According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, drinking wine could make you smarter.
You read that correctly. According to the good doctor, taking a sip of your favorite vino “activates more grey matter in the brain than listening to music and solving maths equations.”
Shepherd, in his book, Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine, goes in depth into how our brain’s ability to interpret the complex flavors found in a glass of wine.
In a recent interview with National Public Radio, Shepherd emphasized that his research wasn’t simply on the the wine itself, but also focused on the person drinking it.
“You don’t just put wine in your mouth and leave it there,” Shepherd said in the interview.
“You move it about and then swallow it, which is a very complex motor act.”
“The analogy one can use is colour. The objects we see don’t have colour themselves – light hits them and bounces off,” he explains.
“It’s when light strikes our eyes that it activates systems in the brain that create colour from those different wavelengths.
“Similarly, the molecules in wine don’t have taste or flavour, but when they stimulate our brain, the brain creates flavor the same way it creates colour.”
Do you follow? It’s alright if you don’t.
The upshot is that by drinking wine and focusing on the flavor, you’re actually doing a complex mental exercise whether you know it to not.
Cheers to that!