Scientists prove wine buffs are talking rubbish - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-18-2007, 04:01 PM
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Some refer to the smell of fruit, hay and ripe apricots. Others to horse blankets, barnyard funk, pencil shavings and leather, just to name a few of the more peculiar descriptions of the odour of wine.

But now there is scientific evidence to suggest that wine buffs may just be talking rubbish, or at least that they greatly overestimate their own ability to pin down a wine's particular aroma....

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#2 Old 09-18-2007, 05:24 PM
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Not shocking somehow. Everyone tastes and smells things differently.

Just look at the "why do you drink?" thread in the heap right now. Some people insist that wine tastes bad. Some people insists that wine tastes good.

Do you think you could get these people to agree that one wine has a nose of blueberries, cat pee and moss?

On the other hand, there is some use for those kinds of descriptors. They aren't universally recognized, but many people are able to recognize scents in common.

Just last week I was tasting a Cookouthama Pinot Noir that we will be carrying.

I asked a co worker, "what is that smell?". He knew immediately what I was referring to... "Eau de Barn, or a nose that like matted straw.". This is apparently a desirable characteristic in Pinot Noir, but one that I had been unfamiliar with until that very moment.

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#3 Old 09-19-2007, 02:58 PM
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I don't think the article's subject line accurately reflects the information in the article. What it means to me is what Synergy pointed out, different people smell things differently. I already suspected this because of that one substance that some people taste as horribly bitter and others don't. (I don't remember that the substance is, but it was in a science kit I had as a kid.)

I kind of see smell as being similar to sight in some ways. People who study art and colors become better and identifying particular shades more accurately or see more variation than other people. I think something like this has happened for my sense of smell. As I built my "library" of scents, I was able to differentiate between the various aromas in wine.

I don't find the article at all surprising. Both the knowledge that one's sense of smell is genetically determined and that the article was poorly titled seem par for the course.
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