Archive | September, 2011

The olfactory pathway of wine from bottle to brain

18 Sep

I was doing some reading in my old textbook for my wine tasting class, Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, and came across this interesting description of what happens during the process of smelling wine. The steps are below, enjoy!:

  • We open the bottle, in happy anticipation.
  • We pour the wine into a proper glass.
  • We swirl the glass to release the wine’s aroma.
  • We inhale the wine’s bouquet deeply and repeatedly.
  • Chemical components-esters, ethers, aldehydes, etc.-in the wines swirl upward through the nostrils on currents of air.
  • Midway up the nose, millions of olfactory receptor neurons (olfactory epithelium), with their specialized protein receptors, bind the odorants that form the components of the specific wine profile.
  • Interaction of the specific odor molecules matched with the right receptor causes the receptor to change shape. 
  • This change gives rise to an electrical signal that goes first to the olfactory bulbs and then to the areas of the brain that convert the electrical signal to the identification of a smell, or group of smells.
  • The brain associates the smell(s) with perception, impressions, emotions, memories, knowledge, and more. 
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Publix Grape Magazine

10 Sep

If you like free magazines then you’re going to love this. Publix puts out a magazine, I believe seasonally since the one i’m currently looking at says Fall 2011, called Grape that is all about wine. There are recipes and what wines to pair them with, some history about wine, wine profiles, and this particular issue had some information about Florida wines. (I’m guessing they tailor the magazine to your region.) You can sign up for this free magazine here

I learned from this magazine that Florida is actually where wine making started in the United States. It was the French who settled in Florida in the late 1500’s who started making wine from the wild Muscadine grapes which are native to Florida and delicious. Muscadine grapes produce red and white wines that are on the sweet side but the University of Florida is working on some hybrids to make it dry. 

Quote 10 Sep

“Wine is bottled poetry.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

Image 10 Sep

Publix Grape Magazine