A simple test of the root day effect

One of the most intriguing elements of astrology is the fact that when a planetary body moves from one sign to the next, its mode of expression immediately changes qualitatively. Let’s take advantage of that to conduct a simple test of the root day effect.

On February 2nd at 8:49 PM EST the moon will move from Aries (fruit) to Taurus (root).

On February 4th at 11:44 PM EST the moon will move from Taurus to Gemini (flower).

These times are inconvenient for people in the Eastern Time zone, but quite convenient for people on Pacific Standard Time, when they will be 5:49 PM and 8:44 PM.

The (West Coast) Test: Select two bottles of the same wine obtained at the same time. Open one on February 2nd at 4:00 PM; taste it at 5:30 PM and record your impressions; taste it again at 6:00 PM. Any difference?
Open the second bottle on February 4th at 8:00 PM; taste it at 9:30 PM and record your impressions; taste it again at 10:00 PM. Any difference?

Finally, if possible, have others join you without knowing the purpose of the timing. Even better, have them taste double blind.

Well . . . .

How are you going to take into account bottle variation due to inconsistencies in natural corks? And what about bottle variations in wines that are bottled unfiltered?

Also, how are you going to keep the temperatures of the bottles identical for all tastings? And what about the ambient temperature of the room?

I know I know - this is perhaps taking this ‘test’ to a different level, but if you’re trying to make it as ‘scientific’ as possible, you need to rule out plenty of variables, my friend . . .


Large sampling size (the standard deviancy of the statistician [wink.gif] ). As long as any effect doesn’t depend on the wine (and the theory doesn’t say so AFAIK) that the test could become quite powerful if enough people take part. However a consistent way of recording would be required e.g. everyone uses the 100 point scale for both wines, or a everyone simply selects one of : tastes worse / better / same.


p.s. good luck explaining this experiment to your spouses [cheers.gif] [crazy2.gif]

Coravin would probably work better.I would probably recommend tasting in the middle of the cycle vs the beginning.

Last week I drank a '66 Taittinger CdC and it was the best bottle of Champagne I’ve had in at least a couple of years. It was in the middle of a 48 hour root cycle. I can’t imagine it could have been any better regardless of what type of day it had been.

So, if I open a bottle on the 2nd at, say, 8:30, pour a glass, then pour another glass at 9:00, do I expect them to be different?

The “null hypothesis” is that no, they will not be different. If they are, that could be considered evidence that the “root-day effect” is real. A slightly stronger test would be to taste it in the same glass each time, and not eat or drink anything else in between.

I had a similar experience last night with a Billaud Chablis Les Forneaux 2014. At first I wasn’t going to open it because “Rats, the Moon entered Capricorn just a few hours ago. It will be dull.” But it was the best of four bottles I’ve had and, like yours, hard to imagine being better.

That got me to thinking about how I might test the root-day hypothesis

Here’s the easy test: think about it for a while. Conclude it’s bunk. Done.

Now, if we’re talking about square root day, or pi day, that’s a different story…

You’re assuming that the there’s no difference tasting a wine 90 and 120 minutes after opening. That’s one weakness in the methodology.

Again, I’ve always found it so much easier to just stick to Yellowtail, Apothic and other “unnatural wines.” That way I can always assume it is a “froot” day and open accordingly.

Exactly. I guess we could do a blind tasting to see whether the same wine tastes different if you are wearing a black shirt or a blue shirt, but it’s really only worth the effort to run an experiment where there is any reason to suspect there to be anything to it.

Then taste at 5:40 and 5:55 on the 2nd, and 9:35 and 9:50 on the 4th.

Also, there’s nothing magical about waiting 90 minutes or so to start – just time it as you would ordinarily. (But not pop-and-pour.)

Riedel recently announced a line of glassware that accounts for - and corrects - root day faults in wines.

You both live in California. Do the test; share the results. What do you have to lose?


Open a bottle at 11:58 of a root day. Taste the wine. At 12:01, when it has changed to a fruitloop day, take another sip. Then wonder why in the world you are doing this.

My self respect? flirtysmile

I can do the “test” retrospectively just by looking back at my notes from different days. In fact, I did the “test” quite by accident on the 14th, while drinking from a bottle both before and after the crossover from fruit to root at 7:52. Actually, a couple of bottles, no difference. And also drank from the bottle at a table next to mine, after 7:52, and their wine was excellent.

The sad thing is that this could easily be true.

P Hickner

Thanks for the data point.

So far:

Going into a root day: No = 1; Yes = 0
Coming out of a root day: No = 0; Yes = 0

  1. Combine this thread with the closed wineries thread and the online corked bottles study thread.
  2. ???
  3. Cold Fusion!