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Is wine just too complex for science?


I was sent a fascinating article by a friend (and my osteopath) who happens to be quite clued up in the worlds of food blogging and wine too.

He thought this article by Arielle Johnson, who is a scientist and researcher at MIT Media Lab (with fascinating side projects, including working with NOMA), was worth reading. It sounds technical, but it brings together wine, food and … yes, science in a very interesting way. Many such articles are used to attack wine reviews as ‘nonsense’ (actually, the technical term is bullshit) but there is hope yet:

What I’m getting at is that you could use science as a smug way to debunk food myths or dismiss “minerality” and other wine-tasting terms as groupthink for swirling-and-sniffing assholes. But I think that the impulses that motivate people to think deeply about making or explaining wine—or any food—have a lot in common with the impulses that motivate people to do science: a curiosity about and desire to make sense of the world. Sometimes the science just takes a little time to catch up

We are all just ahead of the science, that’s all!

I recommend you download the PDF from this site (it is the second article, after the Mums Drinking Mom Wines)

… oh, and if you like talking food & wine while getting some osteopathic treatment, I can give you a great recommendation :slight_smile:


Science and art have been forever intertwined. Evocative descriptions give immediate, primal placement from what someone describes to what we then feel. In medicine, food and drink terms are frequently used as descriptions for practitioners (coffee grounds vomit, red current jelly stool etc) to aid recognition of conditions. We all know what is meant. Trying to purify our arts and, sometimes, our sciences, risks losing the joy of what they actually give us when more raw.