Wine study aims to end cork-or-cap debate

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British scientists could soon provide a definitive answer to the years-long debate over whether wine tastes better from a cork or screw cap bottle.

Members of the public can take part in the Oxford University experiment that is using brain-scanning technology to test how the sounds, aromas and sensations associated with opening a wine bottle influence their taste buds.

Researchers will also fit participants with brain-scanning headwear, monitoring their pleasure receptors as they take part in a further series of tests.

The experiment aims to end years of debate among the wine industry and consumers alike about which method produces the best taste.

The most widely held opinion so far seems to be that no closure – natural or synthetic cork, screw cap or even the latest screw cork – is perfect.

Professor Charles Spence, head of experimental psychology at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, said the experiment marked the first effort by scientists to definitively prove which closure provided the most positive drinking experience.

“Our brains have a powerful hold over our taste buds, and it will be interesting to see the differing effects the multi-sensory aspects of wine drinking have on our perception of taste,” he said.

“This is a debate that has been ongoing in the wine industry for many years and we hope this trial will go some way to providing a definitive answer to this fascinating question.”

The live experiment will run from July 28 to July 29 in London’s Soho and the results will be released later this year.

Source Press Association

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Alana Lowes
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