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Prof Barry C Smith

Founding Director
Centre for the Study of the Senses, University of London

Prof Barry Smith is director of the Institute of Philosophy and founder of the Centre for the Study of the Senses where he pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists. He works extensively on the multi-sensory perception of flavour, particularly in the area of wine and has worked for Diageo, Courvoisier, Mumm, Perrier Jouët and Wines of Argentina. In 2008 he edited Questions of Taste: the philosophy of wine and is a wine columnist for Prospect Magazine.

Wine Vision Opening Reception

Beyond taste: Drinking wine with all your senses

Presented with Prof Charles Spence, Head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Oxford University

Bring an open mind and all of your senses for a multi-sensory experience that goes beyond taste to investigate how our perception of wine is affected by what we see, smell, hear and feel. Professors Spence and Smith, experts in the field of multi-sensory flavour and marketing, will take us on a wine-fuelled tour of the human senses, showing how each contributes to our enjoyment and appreciation of wine. Along the way you’ll be invited to use all your senses to experience some fine wines – and to understand the neuroscience and philosophy that determine exactly why you perceive them in quite the way that you do. You can expect to find answers to questions you’ve hardly dared to ask including:

  • Does everybody taste wine the same way I do?
  • Is wine tasting purely subjective, or are there objective measures of ‘good’?
  • Where does smell stop and taste begin?
  • Can mood music, lighting, and ambience alter the taste of a wine?
  • What do the results of blind taste tests really mean?
  • And what wines should I drink when I’m flying?

Expect to have your perceptions enhanced and your mind altered as we investigate the world of ‘gastrophysics’ – the study of how psychology, cognitive neuroscience and multi-sensory design can help us market wine in new ways to experience-hungry modern consumers.




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