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Expectation or Sensorial Reality? An Empirical Investigation of the Biodynamic Calendar for Wine Drinkers

Abstract : The study's aim was to investigate a central tenet of biodynamic philosophy as applied to wine tasting, namely that wines taste different in systematic ways on days determined by the lunar cycle. Nineteen New Zealand wine professionals tasted blind 12 Pinot noir wines at times determined within the biodynamic calendar for wine drinkers as being favourable (Fruit day) and unfavourable (Root day) for wine tasting. Tasters rated each wine four times, twice on a Fruit day and twice on a Root day, using 20 experimenter-provided descriptors. Wine descriptors spanned a range of varietal-relevant aroma, taste, and mouthfeel characteristics, and were selected with the aim of elucidating both qualitative and quantitative aspects of each wine's perceived aromatic, taste, and structural aspects including overall wine quality and liking. A post-experimental questionnaire was completed by each participant to determine their degree of knowledge about the purpose of the study, and their awareness of the existence of the biodynamic wine drinkers' calendar. Basic wine physicochemical parameters were determined for the wines tasted on each of a Fruit day and a Root day. Results demonstrated that the wines were judged differentially on all attributes measured although type of day as determined by the biodynamic calendar for wine drinkers did not influence systematically any of the wine characteristics evaluated. The findings highlight the importance of testing experimentally practices that are based on anecdotal evidence but that lend themselves to empirical investigation.
Keywords : color quality
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Wendy V. Parr, Dominique Valentin, Phil Reedman, Claire Grose, James A. Green. Expectation or Sensorial Reality? An Empirical Investigation of the Biodynamic Calendar for Wine Drinkers. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (1), pp.e0169257. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0169257⟩. ⟨hal-01477271⟩

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