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The first wine always seems the best

The first wine always seems the best

Upon tasting the second wine is the most penalized but at the fifth the mind resets and the work begins again. Colours and sounds influence the tasting

Bibenda Day tasting

Bibenda Day tasting

Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

If you must organize a tasting be careful of the order of the wines: the one that must stand out must be served first or sixth but never second.

Sicily-en-primeur-2013 wines

Sicily-en-primeur-2013 wines

The ability to evaluate for the nose and mouth tires very rapidly and so it is better to have a pause after 10 or 15 wines. Then there are colours that influence the sensorial opinion: if the wine has a slight lack of balance in the acidity and the room is green or yellow it will practically be indistinguishable, while if we must convince the American importer who loves wines that are very round, if we surround him with yellow things he will feel the wine sweet components really well. With bitter tasted colour have little effect though and one must use a melody with sombre music such as “Nessun dorma” by Puccini, Pavarotti’s voice will make the dry finish disappear in an instant.

As you will understand I have played with results of scientific research but I have also understood that the neurosciences can have practical applications also in wine tastings.

Wine advocate with Robert Parker

Wine advocate with Robert Parker

What is most evident is that none of the senses acts alone, and sight is determinant: chocolate in Smarties seems different because of the different colour, it is so also for sweet and acid tastes are more or less perceived if associated with yellow taste less acidic and red influences sense very little.

To study better these subjects the “Le Famiglie dell’Amarone” (that includes historic families from Valpolicella: Allegrini, Begali, Brigaldara, Masi, Musella, Nicolis, Speri, Tedeschi, Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Tommasi, Venturini, Zenato) have carried out a blind tasting, guided by the researchers from the Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche from the Università di Verona, last July.

Erminio Monteleone

Erminio Monteleone

Reading a recent programme for a course regarding sensorial analysis held by Professors Erminio Monteleone and Caterina Dinnella from the Università di Firenze we find this type of subjects: check the evealuation rooms; check the order of the samples being presented; check the carry-over and the adjustment. Let’s reflect on the last subject regarding the number of samples that it is possible to taste before the adjustment of the receptors impede a trustworthy judgement

These are few and certainly less than 20. Then it is necessary to have a rest before beginning tasting once again.

Those who taste nonstop (at Benvenuto Brunello 180 samples in 2 days) as if it were a race should reflect upon this. Slower tasters are not less efficient, but wish to give a trustworthy opinion. For all wine producers and wine lovers a piece of advice: to have a great wine appreciated you must consider everything in the surroundings.