After returning from a getaway to France or the Tuscan countryside, we often hope to capture the essence of that holiday one last time with a bottle of wine bought on the trip. Tragically, we find that the wine just doesn’t taste the same. What is it about travel that turns wine from sweet to sour on your taste buds?
You’re not crazy to think your wine tastes different at home versus on holiday. Taste is both a science and an art, and our ability to taste changes with environment. A vacation offers rest and relaxation, creating the optimal environment for trying and enjoying new food and drink. To further this theory, recent studies have shown that color and sound have an acute effect on the way we taste wine.
The ‘Colour Lab’
While on vacation, we are surrounded by different lights and noises. Results from a massive experiment conducted by Professor Charles Spence show that the colors and sounds we experience on holiday have a profound effect on our wine-tasting abilities. Called the ‘Colour Lab’, this study puts to rest the question of why, upon returning home, your wine may taste flat or bland. Just how significant was the effect? The experiment was tested on Roberto Vicente, a winemaker at the Juan Alcorta winery. Throughout the course of the test, Vicente went from recognizing the typical taste and aroma of his wine, to thinking, “this is not my wine!”