Monday, April 3, 2017


Charles J. Wysocki, behavioral scientist at the Monelle Chemical Senses Center says the nose can identify ten thousand scents.  The nose knows more than the tongue which only tastes: sour, sweet, bitter and savory.  Another researcher, Danielle Reed, claims the issue becomes linguistic rather than biological when describing whta one smells or tastes.

Expert sentologists have a brain map of odors yet limited vocabulary to describe them or make associations.Wine experts go creative in their descriptions of the "notes" when scenting and tasting fine wine. They describe a scent/taste of braised saddle leather, salted butter, blanced almonds, fig paste, even hoisin sauce. It appears the more they sip, the greater the desire for extended description. They begin to describe raw oysters and goose liver along with dead leaves.

Novelist Evelyn Waugh's son, Auberon, used his sense of humor to observe wine writing had to push exaggeration. He felt no one could convey the true flavor any other way except by suggesting exotic connections. He conjured improbable side tastes like rotting wood or burned pencils. Sour milk and French railway station "notes" added to his tongue-in-cheek approach. Depending upon the extent of sippage, imagine skunk notes and the sooty scent of wet dog,

With linguistic sensitivities move into questioning what really describes: tangy, flowery and fresh.

Discover connections describing tastes, scents and textures. Begin with a favorite food or glass of wine. How far out can you extend your observations?

Malty with a hint of . . . Donuty texture with the essence of wet brick. . . Sea pebbles and burning rubber . . . 

You do not have to make sense, just make up scents. 

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