Cognitive enology?

Author, winemaker, and innovator in the wine industry
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Roberto Rogness
Posts: 18974
Joined: February 10th, 2009, 10:16 am
Location: Santa Monica, Rio de Janeiro

Cognitive enology?

#1 Post by Roberto Rogness » February 9th, 2014, 5:44 pm

"cognitive enology"?!?!?!?
ITB Retail
É prohibido prohibir!

User avatar
Clark Smith
Posts: 199
Joined: February 6th, 2013, 2:09 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Welcome Clark Smith (intro post, and instructions)

#2 Post by Clark Smith » February 9th, 2014, 6:39 pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:"cognitive enology"?!?!?!?
Great first topic. Cognitive enology is a new science, a research program for which I am launching at Florida International University, where I am an Adjunct Professor. We aspire to become for the consumer side what UC Davis is for the production side, and this is one aspect.

Cognitive enology is the study of cognitive processing of wine as it is consumed. It takes advantage of recent advances in brain scans such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Electroencephalography (EEG), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which have been added to the arsenal in the last two decades, before which most of what we knew about brain geometry was derived from studies of brain injuries.

Leading the charge in the cognitive sciences is, surprisingly, the dynamic research in cognitive enology, including the fine work of David Huron at Ohio State, Daniel Levitin at McGill U., Anne Blood and Robert Zatorre at U. Montreal, and Norman Weinberger at UC Irvine among many others. We think we will be able to piggyback on their methods through positing that wine is processed similarly to music, carrying emotional modalities and subject to harmony and dissonance in the same way.

While this work is very much in the formative stages, I have been looking into the synergy of wine and music ever since my winemaker colleague Don Blackburn showed me about enhancing wine harmony through music pairing in 1992. Read about this at http://www.postmodernwinemaking.com/wine-and-music as well as looking over Chapters 11 and 25 in Postmodern Winemaking.

This is very valuable stuff for any wine lover. Anybody with a glass and iTunes can learn to create playlists which will enhance a wine's enjoyment to an astonishing degree.

This is just one aspect of the importance of the environment in which a wine is consumed. For example, a neutral, well lighted environment does a real disservice to great reds, actually robbing them of their depth and personality. We don't make love in such an environment. Why would we expect any different result from a gorgeous, sexy wine?
ITB
http://bit.ly/1d87XXn

User avatar
Roberto Rogness
Posts: 18974
Joined: February 10th, 2009, 10:16 am
Location: Santa Monica, Rio de Janeiro

Welcome Clark Smith (intro post, and instructions)

#3 Post by Roberto Rogness » February 9th, 2014, 6:46 pm

Right with you on the music / wine deal. These are from old newsletters at our store:


If J.B. Lenoir* had been a Winemaker......
Some people just don’t like clean, antiseptic, “technically correct” production values. That’s why there are William Burroughs novels, Blues / Grunge / Psycho-Billy music, John Leslie videos and WIRED magazine! And, in turn, many of us prefer the funkier side of the wine and beer spectrum where ancient wild yeast strains, field blends of unidentified old vine varieties, idiosyncratic production styles and/or less than fanatical hygiene result in beverages with flavors of stupefying complexity that can sometimes be “challenged” in the stability and consistency arena. Listen carefully, these delicious potations are not flawed, they just have personality in spades!

Brasserie Dupont “Les Bons Veux” Holiday Ale $7.99
(Active yeast looks like an algae colony in every bottle, too cool!)
Pagor Zinfandel 1995 $12.99
(Mint and dirt and meat and berries and tobacco and ........)
Pervini Primitivo di Manduria 1993 $9.99
(Old school Zin from the motherland, earthy and smooth.)
Jory Old Barrister 1996 $13.99
(A litigious bouquet followed by a long, argumentative finish.)
Ronchi di Cialla Refosco ‘89, Colli Orientali $19.99
(Smells like pine cones, smoke, dried plums and roast meat.)
Lizzano “Il Taurus” VDT del Tarantino 1990 $16.99
(Black, spicy, meaty, earthy, get some Jody Maroni’s and get down.)
Rodenbach Rot Ale en Magnum $34.00
(Teeth stripping acidity, sour cherry flavors, fabulous with Chinese!)
ANYTHING from Paolo Bea in Montefalco

*A great but possibly deranged Bluesman famous for having his horn section play out of tune (but with serious soul!), singing about his konk (“Fresh Process”) and being investigated by the Secret Service for his song “Eisenhauer Blues”.


