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Wine Spectator School

Class 1: Intro to Tasting: White Wine

flavor vs. taste

Recall that flavors are scents perceived via your mouth and retronasal passages while tastes are perceived by your tongue. To experience the distinction between flavor and taste, try this experiment with a jellybean or a raisin.

The Jelly Bean Experiment

Pinching your nose closed, pop a jellybean or a couple raisins in your mouth and chew.

  1. What are the flavors like?
  2. Are they faint and nondescript? Or are they intense?
  3. Can you discern the jellybean’s flavor -- or -- even tell that you’re chewing a raisin?

Now unblock your nose and continue chewing.

  • Do the flavors suddenly become more intense?
  • Can you identify the jellybean’s flavor?
  • Can you now tell that you are chewing a raisin?


The Explanation

When your nose is pinched...

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