Wednesday, June 21, 2023


 A sommelier is a professional who selects and serves wine to fit the taste and budget for customers. Many believe that sommeliers have more sensitive palates which allow them to detect specific ingredients in the wine. However, research shows the opposite. They might not have special tongues for figuring out wine, but special brains. For example, in the text, See What I'm Saying: The Extraordinary Powers of Our Five Senses, it states, “Recent brain scans of sommeliers reveal that as they taste wine, their brains react differently from those of novices. As the sommelier sips, his brain first shows enhanced activity in the regions where taste and smell inputs converge. This enhancement likely provides the sommelier with a more vivid representation of flavor. From there, the sommelier’s brain shows greater left-hemisphere activity than do the brains of novices. The brain’s left hemisphere is associated with analytic processes, so its enhanced activity could provide the expert with a more intellectual tasting experience” (Rosenblum, n.d.). The brain is induced to show greater activity in the regions with higher cognitive functions. Therefore, this will enhance the person’s tasting experience. 

These recent brain findings are also consistent with what is already known about these experts too. They have also developed a rich understanding to be able to describe the taste and smell of wine. In the text, it states, “The experts’ explicit knowledge allows them to more easily attend to, categorize, and then remember meaningful constellations of flavor: flavors that go together because of grape or production processes. Without this explicit knowledge and taste training, even the frequent wine drinker is likely to miss flavor subtleties in a vintage”(Rosenblum, n.d.).


  1. I was aware that this job existed but I didn't know all the training and usage of senses that went into it. I learned a lot more about it than I thought I would.

  2. I never knew that this was a highly skilled/trained job and that very few people are able to do it.
    It was so interesting to learn about and your post is informative as well.
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. This was a very well written blog post and education on what a sommelier is!