Rejoice! Science Says Drinking Wine Is Good For Your Brain

by Jerriann Sullivan
Image via Shutterstock.

Wine is better for brains than math, scientist claims

Good news, fellow wine lovers, our favorite beverage is actually great for our brains. Like really great – even better than dreaded math problems, according to leading neuroscientist Dr. Gordon Shepherd.

Finally, we can book back-to-back wine tastings with our girlfriends guilt free. Sipping our favorite red, white, or rosé “engages more of our brain than any other human behavior,” Shepherd told The Times. The neuroscientist, who is also a professor at Yale School of Medicine, has researched how the brain processes flavor for decades. In his latest book, Neuroenology: How The Brain Creates The Taste of Wine, he explains how drinking wine is practically an exercise for our brains. He explains: “The taste is not in the wine; the taste is created by the brain of the wine taster.” Boom.

Indulging in a glass of Pinot Noir (sub in your favorite wine here) stimulates various parts of our brains to create the taste. “The analogy one can use is color. The objects we see don’t have color themselves — light hits them and bounces off. It’s when light strikes our eyes that it activates systems in the brain that create color from those different wavelengths,” Shepherd told NPR. “Similarly, 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.”

According to The Times, Shepherd’s book is filled with research that showed people drinking wine are “engaged in a series of operations more elaborate than listening to music or solving a difficult maths problem.” It’s always a good idea to have some data supporting the concept that wine is better for your brain than math. Even though our minds are creating the flavor of the wines we delightfully consume, there is still a commonality in the taste among people. “We all know it’s a liquid, after all. We all know it comes from fruit. We all know it contains alcohol,” Shepherd said. “And we all have saliva that is more or less the same. So probably 90 percent is the same and 10 percent is different. That’s part of the pleasure of wine —comparing your pleasure.”

So grab a glass and sip away, mamas. We’re making our brains better after all.