Smelling Wine Could Stave Off Brain Problems

There’s a common saying about taking a moment to ‘stop and smell the roses.’ In this case, it’s stop and smell the rosé, red, and white.

Wine drinkers who spend a moment to take a whiff of the vino before drinking it are more likely to fend off Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

This goes double for Sommeliers – professionals who probably rely on their sense of smell more than most.

The research to back up the story

Wine glassesA recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience compared the brain scans of thirteen people with regular jobs and thirteen sommeliers’ whose profession encouraged them to hone their sense of smell. The brain scans were taken while both groups were smelling fruits and wines.

The researchers noted that certain areas in the sommeliers’ brains were different from that of the other participants. The sommeliers’ brains had larger, thicker parts in the areas associated with the olfactory sense.

How is that relevant?
The thicker sections include the part of the brain that stores memory. This supports the theory that regional differences in the brain exist among experts who make use of skill-sets that associate with specific regions.

It makes sense considering the fact that a sommelier is expected to define and remember several factors of the wine they’re tasting.

“Though we don’t know for sure, there is a possibility that when it comes to the brain, thicker is better,” Dr. Sarah Banks, head of neuropsychology at the Cleveland Clinic and an author in the study, told The New York Post.

“It seems like if you have more brain in those areas, it’ll take longer to feel the effects of the disease.”

Food and Wine PairingOne of the study’s participants, Harley Carbery, director of wine at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, told The New York Post, “Sommeliers tend to smell things and enjoy things a little bit longer, and we pick up notes and flavours th
at a lot of other people can’t.”

The study went on to explain that certain expertise and training could enhance parts of the brain, particularly the regions that are first affected by neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

If that’s the case, then smelling lots of wine could be one way to build up a resistance to memory loss.

Moreover, drinking the wine you’ve just smelled can add even more health benefits. Several studies in the last decade suggest that drinking wine moderately can lead to reduced risk of heart diseases.
All this just means that enjoying a glass of wine may play a positive factor in living a long and healthy life.