Good news, wine lovers: you now have another reason to fill up your glass of Malbec tonight. Why? Drinking wine can actually make you smarter, according to a study recently concluded by Yale neuroscientist, Gordon Shepherd.
According to Food & Wine, Sheperd, the author of Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine, argues that the flavor of wine “engages more of our brain than any other human behavior.” How? He suggests that wine tasting involves a lot of complex motor acts that may seem basic — like inhaling the aroma to taking a sip and swallowing. Each of these acts actually helps to engage our senses more completely.
Even more importantly, our brains are actually needed to create the flavors we enjoy while tasting wine. “The molecules in wine don’t have taste or flavor, but when they stimulate our brains, the brain creates flavor the same way it creates color,” Shepherd told NPR.
Believe it or not, all of this activity ends up utilizing more of our brains than a more academically inclined activity, like math, which targets a much more specific source of knowledge.
Who would’ve thought that simply drinking a glass of Pinot Noir could give our brains such a workout? Of course, it’s still important to make sure to consume wine in moderation.
Still, wine lovers now have even more of a reason to enjoy their happy hour, knowing that they could be getting a little smarter in the process.