Signore Maroni, We beg to differ:
Deep philosophical musings on
Da Funk vs. technical “perfection”.....
We would like to thank our friend Mario di Dievole (heir, caretaker and ambassador extraordinaire of a nearly thousand year old Chianti estate of the same name) for a wonderful feature in his cantina’s completely over the top large format magazine “Zolle e Nuvolle” (“clods and clouds”, a reference to Heaven and Earth): he asked several very famous Italian wine writers the bottom line question, “What makes a great wine?”. Luca Maroni (an impossibly obtuse technocrat whom you would rather listen to the grass grow than have a conversation with) drones on and on about “the result of technical perfection, due solely to the oenologically perfect transformation of a viticulturally perfect fruit, is the universal pleasantness of flavor....Let them look for pleasantness, nothing else. It’s quality must therefore be such as to please everybody.” Uhhhhh...Luke...baby...can’t you see that that road leads straight to Raspberry Merlot, Twinkies and “Kenny G. and Yanni play John Tesch...Live in Vegas”???

An opposing viewpoint comes from Luigi Veronelli who submits what he says is an “extract” from a proposed book on the very subject that has been rejected by publishers with no vision or courage: “to be great a wine must recount ad infinitum ‘the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth, the earth...’” This actually repeats for an entire page but you get his point: While there is a great deal of pleasure to be obtained from things like dark chocolate, truffles, wasabi, smoked blood sausage, really strong espresso and bleu cheeses (not to mention Henry Miller novels, Kurosawa films and Charles Mingus or Thelonius Monk tunes), much of the point of these is the juxtaposition and contrast of familiar, “pleasant” sensations with bitter, smoky, earthy, musky, discordant and even shocking elements. In short, real life encapsulated as is: cinema (or vinema or musica) verité that communicates a sense of time, place and culture on a visceral, even animal level. We have found that the most popular wines in our store are the ones that 80% of you LOVE and the other 20% HATE with no middle ground, an indication that they have real personality and a distinct point of view instead of pandering to a “universal taste”.




WINE EXPO’s Alternate Reality Theater:
If Robert Parker had been a Music Critic
A recent discussion in the store with a self proclaimed “wine headhunter” who only wanted to talk about wines that had been scored 95/100 or above by America’s most influential / misdirected / irrelevant to your everyday wine with dinner and friends wine scribe got us thinking.......Our friend reacted fairly violently when we characterized the Zinfandels that would be Port made by Mr. Parker’s personal “Wine Goddess” as being like “A drag queen in the middle of a great production of Carmen, totally over the top and not really germane to the context (dinner!)” which led us to think about the sort of ratings RPjr might give some of our favorite musicians:

James Brown avec les JBs!!! “Love Power Peace” live in Paris 1971
“While certainly heartfelt, Mr. Brown’s tortured vocal performance could benefit greatly from the modern production techniques that bring such inner consistency and radio-friendly textures to New World Soul Crooners like Michael Bolton and George Michael. The back-up band, while certainly capable, seems bent on endlessly repeating fairly simple rhythmic patterns (called “grooves”) that appear to have stirred up the French audience but lack any real complexity..72/100, not recommended.” To which we reply “Yo Mama! Get on the Good Foot, Hit me Maceo!”

John Lee Hooker “It Serves you Right to Suffer” ( re-issue of the classic 1965 LP)
“Strangely rustic, a throwback to another era before the advent of modern studio wizardry which could have given this original version of “Sugar Mama” the power and intensity later achieved by Foghat in their cover version. This listener had figured out by the fourth track (“You’re Wrong”) that Mr. Hooker seems to be in a bad mood, yet he went on for another 20 minutes with titles like ‘Money’ (he doesn’t have any) and ‘Serves you right to suffer’ 68/100.” To which the only response is “How! How!! How!! Boogie Chillin! It’s in me and it’s got to come out!”

And some not so favorite musicians: The Music Advocate Pick ‘o the Month
Judas Priest Greatest Hits “Breakin the Law, a tribute to Beavis and Butthead”
“Intense, complex, ponderous, with oodles and oodles of layered slabs of hot molten metal guitar with primal scream vocals seamlessly integrated in backward masking that just might drive you to suicide!” 99/100!!!!!!!!!!

The point of this little thought experiment? Power and extract are not everything, traditional styles are traditional for a reason and YOU MUST RESPECT DA FUNK!!! Ok, enough fun and games, let's drink some wine!
ITB Retail
É prohibido prohibir!

User avatar
Todd F r e n c h
Site Admin
<dfn>Site Admin</dfn>
Posts: 38639
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 8:46 am
Location: San Clemente, CA

Welcome Clark Smith (intro post, and instructions)

#4 Post by Todd F r e n c h » February 9th, 2014, 6:55 pm

Folks, please see post 1 - each question should have its own topic, as always

http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 2#p1377212
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

User avatar
Roberto Rogness
Posts: 18974
Joined: February 10th, 2009, 10:16 am
Location: Santa Monica, Rio de Janeiro

Cognitive enology?

