Life's Little Mysteries

Do Wine Tasters Taste More Than the Rest of Us?

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Luscious and supple palate ... soft, approachable structure ... velvety textures and bright, full-bodied flavors ... a hint of berry framed with smoky, toasty oak nuances.

Those delectable words on wine labels, the ones that professional wine tasters use to describe their experience when taking a sip of fine wine, are typically not the ones used by an amateur wine drinker.

These wine tasters, however, don't necessarily taste more than the rest of us.

Instead, the senses can be trained or educated to pick out certain smells, tastes and textures. And most of the wine-tasting actually comes from the nose, according to the Monell Chemical Senses Center.

That's not to say we all have the same taste and smell sensitivity. On the contrary, we each have a unique set of taste and smell receptors that shape our perception of foods and drinks, according to Monell. And some people are just born with a higher sensitivity to the certain tastes and smells that are a must for wine tasting.

So while your senses can be trained, not everyone's cut out for the wine tasting world.

Michelle Bryner
Michelle writes about technology and chemistry for Live Science. She has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the Salisbury University, a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and a degree in Science Journalism from New York University. She is an active Muay Thai kickboxer at Five Points Academy and loves exploring NYC with friends.