Tasting wine – a multisensory experience – Sight and hearing


tasting wine is a multi-sensory experience. Smell and taste are the most involved senses but touch also has its importance; think how we touch the glass. Not to mention sight or rather what we see in the glass and why not also hearing, or rather what we perceive when the wine is poured. All these senses can influence tasting.

The sense of the senses

Today we start with what is called the “sense of the senses” or sight and we also talk about the hearing. In everyday life, sight is probably the sense we rely on the most; most of our actions are based on what we see. The brain extension dedicated to sight is also much larger than that dedicated to the other four senses. With the evolution of the human species, sight has also increasingly perfected to the detriment of the other senses.

How does the eye work

Enolike - come funziona l'occhio
Enolike – how the eye works

Let’s take a quick look at how the eye works and how we see. The eye is a kind of dark room that projects images onto the retina. The retina perceives them upside down; here the photo-receptor cells begin to produce electromagnetic reactions that the optic nerve sends to a part of the brain which in turn forms the definitive image. It almost seems like a magic trick, right?

It is important to keep in mind that throughout this step, the brain does not act as a “television” or rather it does not report the image exactly as it arrives on the retina but processes the images it receives and makes them better. It also does this with wine. And therefore the perception of color is the result of brain processing.


Enolike - Degustazione vino
Enolike – Wine tasting

You may be wondering what hearing has to do with tasting wine. Indeed, of all the senses, hearing is the least used but you must keep in mind that sound, from an emotional point of view, is very engaging because it can bring to mind sensations, images, and emotions and allows the brain to work through associations of ideas. The clink of a bottle on a glass or the noise made when pouring wine into a glass can bring back pleasant memories and therefore you already have a positive approach to wine.

I realize that more than a blog on tasting wine, this seems like a quick review of the human body functions but it is important to know these things to best taste our beloved wines.

In the next article, we will talk about the most important sense of all, which is the taste.

And now, start choosing the wines you want to taste; I suggest starting with sparkling wines!





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