I wrote a blog post in May about our sense of smell and the brain’s role in interpreting what our smell receptors pick up from our environment. I am picking that thread back up because of an experience at a winery over the weekend and an article I saw this morning.
The Houston Chronicle published a piece today about smell, spurred on by Lois, a “corpse flower” at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Insects like it because smells like decaying flesh. People are lining up to see this curious plant!
On the other end of the smell spectrum, we were at the Pisoni Vineyard and Winery on Sunday for a cook-out and wine tasting. Pisoni makes fantastic wines, and of course we smelled and tasted a variety of wines, including their well-known pinot noir. It continues to amaze me that the same type of grape can pick-up flavors from the earth and the winemaking process and smell and taste so different from year to year, from vineyard to vineyard, and from winemaker to winemaker. It’s interesting that different people pick up different scents even from the same wine. It’s clear that connection between the brain and smell is one that is nuanced and can be trained, as in the case of a sommelier or expert vintner.