Science is supporting what wine lovers have already known for years. According to a neuroscientist from Yale, the art of wine tasting is actually good for your brain.
Typically, wine tasting involves examining the colour and opacity of the liquid, as well as the viscosity — or “wine legs” on the side of the glass. Smelling the wine allows one to pick up the various notes before tasting the drink and processing the flavours.
In his book, Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine, Gordon Shepherd claims that the practice of tasting wine actually stimulates one’s brain far more than other “human behaviours” like listening to music or even solving convoluted maths equations.
During the process of swishing the aged grapes in your mouth, your brain is conjuring up the flavours it identifies, which Shepherd explained on NPR as follows: “The objects we see don’t have colour themselves, light hits them and bounces off. It’s when light strikes our eyes that it activates systems in the brain that create colour from those different wavelengths. Similarly, the molecules in wine don’t have taste or flavour, but when they stimulate our brains, the brain creates flavour the same way it creates colour.”
So next time you open a bottle, think of it as mental exercise.