Research pops cork on lunar theory

by Anonymous Author

If your wine does not taste as good as it did yesterday don’t blame the moon.

That’s one of the findings of Lincoln University researcher Dr Wendy Parr and her colleagues who investigated the controversial notion that wines taste different on days determined by the lunar cycle and is enshrined in what is known as the biodynamic calendar.

The calendar provides ‘days’ when the moon’s rhythms suggest that a wine will taste its best. 

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that some professionals in the wine industry, in particular wine producers and retail outlet and wine distribution company staff, appear to accept that the moon may exert some sort of influence over how a beverage tastes on a particular day, despite the lack of scientific evidence,” Dr Parr said.

“For example, a wine may be perceived as tasting different across two successive tastings of the same wine, or ‘not showing well’ on a particular day.”

Dr Parr and her team had 19 New Zealand wine professionals blind-taste 12 Pinot noir wines at times determined within the biodynamic calendar for wine drinkers as being favourable (fruit day) and unfavourable (root day) for wine tasting. The tasters rated each wine four times, twice on a fruit day and twice on a root day, using 20 experimenter-provided descriptors.

Dr Parr said the wines were perceived as different in a variety of ways, but the specific day on which they were tasted did not affect how they were rated.

“The study does not investigate or debunk biodynamic agriculture, but merely tests the central tenet of the published wine drinkers’ calendar.