Shoppers buy wine 'using their senses'

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The decisions you make when you buy wine - particularly if you are buying a grape, region or label you are unfamiliar with - might be more complex than you give them credit for.

An article in the new issue of the Australian industry periodical Wine & Viticulture Journal explains that the experience of drinking wine is not so very different from the experience of buying it.

For instance, when you drink wine, you exercise several of your senses, from the appearance of the liquid to how it tastes and smells, and even the feel of it on your tongue or the sound of the bubbles popping as they reach the surface of a flute of champagne.

When you buy wine, many of these same skills are put into practice, and that is why many wine merchants hold tasting sessions to allow you to familiarise yourself with their product range.

According to article author Charles Spence, the senses of smell, taste, sight, skin sensation and even hearing "not only influence the multisensory interactions taking place in the mouth, but also the environments in which wine is purchased and consumed".