Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

The Science of Smell

By Jessica Yadegaran
Friday, December 22nd, 2006 at 10:14 am in Uncategorized.

So this isn’t going to be some post about Christmas or if you bought enough Beaujolais last month to get you through your second turkey. Rather, I came upon a much-needed sensual-intellectual fact (as is always the case in wine) to cut through all this holiday overload. I’m considering popping my bottle of J. Schram Rose. That’s how close I am to my breaking point.

So here it is: Much of what we think of as wine’s flavor is actually its aroma. Don’t think you have a sophisticated palate? Actually, it’s rather evolved and complex. We can actually detect not 1,000, but 10,000 different odors. In fact, in 2004, two American scientists won the Nobel Prize for discovering the mechanism by which people detect smells. Among their findings: We can smell and later recall 10,000 different odors.

Ponder that at your Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa tables!

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