From the sudden whiff of school cabbage to the pungent smell of hospital disinfectant, nothing transports people back to their childhood more than an unexpected smell.
Wine experts who sniff (rather than taste since there is no tasting without smelling) their way through life will tell you the all-importance of etching different aromas in their memory. As it were, we wine tasters continuously build up a databank of volatile vinous memories tied to bottle and glass, place and time, company and hospitality perhaps, some reminding us of moments that are painful (mostly to the poor winemaker) or others that will reverberate for years to come as happy times.
Why is that? Is it because smells may trigger such strong memories since our ancestors were more dependent on their noses to avoid poisonous plants, rotten food or enemies than modern people?
Maybe wine people aren’t all that sophisticated as they look but just a primitive lot after all.