Humans Can Decipher More Than the Assumed Five Tastes

Traditionally, we thought that humans can only decipher than five tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. However, Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, claims that the theory is outdated. Spence says that we can taste as many as 20 different flavors, like fat, hotness and metallic. 

The recent article at The Drinks Business takes a look at some of unusual flavors of wine, from bubblegum to blood. “While typical wine tastes might include blackcurrant, raspberry, cherry and strawberry, for the more finely trained palate, a great many flavours are distinguishable, as this list proves.” 

While a lot of “nail polish remover” flavor means that the wine is flawed, a little amount can “add complexity, and is often present in sweet wines such as Sauternes and Port.” Planting vines near Eucalyptus trees might make the wine tastes like eucalyptus leaves. Some Chenin Blanc wines and white Burgundy can have the aroma of wet wool. 

Personally, I long for the day that I can distinguish between “petroleum” and “burnt rubber.” Head over to check out the full list. [The Drinks Business] [Photo: Flickr/Haleyface]