It is said that 80% of the flavours that we taste come from our sense of smell. In fact, the truth is even more extreme: most of what we term flavour is not connected with our sense of taste itself at all, but instead with our olfactory perception.
This explains why our food has no flavour when we have a cold – because aromas are sent to the mouth in a process called olfactory referral, and a blocked nose can’t sense, or send, smells. In short, scent has a hugely significant impact on our impression of what we eat and drink. In the case of a product that is consumed for pleasure, such as wine, aroma is even more important.
François Chartier, the world’s number one specialist in gastronomic aromas, has invented a revolutionary system of evaluating how harmony between wines and dishes is created. He uses an in-depth analysis of the aromatic molecules which make up wine and food. The Canadian sommelier and writer, described by many as a “créateur d’harmonies“, began studying molecules in 2002, determined to find those which wine and food have in common. After lengthy research, Chartier published a book on the subject, Tastebuds and Molecules (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a must-read for all sommelier and cookery students around the world.