Wine Tasters’ Sensory Response to Flower Arrangements

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Dr Heber Rodrigues led a study from the UK Centre for Excellence on Wine Education, Training and Research at Plumpton College in East Sussex. The research, published in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, explored the intertwined history of flower and wine arrangements. The study aimed to understand how the colour composition of flower arrangements affects people’s perceptions of their delicacy or robustness. It also examined how these perceptions influence judgments of wines. In an online test, 41 participants assessed eight flower arrangements based on colour composition.

Results indicated that arrangements with high value, low saturation, and cool temperature were seen as more delicate, while those with low value, high saturation and warm temperature were viewed as more robust. The study also looked at how these arrangements influenced the tasting of two wines: a delicate Pinot Noir from Australia and a robust Tannat from Uruguay. Both wines were perceived as more delicate when tasted alongside the ‘delicate’ flower arrangement. The Tannat wine was described as more delicate when tasted with the delicate arrangement than in a control setting without flowers. This suggests a visual influence on taste perception.

These findings could benefit event organisers and wine enthusiasts in pairing wines with flower arrangements during events.