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Wine experts' ability to taste 'very different from ordinary drinkers'

London, Sat, 03 Mar 2012 ANI
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London, Mar 3 (ANI): The taste buds of wine connoisseurs are so sophisticated that they don't experience what the average wine drinker does, a new study has revealed.

 

In research trials at Pennsylvania State University where the research was carried out, 110 wine experts showed more sensitivity to tastes than 220 average wine consumers.

 

Participants sampled an odourless chemical - propylthiouracil - used to measure a person's reaction to bitter tastes. People with acute tasting ability will find the chemical extremely bitter, while people with normal tasting abilities say it has a slightly bitter taste, or is tasteless.

 

The findings showed that wine experts were significantly more likely to find the chemical more bitter than non-experts.

 

"What we found is that the fundamental taste ability of an expert is different. And, if an expert's ability to taste is different from the rest of us, should we be listening to their recommendations?" the Daily Express quoted Prof John Hayes of Pennsylvania State University as saying.

 

"Just like people can be colour blind, they can also be taste blind. Statistically, the two groups were very different in how they tasted," he said.

 

Wine critics typically rate wines on a 100-point quality scale covering a range of characteristics, including tartness, sweetness and fruitiness, and how a wine reflects the characteristics of its grape.

 

Previous studies have shown experts have an ability to detect subtly different tastes.

 

The study also found people who were more adventurous in trying new foods were more willing to drink new types of wines and other alcoholic drinks but that this did not necessarily indicate wine expertise.

 

The findings of the study were published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. (ANI)

 

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