#5 Post by Roberto Rogness » February 9th, 2014, 6:57 pm

Whoops! Any way you can peel these posts off into a "cognitive enology" thread?
ITB Retail
É prohibido prohibir!

User avatar
Roberto Rogness
Posts: 18974
Joined: February 10th, 2009, 10:16 am
Location: Santa Monica, Rio de Janeiro

Cognitive enology?

#6 Post by Roberto Rogness » February 9th, 2014, 6:58 pm

Thanks, Todd!
ITB Retail
É prohibido prohibir!

User avatar
Clark Smith
Posts: 199
Joined: February 6th, 2013, 2:09 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Welcome Clark Smith (intro post, and instructions)

#7 Post by Clark Smith » February 9th, 2014, 11:45 pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:Right with you on the music / wine deal. These are from old newsletters at our store:
The point of this little thought experiment? Power and extract are not everything, traditional styles are traditional for a reason and YOU MUST RESPECT DA FUNK!!! Ok, enough fun and games, let's drink some wine!
Here, here!

Thanks for this amazing post. You definitely get the concept.

However, I would caution that there is no such thing as a wine thought experiment. You're either having the experience or you're not. This is why I offered you guys wines at BerserkerDay. The "Faux Chablis" -style '03 Chardonnay loves modern jazz like Jeru (Gerry Milligan and Chet Baker); the Cab Sauv sweetens around Beethoven's 5th, People Are Strange, and Garth Brooks' Wolves. Both are rendered almost undrinkable by polka and most Dixieland.

You need to simply try these in real life to see if that's so for you. I forget who said "writing about wine is like whistling about architecture." You very quickly hit your limit of profitable discourse. In real life trials, however, I have found it amazing how strongly shared these effects appear.

In all candor, this impression is derived from a large number of informal demonstrations over the last twenty years, but few controlled experiments, because science generally follows the money. That's the next step at FIU.
ITB
http://bit.ly/1d87XXn

User avatar
Roberto Rogness
Posts: 18974
Joined: February 10th, 2009, 10:16 am
Location: Santa Monica, Rio de Janeiro

Cognitive enology?

#8 Post by Roberto Rogness » February 10th, 2014, 10:31 am

Clark, if Einstein can muse about the effect of the speed of light on clocks and our aging, I can muse about wine and music without actually doing so. And, you will note, I am NOT talking about what you listen to while you drink a given wine but its similarity to a given piece of music in its expression.
ITB Retail
É prohibido prohibir!

User avatar
Corey N.
Posts: 26591
Joined: November 18th, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Certainly NOT Orlando

Cognitive enology?

#9 Post by Corey N. » February 10th, 2014, 8:01 pm

Clark, forgive me because I haven't finished the book yet so perhaps this is answered therein. But would it be fair to suggest that if a pleasurable stimulus such as music can enhance a wine, the same is true for why wine seemingly tastes better in a restaurant or at a tasting room, i.e. we are responding to a pleasurable stimulus (environment) and therefore we perceive the wine as tasting better?
WOTY: 2013 d’Yquem

Nøv¡¢k

User avatar
Andrew Morris
Posts: 1325
Joined: July 26th, 2010, 11:31 pm
Location: Southern Humboldt, CA

Cognitive enology?

#10 Post by Andrew Morris » February 10th, 2014, 8:35 pm

Corey N. wrote:Clark, forgive me because I haven't finished the book yet so perhaps this is answered therein. But would it be fair to suggest that if a pleasurable stimulus such as music can enhance a wine, the same is true for why wine seemingly tastes better in a restaurant or at a tasting room, i.e. we are responding to a pleasurable stimulus (environment) and therefore we perceive the wine as tasting better?
Corey,

I do think that what you speak of happens.

I don't think it is what Clark is talking about.

I think he is talking about the wine and music being in tune and thus enhancing both.

I'm sure Clark can add to this with more detail.
Andrew Morris

User avatar
Clark Smith
Posts: 199
Joined: February 6th, 2013, 2:09 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Cognitive enology?

#11 Post by Clark Smith » February 10th, 2014, 9:24 pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:Clark, if Einstein can muse about the effect of the speed of light on clocks and our aging, I can muse about wine and music without actually doing so. And, you will note, I am NOT talking about what you listen to while you drink a given wine but its similarity to a given piece of music in its expression.
Sure, I get you. You have demonstrated that you grasp the concept. I often invent blends or cooking concoctions in my head, and then try them out to see if I was right, which is often but not always. When I guess at the emotional modality of a wine in order to pair it with music, I am right often but not always.

