Unlike with some other smells, studies show that Champagne’s molecules affect the brain by reaching some very specific receptors in the nose. They also reach the “olfactory map” part of your memory. This receptors are connected to your desire and your libido and iare receptive to smells with heavy molecular masses like the ones presents in Champagne. They are also stimulated by some very volatile molecules released by the bubbles which stimulate a tiny spot in the inner nose connected to emotions. This thesis elaborated by Dr Tran-Kyand and Didou-Manent (2009) would explain why Champagne got so famous even though it doesn’t fully demonstrate which part of the reaction is technical and which one is psychological.
In an atmosphere of romance, at the moment where bubbles are charming your nose and stimulates the sensorial organs recognising pheromones, the brain releases intense emotions and neuro-hormones that will delight the pleasure and reward centres. During those unforgettable hours, sensitivity is usually at its highest point so that your nose and your brain harmonize. The more on the edge you’ll be, the most you’ll anchor those moments, making the process a virtuous circle, which reinforces the chance that the affect will occur again the next time.
Even if we can recognise a smell from 15,000 others in less than a second, there is no doubt we can also be easily fooled and charmed. But not all Champagne or sparkling wine can do the trick. To get in touch with your brain and your sexual appetite, this has to be a subtle mix between molecules’ masses and the context you’re in. Plenitude comes from organic, psychological and socio-cultural components hard to describe. Lovers should not worry, love potion is still a mystery and Champagne only add to the celebration and poetry!
For the taste or for what carries the smell, Champagne is too often over-rated. I sipped a few notorious bottles and my nose only felt better after I tried the Champagne Jacquesson. I don’t have proof of any specific emotional release, but I can still try to convince you of how lovely it is…
My Advice: It is hard to tell which Champagne carries the perfect molecule proportions so just choose one that has the best bouquet to you. For those who, like me, don’t like the particular smell of Champagne very much, go for those winey Champagnes:
As we’ve seen last week, sparkling wines can have the characteristics of Champagne, especially when they are made in a traditional manner:
- French Sparkling Wines
Crémant du Jura 2004 (Chardonnay) Château de Miery – Brut with no dosage. The “Crémant du Jura” is made in Mountains situated at the west of the Burgundy region. This sparkling wine will refresh your palate with a very dry finish.
Vouvray : Domaine Huet (2001) Brut. From the region of Tour and made with a traditional process, the Domaine Huet had time to mature and develop its fruits. Thanks to a subtle balance of dosage, it is very delicate and round with a brioche and candid fruits lasting taste.