My guest this week is Dr. Gordon Shepherd with his latest book “Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine.”
In his new book, Gordon M. Shepherd expands on the startling discovery that the brain creates the taste of wine. This approach to understanding wine’s sensory experience draws on findings in neuroscience, biomechanics, human physiology, and traditional enology. Shepherd shows, just as he did in Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters, that creating the taste of wine engages more of the brain than does any other human behavior. He clearly illustrates the scientific underpinnings of this process, along the way enhancing our enjoyment of wine.
Neuroenology is the first book on wine tasting by a neuroscientist. It begins with the movements of wine through the mouth and then consults recent research to explain the function of retronasal smell and its extraordinary power in creating wine taste. Shepherd comprehensively explains how the specific sensory pathways in the cerebral cortex create the memory of wine and how language is used to identify and imprint wine characteristics. Intended for a broad audience of readers—from amateur wine drinkers to sommeliers, from casual foodies to seasoned chefs—Neuroenology shows how the emotion of pleasure is the final judge of the wine experience. It includes practical tips for a scientifically informed wine tasting and closes with a delightful account of Shepherd’s experience tasting classic Bordeaux vintages with French winemaker Jean-Claude Berrouet of the Chateau Petrus and Dominus Estate. Get a copy NOW!
Gordon M. Shepherd is professor of neuroscience at the Yale School of Medicine and former editor in chief of the Journal of Neuroscience. His books include Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters (Columbia, 2012), Handbook of Brain Microcircuits (2010), and Creating Modern Neuroscience: The Revolutionary 1950s (2009).
Good Life Guy’s Wine of the Week:
2015 Les Gautronnières Muscadet Sèvre Et Maine
The wine is smooth, ripe and deliciously creamy in texture. It has apricot as well as citrus fruits, fine acidity and a stylish, crisp aftertaste. The wine finishes with a flourish of pepper and spice. Wine Enthusiast 91
This organically managed estate is located just outside the city of Nantes in the heart of Muscadet country, in the werstern reaches of the Loire Valley. The family vinifies each of their white wines separately according to vineyard site and soirl type resulting in bottlings of melon de bourgogne that are significantly different from each other in style and personality. Les Gautronnieres comes from a walled vineyard planted on soil comprised of decomposed granite and amphilbolite rocks – also called “green rocks” that yield a lush ample bodied white wine.