This week I had a new book commissioned. It’s one I have wanted to write for a while.
Entitled ‘I taste red’, it explores the interesting topic of the flavour of wine, and its perception. There is so much to explore here: taste, smell, perception, psychophysics, philosophy, synaesthesia, the language of wine, aesthetic appraisal, ratings, competitions, and lots more.
Already, I have started my research. I think the time is right for a more realistic and rich appraisal of what it means to experience wine. When we taste a wine, we are not acting as measuring devices: there’s a lot more going on. We bring a lot to the wine tasting process. A score is not a property of a bottle.
There’s a lot of interesting scientific work on the nature of sensory perception, and it’s really interesting to apply this to wine. After all, we’re frequently writing tasting notes, and sharing our perceptions in terms of words.
I’m coming to the conclusion that the separation of the senses is actually quite artificial. Our sensation is a unity: we experience a seamless view of what is out there: truly multimodal.
And it’s also a subject that has interested linguists. What are the best ways to talk about wine? What makes for a good tasting note? Should we use more descriptive terms, or allow ourselves to use more figurative language?
If you are interested in this topic and would like to connect, then I’d love to hear from you. I’m just two days into my research, and already I have learned so much.