Einstein's thought experiments weren't experiential, but mathematical. My remark was maybe a little harsh, but I do want readers to realize when they are actually verifying a true life experience and when they are just speculating. This is a favorite soapbox of mine, because I find the internet has largely supplanted true wine experience to an alarming degree.

But here we are, aren't we? I guess I'm being a bit of a jerk, like hanging around Florence complaining that it has too many Americans.
ITB
http://bit.ly/1d87XXn

User avatar
Clark Smith
Posts: 199
Joined: February 6th, 2013, 2:09 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Cognitive enology?

#12 Post by Clark Smith » February 10th, 2014, 9:33 pm

Andrew Morris wrote:
Corey N. wrote:Clark, forgive me because I haven't finished the book yet so perhaps this is answered therein. But would it be fair to suggest that if a pleasurable stimulus such as music can enhance a wine, the same is true for why wine seemingly tastes better in a restaurant or at a tasting room, i.e. we are responding to a pleasurable stimulus (environment) and therefore we perceive the wine as tasting better?
Corey,

I do think that what you speak of happens.

I don't think it is what Clark is talking about.

I think he is talking about the wine and music being in tune and thus enhancing both.

I'm sure Clark can add to this with more detail.
Actually I do think Corey is right on point. A good example is the way Andrea Bocelli works so well with the whole spectrum of Italian wines, and thus Italian restaurants play him ceaselessly. I do a lot of work with restaurants and tasting rooms to capture their theme music to improve the wine's perception, and we also look at lighting, background aromas, the wallpaper - everything, kind of feng shui-ing the experience. I'm simply pointing out that you can do this at home, and the right music is a fun and easy way to start.

I do not agree, however, with some of the other experts in the field (Charles Spence, for instance) that it's the pleasurable environment that makes it work. I believe the mood needs to be tuned to the specific wine or wine style, not just music you like. Liking has nothing to do with it. You may love polka music, but it's not going to make your Cabernet taste very good. I happen to despise Iron Maiden, but I have to admit that Run To The Hills is great with my Cab.
ITB
http://bit.ly/1d87XXn

User avatar
Corey N.
Posts: 26591
Joined: November 18th, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Certainly NOT Orlando

Cognitive enology?

#13 Post by Corey N. » February 11th, 2014, 9:34 am

Clark Smith wrote:
Actually I do think Corey is right on point. A good example is the way Andrea Bocelli works so well with the whole spectrum of Italian wines, and thus Italian restaurants play him ceaselessly. I do a lot of work with restaurants and tasting rooms to capture their theme music to improve the wine's perception, and we also look at lighting, background aromas, the wallpaper - everything, kind of feng shui-ing the experience. I'm simply pointing out that you can do this at home, and the right music is a fun and easy way to start.

I do not agree, however, with some of the other experts in the field (Charles Spence, for instance) that it's the pleasurable environment that makes it work. I believe the mood needs to be tuned to the specific wine or wine style, not just music you like. Liking has nothing to do with it. You may love polka music, but it's not going to make your Cabernet taste very good. I happen to despise Iron Maiden, but I have to admit that Run To The Hills is great with my Cab.
This seems like something that could be tested. I suppose it makes sense that certain music could trigger different receptors in the brain than others. That said, I'm pretty sure NOTHING would taste good to me with polka music.
WOTY: 2013 d’Yquem

Nøv¡¢k

User avatar
Roberto Rogness
Posts: 18974
Joined: February 10th, 2009, 10:16 am
Location: Santa Monica, Rio de Janeiro

Cognitive enology?

#14 Post by Roberto Rogness » February 11th, 2014, 10:50 am

Our studies show that appreciation of Polka can be enhanced by the addition of buxom naughty nurses:

[youtube][/youtube]


Or green tractors:


[youtube][/youtube]
ITB Retail
É prohibido prohibir!

User avatar
Corey N.
Posts: 26591
Joined: November 18th, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Certainly NOT Orlando

Cognitive enology?

#15 Post by Corey N. » February 11th, 2014, 10:52 am

Let me amend my post to say that something might taste good with polka music...but it ain't food.
WOTY: 2013 d’Yquem

Nøv¡¢k

User avatar
Clark Smith
Posts: 199
Joined: February 6th, 2013, 2:09 pm
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Cognitive enology?

#16 Post by Clark Smith » February 11th, 2014, 8:10 pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:Our studies show that appreciation of Polka can be enhanced by the addition of buxom naughty nurses:
I trust my point about the importance of good structures is now well made. But you really must try some cab and some white zin with these ditties. Shocking synergy with the WZ, undrinkability with the Cab. Voila!
ITB
http://bit.ly/1d87XXn

Post Reply

Return to “Special Wine Guests - Clark Smith 2/10/14 - 2/15/14”