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Drinking Wine Stimulates Your Brain More Than Math

posted: 03/16/18
by: Amanda Mushro
Wine tasting event and degustatioon by happy people
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Forget brain teasers and crossword puzzles. Apparently all you need to keep your brain working hard is a fabulous glass of wine.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd who recently wrote Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine, drinking wine stimulates your brain more than activities like listening to beautiful music or breaking down a complicated math problem.

Shepard says your brain starts working as soon as you pour wine into your glass. Sniffing and analyzing wine before drinking it requires "exquisite control of one of the biggest muscles in the body." So just smelling wine is like yoga for your brain. Great, this means I can continue to drink wine in yoga pants.

Sipping on your favorite chardonnay or pinot grigio is a full on workout for your brain because according to Shepard, even though you think that glass or merlot tastes delicious, wine molecules don't actually have any flavor. Your brain to create the taste. When you take a sip, the tongue's intricate muscles are put to work, and so are the thousands of taste and odor receptors that are attempting to fully understand the complexity of the wine.

With each sip, you have sparked different cognitive areas in your brain like memory, pattern recognition and pleasure. Once all of this has happened--then you get the wine's "taste." And here you thought you just too a small gulp from your glass.

Just like everyone gets different results from workout outs, Shepheard says everyone experiences wine differently. Age, gender, and the genetic makeup of your saliva changes how we taste wine.

If you are at ever at a wine tasting and you are encouraged to swish the wine in your mouth and spit it out, Shepard says don't do it--you are essentially ruining your workout. Because spitting out your sip of wine out prevents your brain from fully appreciating the flavor, he recommends tiny sips to keep your brain from overloading.