Labeling, identification, and recognition of wine-relevant odorants in expert sommeliers, intermediates, and untrained wine drinkers

Gesualdo M. Zucco, Aurelio Carassai, Maria Rosa Baroni, Richard J. Stevenson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In this study we examined the development of wine expertise. We asked four groupsö untrained wine drinkers, second- and third-level trainee sommeliers, and professional somme- liersöto engage in a range of olfactory tasks to assess perceptual and semantic aspects of expertise. These tasks included identification, recognition, and description of a range of domain- specific and common odour stimuli, including wines. Trainee sommeliers were significantly poorer at identification of wine-relevant odours than untrained wine drinkers and professional sommeliers. Trainee and professional sommeliers were, however, significantly better than untrained wine drinkers in a delayed matching-to-sample wine-recognition task, but not in the case of other odorous stimuli. The wine-description task demonstrated a degree of skill, in terms of specificity and quantity of wine-relevant descriptors, as a function of expertise. These results, of one of the first studies of examining wine expertise by a cross-sectional developmental approach, indicate that perceptual aspects of expertise are probably rapidly acquired, being present even in the second- and third-level trainees, while semantic expertise is slower to develop, and may incur time for the identification of wine-specific odorants during training.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)598-607
    Number of pages10
    JournalPerception
    Volume40
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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