Taste and tasting
We have already considered wine’s appearance and smell, and now we turn to taste: wine in the mouth, its ‘flavour’. Here, in the final phase of tasting, the word ‘taste’ is used in two of its many senses: the physiological one first, and then the aesthetic.
The physiological meaning of taste refers to the perception of sensations that we call taste, including the ‘primary’ tastes*: sweet, acid, salty, bitter, umami; and other sensations originating in the mouth such as temperature, texture and aromas sensed retronasally. The aesthetic meaning involves questions of judgement (How good is it? What is it worth?). As far as the winetaster is concerned, neither is possible without the medium of language. The following three sections, Taste and Tasting, Words and Qualities and Values, look at these three aspects of tasting and how they interrelate.



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