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Does The Cork Make Your Wine Taste Better?

Does The Cork Make Your Wine Taste Better?

Laurita Winery , Wine Science 🕔September 30, 2017 0 comments

We all know that better wines tend to be sealed with a cork, while the lower end (think on the shelves of your local convenience store) wines tend to have screw caps, but does the cork itself have anything to do with the taste of the wine?

Food & Wine says yes! They originally reported on “The Grand Cork Experiment” in July.

Now, an interesting new experiment hopes to prove that there’s even more to that cork pop than meets the eye: Does the sound of a “pop” actually make the wine taste better?

It’s an interesting theory!

And while the experiment was funded by the Portuguese Cork Association (slight conflict of interest there, admittedly) it was carried out by Oxford-based experimental psychologist Charles Spence. We talked about Spence before, and his experiments with wine, music, and color.

His new experiment focuses on the power of the pop.

First, they were asked to rate two wines, one after hearing the sound of a cork popping and the other after hearing the sound of a screwcap being opened. Then, they were again asked to rate wines after opening one with a corkscrew and the other simply by twisting off the cap.

Can you guess what happened?

Despite the fact that the wines were identical, drinkers rated the wine associated with a cork as 15% better than the wine associated with a screw cap. And what’s more, they rated the “cork” wine 20% more suitable for a celebration!

Our senses are intrinsically linked—what we hear, see and feel has a huge effect on what we taste… The sound and sight of a cork being popped sets our expectations before the wine has even touched our lips…”

Maybe we should all download a cork pop audio file to our phones, and enjoy “better” wine all the time!

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