Food & Drink

Science Says Wine Is Good for Your Brain

The next time you’re debating having that second glass of wine, don’t hesitate. According to the latest science, wine just might help your brain—as long as you really think about that wine’s flavors and smells.  

A new study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that some areas of master sommeliers’ brains are larger and thicker than average, which could be thanks to sommeliers’ extensive wine training and acute attention to smell and taste. Researchers theorize that these thicker areas may protect somms from diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Dr. Sarah Banks, head of neuropsychology at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas and author of the study, performed brain scans to determine how wine experts’ brains differ from non-oenophiles. She measured reactions in 13 master sommeliers and 13 people without extensive wine knowledge or training as both groups smelled wine and fruit. She noticed a much more pronounced reaction in the sommeliers’ brains, particularly in the areas that store memory.

"Though we don't know for sure, there is a possibility that when it comes to the brain, thicker is better," Banks told the New York Post. "It seems like if you have more brain in those areas, it'll take longer to feel the effects of the disease, but it's speculation."

Even if the science isn’t definite right now, Banks finds the study’s results hopeful.

“It’s encouraging that these areas have some plasticity, which means those parts of your brain can change even in adulthood,” she said.

So the next time you have a glass of rosé, really think about how it smells like raspberries and tastes like springtime. Then drink down and repeat. You’re just following science’s orders.