11/30/2009

Are You Unintentionally Spoiling Your Wine?

Posted by The Wine Whore |


Ever been in a crappy mood and felt like your wine also sucked, or a great mood and thought the glass of wine you were sipping was awesome?

How much does environment affect the way your wine tastes?

From my own experiences, environment seems to play a significant role when it comes to tasting a glass of wine. If I am having a good time and enjoying myself, then I usually tend to enjoy the wine too. If I am in a bad mood, my wine doesn't seem to taste as sweet. Wine also seems to have the opposite effect. A nice glass of wine can turn a crappy day around in no time!

I try not to let my mood influence my taste buds especially since I taste a lot of free samples. I would hate for the fact that I am excited about a freebie cloud my judgment about the wine itself... but is it unavoidable?

Are we unintentionally spoiling our wine through our moods?




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9 comments:

Richard Auffrey said...

I definitely agree that our environment and moods and change how we "taste" a wine. Even a mediocre wine can be excellent if we are sharing it with good friends in a happy situation. It is certainly something we have to consider when reviewing wines.

If you are in a bad mood, and the wine is just not tasting right, then set some wine aside to taste later, when you are feeling better.

Taylor said...

I definitely agree with you, on occasion. But a great glass/bottle of wine can transform a crappy day into into something worth living. So I think it works both ways.

The Wine Whore said...

It sounds like we all agree that wine can change mood and vise versa but how do you think this affects wine reviews such as bloggers and even "experts" like Parker and others?

Do you think their reviews change based on their mood?

Cheers!

Jamie Irving said...

Research shows "experts" give the same wine a different score when tasting it twice in one flight, so I'm sure we'd see the same impact based on days and moods.

Dare I say the other factor could be the biodynamic calendar? I'm still not convinced myself, but some UK supermarkets swear by it. They don't let journalists taste their wines on days it says are unfavourable!

The Wine Whore said...

Very interesting, I never thought about the biodynamic calendar. I wonder if my personal reviews follow some sort of mood calendar?

Is there any way to minimize the impact of mood on taste?

Cheers!

Gary Bondurant said...

That's a great observation! And very aligned with acupuncture. It's said that the tongue is "connected to the heart" which is where the emotions start. Would take a while to explain that. Think about how comfort foods make u feel better :)

Richard Auffrey said...

I would assume that even experts are suspectible to mod/environment affecting their tasting. They may try to minimize such issues, but I am sure it may play a part sometimes.

I wrote a prior post about the biodynamic calender. It is an intriguing idea, though not something I believe.

Today is a "Fruit" day so it is an excellent day for tasting wine. Wed. & Thurs. though will be "Root" days, the worst time to taste wines. So you can do your own test. Taste a wine today and the same wine on Wed. See if there is any difference to you. Though if there is a difference, it might also be attributable to other environmental factors.

Tyler said...

As a friend of mine once said, "take a man, give him a good meal with his wife, they go out, they make love, the next day every wine he tastes is great. The same man, his wife and him argue, the meal is burned, he sleeps on the couch, the next day all the wine he tastes is like $&@#!"

Mood plays a huge role in our perceptions, as do our preconceptions (I'd love to go to a winery some time where they don't tell you anything about the wine until AFTER you've tried it, for example!).

The Wine Whore said...

Very cool post Richard! I'll have to do a little scientific research tonight, Wed, and Thurs... yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it... it's for research, damnit! :)

Gary, I never quite thought of it like that, but I totally agree. There definitely has to be a relationship between the two. In the meantime, I'll keep drinking since it's good for my heart!

Tyler, I would love to go to a winery that doesn't bombard you with all kinds of info, pricing, tasting notes, and other crap before I can even take a sniff of the wine. It's also hard to taste a wine when you like the person pouring it for you. I was talking to a few fellow winos that said there was no way they could tell the nice little old lady behind the counter that her wine sucked... just couldn't do it.

That makes me wonder, do people influence the way wine tastes too?

Cheers!

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