Interesting article on mouth bacteria and wine aromas

Here is a very interesting article

that indicates that our wine perception may be different not only because our ability to perceive aromas is different, but also because the bacteria population inside our mouth may significantly affect the aromatics the wine produces when inside our mouth. Apparently the wine-mouth interaction is even more important than thought so far.

I have another related observation I made myself a while ago.
During a week of skiing I always had sauna in the late afternoon, just before dinner. Over the course of the week I had three different bottles of Burgundy 2002, all at village level.
All three of them seemed to be more tannic and astringent than I was expecting them to be, and I had a strong suspicion that this was related to the sauna I had not long before dinner. Of course I drank quite a bit of water after the sauna, but I imagine that it takes a while before all parts of the body go back to their standard hydration level.
I assume that the mouth tissues were also less “wet” than usual, and that this was the reason why I perceived those wines as tannic and astringent.
Does it make sense?

I think there are many variables that set the tone to how we “taste” food/drink, so that makes sense to me.

The problem with that study is that the shortest time span looked at was two hours. What happens when the wine is in the mouth for much shorter time? Not known.

Sounds like common sense to me. Or at least it happens to me all the time. I think of it as a given that our perception of wine is subject to the vagaries of our physiology (both its more static and more volatile elements) and countless other factors that are often discussed in the context.
(On a vaguely related note, I was in Champagne just last week. During one of my morning appointments, at cca 1030AM, a grower remarked in passing that this was, physiologically speaking, the best time of day to taste. Some kind of a blank canvas situation, or as close to it as one is usually likely to get. Be that as it may: tasting is one thing, I guess. I imagine, however, that most of us hardly ever drink wine under “physiologically ideal conditions”, nor indeed is that normally the point :slight_smile: ).

skiing = high altitude? Maybe that’s also to be considered.

Good point, and the air tends to be drier too…

If it’s not a work day, 10:30 means I still have coffee aftertaste in my mouth, so not quite a “blank canvas” situation :wink:
But I’ll readily admit my tastings starting at 9:30 in Burgundy went much better than I was expecting.

Very good point also…

Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses says that a test group of women off the pill preferred one type of cologne yet, when the same women were on the pill, they preferred a different Scent. The hormone level changes led to fundamentally different selections in mate “odors”.

I am willing to bet that all human bodies are continually changing based on nutrient intake, degrees of experienced rest/sleep (which result in differing levels of hormones and insulin), etc, alters individual tastes, sensory issues, and all that stuff…

…basically, I agree with the article. :wink:

Same for me. However, when I am on a “mission” in Champagne, there’s always a hard day’s work ahead of me (how’s that for a first-world definition of hard work :slight_smile:), so coffee is normally around 6AM. Tends to wear off by my first morning appointment :slight_smile:

The variables that affect how wines smell and taste is so vast that it’s difficult to truly describe and nail down - and to me, that’s part of the beauty and ‘aggravation’ of the wine biz. The beauty because it truly is individualistic and unique per person . . .and that’s part of the aggravation as well :slight_smile: