Welcome to winepsych.com, the first website dedicated to psychology and wine. People often ask ‘what has psychology got to do with wine?’ and the most helpful answer seems to be that psychology can illuminate ‘how we think about the wine we drink’.
Psychology has much to offer in terms of insights into our relationship with wine. It can help us understand how our sensory processes (including taste and smell) work and why we have such varied responses to different wines. It can also tell us why being told a wine is more expensive can increase our enjoyment and why experts are much more prone to mistakes when tasting wine than they might like to admit.
Psychology also helps us understand ‘problem drinking’ and offers solutions to some of the problems associated with alcohol. It can shed light on the economics of wine and how we, the consumers, select wines. One of the great things about wine is the process of understanding our own preferences and learning about what we as individuals value in a wine. This can help us identify and locate the wines we are most likely to enjoy.
For me, the most fascinating area is how we talk about, appreciate and enjoy wine. This social dimension can add to our quality of life, and the often rarefied and exclusive, wine world could be more much more intelligible, accessible and inclusive. Hopefully winepsych.com will make a contribution to that process.
So, this site aims to provide an entertaining and informative overview of psychological insight into the world of wine. Please look at my blog to see, and comment on, the latest news. All blog posts are also collated under the category headings on the left, so if you want to look at wine tastings or research reviews just click on link in the categories list.
The wine research section outlines studies that you are unlikely to find collected together elsewhere as well as articles and information about psychological theory and the world of wine. There are also book reviews, and I have included sections on wine courses/education.
I can be contacted here for inquiries and welcome constructive feedback. I am also on twitter; @winepsych
The site is a labour of love (I am primarily a Psychologist not a wine expert) but I am increasingly enjoying learning and writing about this wonderful topic.
Dr Miles Thomas (Registered Educational Psychologist)
BA(Hons), PGCE, Dip Psych, MSc., C Psychol, D App Ed Ch Psych, AFBPsS, FHEA