Health And Wellness

Drinking Wine Engages Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity, Says Science

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Drinking Wine Engages Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity, Says Science

Bottles out and bottoms up because drinking wine is good for you and your brain. Sure, you might feel a little brain dead after a night of heavy drinking, but it turns out that a glass of red or white wine can be good for your noggin.

Gordon Shepherd, a professor at Yale School of Medicine, claims that drinking wine will spark a reaction in the emotional and sensory parts of the brain. His studies focus heavily on tasting the wine, and Shepherd warns that wine shouldn’t be spit out if you are trying to fully experience the flavor.

His book, Neuroenology: How The Brain Creates The Taste of Wine, points out that drinking wine is the most important part of determining its quality. He even coined the term "neurogastronomy" to describe his study on how the brain actually creates its own perception of flavor.

Apparently, taste is all an illusion that is made up by the senses and emotions surrounding us when we actually taste the food. "The taste is not in the wine; the taste is created by the brain of the wine taster," Shepherd says in his book.

According to his book, the movement of wine in the mouth and the air infused by the alcohol through the nose is what causes the brain to define a flavor. The most important aspect being when we breath out wine-infused air, which activates the brain.

His studies have helped him conclude that drinking wine actually engages the brain even more than solving a math problem or listening to music.

'The molecules in the wine don't have taste or flavor, but when they stimulate our brains, the brain creates flavor the same way it creates color," he said in a radio interview.

Shepherd believes that flavors are constructed in the brain similar to how the brain interprets colors. To build a picture of colors, the brain uses information taken from the eyes about how light hits the objects around us. Shepherd says that our emotions towards the wine glass give information to the brain. The flavor of wine can be affected by our gender, race, saliva, age and the emotions of ourselves and the people around us.

So, if you aren’t a big wine drinker or don’t like to try new varieties, think about how wine is good for you and your brain. Maybe it’s time to add a couple more "Happy Hours" into your weekly routine. 

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