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The Sumerian stories of Gilgamesh in the 3rd millennium BCE differentiate the popular beers of Mesopotamia, as well as wines from Zagros Mountains or Lebanon.
In the fourth century BCE, Plato listed the main flavors of wine, and classified the aromas as “species”, or families.
Aristotle proposed a sensory tasting defined by the four elements (air, water, fire, and earth) further deepened by the Roman noblewoman Lucretia in the first century BCE.
Although the practice of tasting is as old as the history of wine, the term “tasting” first appeared in 1519.
The methodology of wine tasting was formalized by the 18th century when Linnaeus, Poncelet, and others brought an understanding of tasting up to date.
In 2004, Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their contribution to the knowledge of the senses of taste and smell.
Wine tasting is the sensory examination and evaluation of wine. While the practice of wine tasting is as ancient as its production, a more formalized methodology has slowly become established from the 14th century onward.
Modern, professional wine tasters (such as sommeliers or buyers for retailers) use a constantly evolving specialized terminology which is used to describe the range of perceived flavors, aromas and general characteristics of a wine.
More informal, recreational tasting may use similar terminology, usually involving a much less analytical process for a more general, personal appreciation.
Results that have surfaced through scientific blind wine tasting suggest the unreliability of wine tasting in both experts and consumers, such as inconsistency in identifying wines based on region and price.