I have done a lot of driving over the last two days. It has meant a lot of Radio 4 listening, interspersed with CDs. Today I heard a program on memory (here). It got me thinking about memory for wine.
When I think of my memories, and try to recall them, I can recall faces, voices, sights, sounds. But I can’t recall smells and tastes in the same way.
The only time I can recall the experience of a wine is when I try the same wine again. It’s a bit like listening to a well-known piece of music. You anticipate what is coming next by playing the track in your mind, and as it tallies it gives satisfaction, with the real track bringing in the missing bits from your internal account.
When I taste a wine I know, there are the familiar notes, suddenly instantly recognisable as I experience them again, but previously hidden. Then again, there is almost always something new: either something I missed the last time I tasted the wine, or a new facet that has developed in the wine as it changes in the bottle, and even in the glass.
Can you recall tastes and smells in your mind’s eye? Can anyone? What about synaesthesates? I would love to know.