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Jun. 2, 2020 | Tuesday
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It's a Wine Thang: Olfactory bulb
The Olfactory bulb's main purpose is to differentiate among similar odours. (Supplied)


The staff of Ravine Winery share their expertise and offer a brief explanation about an aspect of wine in this regular feature. So, whether you’re an expert oenophile or a newbie just finding your way around wine country, we trust you’ll enjoy. Cheers!

Olfactory bulb

Our sense of smell is the most memory triggering sense we have and the olfactory bulbis to thank for that. Located at the front of the brain just above the nose, its main purpose is to differentiate among similar odours. This is the key to picking out the most subtle aromas in a wine. The sense of smell can tell the difference between thousands of different aromas, while the tongue is limited to primary tastes perceived by taste receptors (sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami). The olfactory sense plays a fundamental role in the perception of both aroma and flavour. Without it wines would appear to be uninteresting alcoholic solutions of acid and sugar. So, when you pour yourself a glass of wine, leave some room in your glass to swirl it around and allow the vapours to rise and visit your olfactory bulb. The wine will intensify on the nose, making for a better tasting experience. After all,the anticipation is what wine tasting is all about.