Science Says Practice Will Make You A Better Wine Taster, So Drink Up
I live in a neighborhood where the grocery store closes at 8 and the liquor store stays open until 9.
Now that you have a firm grasp our priorities, I'm here to paint a picture of my usual trip to the quaint wine hub on the brownstone-lined Henry Street.
After picking up the bottle closest to the door with the least intimidating price tag, I'm usually asked what drew me to my purchase. I always debate if it's safe to say I picked up the “Donna” bottle because it's my mother's name.
Clearly, I'm the Italian girl who needs a little work in the vino department (especially since the bottle of “Donna” is from Portugal).
For those of you who are a lot like me, fear not.
Science says we can learn to become better at tasting wine by drinking more of it, so the days of being oblivious in a liquor store are officially over.
Isn't science a beautiful thing?
Bianca Bosker, former Huffington Post editor and author of “Cork Dork,” takes us on her 18-month journey from amateur vino fan to full-blown wine connoisseur (really — she passed a sommelier certification test).
“I think a lot of us have this idea that with taste and smell, we're either born like bloodhounds or we're not,” she told the Huffington Post, “and that's not true.”
Tell us more, Bianca.
In the name of science, Bosker was willing to undergo some testing to determine her wine knowledge.
According to the Huffington Post, she said,
Following the design of two iconic experiments, I took an fMRI test in which they compared my brain to the brain of an amateur wine drinker.
And in fact, the pattern of activity in my brain was the same as the pattern of activity of these trained sommeliers in previous landmark studies.
Then, she delivered the best rendition of “practice makes perfect” and said,
Essentially, in the amateur drinker, the brain is just not as active ― it activates the emotional part of the brain.
But with training, we respond to that same flavor stimuli by engaging the parts of our brains involved in memory, reasoning and decision making.
In other words, drinking more wine makes you better at recognizing different flavors inside the glass.
We're definitely willing to participate in this so-called “training.”
Now, who's ready for a glass of “Donna”? We have a lot tasting to do.
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