All wine aficionados know that smell is as important as taste to appreciate and understand wine well. This sense is always active. It accompanies us with its evocative power and without it, it is very difficult to taste, since it forms an indissoluble marriage with taste.
We tell you some curiosities about smell that you may not know to surprise you with data about this sense allied to your gastronomic experiences.
A wasted sense
Humans we are capable of detecting more than 1 million odors different. However, we only use a small fraction of these scents in our daily lives.
The scenting ability of humans is much weaker than that of other animals, such as dogs or bats. These animals have a part of the brain dedicated exclusively to smell, while in humans this function is shared with other brain areas.
smell and wine
Smell is a crucial sense for enjoying wine, as aroma is an important part of its flavor and complexion. These are some of the curious facts about the sense of smell and wine.
red wine contains more than 1000 different volatile compounds that contribute to its aroma. They include organic acids, steroids, esters, aldehydes, and many others.
The nose is the main organ used to sniff out wine. However, other parts of the olfactory system are also involved, such as mouth and throat.
Smell also plays an important role in wine tasting. When drunk, the air comes into contact with the aromas in the mouth and is inhaled through the nose, which allows the brain perceives the taste full of wine
A nose in oenology is an expert in identifying and describing the aromas of wine. It is in charge of tasting and evaluating the wine to determine its quality and unique characteristics. To be a nose in oenology requires great olfactory skills and a deep knowledge Of the wine. Noses work in wineries, wine shops or as independent consultants.
Olfactory memory is very powerful, so much so that a simple smell can unlock memories and provoke feelings associated with past experiences. For this reason, a perfume reminds you of a specific person or the smell of a stew can take you back to your childhood.
Smell is the only sense that is directly connected to the limbic system of the brain, responsible for emotions and emotional memory.
The neuroscience He has explained how it is possible for human beings to have this ability. Olfactory memory is the most primary and its magic begins in the olfactory bulbs. These structures are located in the skull, above the nostrils, and are responsible for capturing olfactory information that will later be processed by different parts of the brain.
In the amygdalathe smell is related to one or several emotions, while the hippocampus is responsible for associating each aroma with a pre-existing memory. For this reason, one of the most striking curiosities of smell is that it is the sense with the longest memory.
Marketing has taken advantage of the connection between the sense of smell and emotions to develop sales strategies. The so-called marketing olfactory creates “brand” aromas to consolidate the corporate image of different types of companies.
An interesting campaign marketing Olfactory was carried out by the autonomous community of La Rioja. The objective was to encourage tourism to the area and the Community of Madrid was chosen. The campaign was developed in the Madrid subway. Users could, through dispensers, smell different aromas related to the star product of La Rioja: wine. This is how the desire to visit La Rioja was awakened through the sense of smell.
evolves throughout life
A person’s ability to smell changes throughout their life. For example, during the pregnancyMany women experience an increase in their ability to smell due to hormonal changes in the body.
On the other hand, age and Certain diseases, like Alzheimer’s, can negatively affect the ability to smell.
One of the most striking curiosities about the sense of smell is that a person’s scent can be used to identify them, even after their death. This is because each person has a unique scent that is determined by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Although a person’s scent may change slightly throughout their life, the essence remains the same. For this reason, the scent of a person can be used as a way of forensic identification in cases where other forms of identification are not possible, such as in cases of disfigured or burned corpses.
Smell is a fascinating and complex sense that plays an important role in our everyday lives. With these curiosities about smell you already know something more about one of your most oenological senses.