• Cathryn Bell

What’s in a wine? Selena Gomez, Bohemian Rhapsody and electric vibes.

When you become a Wine Rover subscriber and receive your box of wines curated uniquely for you, you also sent notes on each of the wines along with suggestions of food pairings that I know will best enhance your enjoyment of them.

The story behind each bottle is important to me. Sometimes I will place the emphasis on the producer in my writing to explain what to expect from that particular wine. Other times, my writing focuses on my own experience of the wine itself and, Reader, I will be the first to admit that these descriptions are not your “usual” tasting notes. Quite often these notes reflect the synesthesia that happens when tasting wine, an experience that far transcends the usual associations of “sweet spice and berries”. Let me explain …


The experience of wine for me is about more than aromas, tannins and acidity. In the world of Wine Rover, this experience is about tuning in to the light show that happens in the brain when we taste wine – it’s about seeing Selena Gomez, hearing Bohemian Rhapsody and feeling the buzz of an electric charge. These are the kind of experiences I want to share with my customers.


Tasting wine engages more of the brain than any other human behaviour, it engages our sensory and motor pathways, as well as our central brain systems, including our memory, emotion, motivation, reward and language centres – neuroenology is the word to Google here, for anyone who wants to venture down that particular rabbit hole!


Similarly to how colour isn’t found in wavelengths of light, but rather from the neural processing of those wavelengths in the brain, our experience of wine is uniquely crafted by our individual neural scaffolding – all the tangibles and intangibles to boot!


When a Wine Rover subscriber enrols, I send them a questionnaire that gathers all the info I need to set the basis of their preference profile. This helps me find the wines that they will love. Aside from the framework of their gastronomic preferences (sensitivity and tolerance of acidity, bitterness and astringency etc), I also ask questions that give me an insight into the “intangibles” as it were – the context, the associations, the connections with food and the emotional impact. I always ask my customers “How do you want these wines to make you feel?”


The Wine Rover curation service is about embracing and celebrating those soundtracks and slideshows that inevitably accompany our experiences with wine. They help set the framework of our tastes and preferences. It’s about engaging in a language that acknowledges our visceral experience of wine so that we can plot the right path towards rewarding and fulfilling wine journeys. Subscribe to Wine Rover to take the first steps on your journey today.