What makes us think a wine tastes good? | Daniel Glaser | Neuroscience | The Guardian

Sensory information, knowledge, expectation – and showmanship – all influence whether we deem a wine ‘good’

Chinese wine tasters beat the French team in a shock victory at the world blind tasting championships last weekend, in what organisers called a ‘thunderbolt in the wine world’. China put its success down to knowledge and luck.

The way a glass of wine tastes is influenced by a range of different signals, from smell and temperature to your surroundings, mood and what it looks like. In a well-known example, if you dye white wine red, it tastes completely different (even though the dye doesn’t change the taste) and most people won’t recognise it as white wine. Even when it’s a high quality white wine, once food colouring is added, experts will say: ‘I don’t know what this is, but it’s not very good.’

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