A Study by a US team published
yesterday claims that there is scientific evidence to suggest
that wine buffs may be talking rubbish or at least greatly
overestimate their ability to pin down a wine's particular
aroma, reports Daily Telegraph, London
Some refer to the smell of fruit, hay and
ripe apricots. Others talk of the horse blankets, barnyard
funk, pencil shavings and leather, just to name a few of
the more peculiar descriptions of wine aromas.
But now there is scientific evidence to
suggest that wine buffs may just be talking rubbish or at
least that they greatly overestimate their own ability to
pin down a wine's particular aroma.
Yesterday a US team published evidence
that people smell the world differently because of their
The findings suggest that those who claim
to pick up rich aromas from fine wines may owe more to genetics
than to any great expertise.
The basis of the research, by scientists
at Rockefeller University in New York and published yesterday
in the journal Nature, is a study of how 400 people reacted
to more than 60 smells.
It reveals that small changes in a single
gene – identified as OR7D4 – can cause a person
to perceive a key ingredient of male body odour and urine
as smelling like urine or, most remarkably, vanilla.
Although it has long been suspected that
the sensing of body odour is genetically determined, this
study is the first to identify variations in a single gene
that account for a large part of why people perceive it
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