Taste reveals the mouth’s secrets.To drink is to swallow a liquid and to let it go from the mouth to the stomach. In technical tastings, the tester obviously doesn’t drink because it is enough for him to have a little sip and to keep it in the mouth and move it around, for to feel it quality; after this, ine is thrwn away.To throw away a good wine sounds terrible! But for to know wine, to recognize its quality and bugs, for to put it in the right place, for to know its evolution and gather all the necessary informations for describing it, there is no need to swallow. The tester who has challenged with the seducing capacities of wine obliges himself to spit it out in order to remain sober and “cold”.
What is taste? Not much, compared to the other senses. The mouth can only feel four different tastes, while the eye sees, the nose smells, and the ears listen to thousands and thousands of sensations. Sweet, salty, bitter and acid:these are the four noted of taste, each with its variations due to higher or lower intensity. The tongue has an extraordinarily rapid and sensible perception. The papillae are placed on the tongue in an order depending on their sensitivity and structure. The bitter tastes are felt by the back part of the tongue; the acid ones by the center and the sides; the sweet ones by the sole tip, the salty by the edges.
But also smell has an important role in taste, since the nasal cavities are directly connected to the mouth: actually, there is some kind of “olfactory taste”. Some may say, that taste is merely the product of four basic tastes; but practically, those sensations, either felt by the mouth or the nose while eating or drinking, become a typical sign of culture, and taste is the aesthetic side of culture, that gives us the sense of beauty in its natural, artistic and ethic unity.
Texts from “Barolo as I feel it” by M. Martinelli (ed. Sagittario 1993)