Drinking Wine is the ideal workout for your brain because it engages more parts of our gray matter than any other behavior.
Sniffing and analyzing a wine before drinking requires exquisite control of one of the biggest muscles in the body. When the drinker swirls the liquid around their mouth, the tongue’s intricate muscles are put to work along with thousands of taste and odor receptors. The overall process engages the brain more than listening to music or solving a difficult maths problem.
Shepherd, a neuroscientist coined the term “neuro-gastronomy” to describe the study of how the brain created the perception of flavor. He said the movement of wine through the mouth and alcohol-infused air through the nose causes the brain to conjure up a flavor. The most important part of this “brain activation” comes when we breathe out wine-infused air after taking in a sniff.
The molecules in the wine don’t have taste or flavour, but when they stimulate our brains, the brain creates flavour the same way it creates colour. The brain builds a picture of colours in the mind using information from the eyes about how the light hits the objects around us.
“The taste is not in the wine; the taste is created by the brain of the wine taster.”
He said more attention should be paid to the drinker than the wine, because everyone uses their own frame of reference to process taste, which is “heavily dependent on our own memories and emotions and those of our companions” at the time. Additional factors are also involved, such as the composition of the drinker’s saliva, as well as their age and gender.