The Sensory Wine Picture


What is the sensory wine picture?

a new and successful “wine description” with “wine to description” recognition rates of almost 80 percent. To produce a Sensory Wine Picture (
SWP) a universal combination of distinct sensory sensations with certain colours and shapes is used. The SWP is a representation of the dynamic interaction of distinct wine ingredients, it is based on the primary effects of the ingredients on the sensory organs. The SWP is not a subjective interpretation of a wine and allows therefore such high recognition rates.


The sensory wine picture is a holistic depiction of the sensory effects of wine in shape and color. By means of this method even the unversed are able to identify their personal preferences within the wine picture and simultaneously grasp the nature and character of a wine.

Furnishing a sensory wine picture requires a sensory understanding of the target objects. For instance, what are the effects of alcohol and acidity within the mouth ? How broad is the range of detectable aromas? Which tangible and tactile perceptions come to play within the mouth and nose ?

One basic prerequisite of an accurate depiction is the conscious perception, reception and processing of sensory stimuli. Special consideration must be given to the dynamic development of the individual components, meaning the changes taking place in their variation, interaction, arrangement and relationship to each other as a function of time.

Riesling - fruity with a slight residual sweetness

Each and every one of the individual components found within a wine trigger certain perceptions which can be matched to a unique combination of shapes and colors. When faced with the question of which color represents delicious sweetness, the majority of people will resort to the part of the spectrum encompassing yellow to red tones. Sour tartness and tanginess is routinely associated with yellow moving on green. Bitter and herbal tasting compounds suggest complexions of brown. Likewise, when considering shapes, it is found that sweet flavors come across as rounded and soft, all the while sour tastes are described as pointed, spiky, or edgy.

These associations are experienced by all people in like fashion. They are most likely the result of multiple, simultaneous triggering of several different sensory areas of the cerebral cortex. The congruency of these signals among all individuals allows for the stereotyped pattern of connection between color, shape, taste and smell. The inherent similarity of these perceptions serves as the very foundation of the designs of colors and shapes used in the sensory wine pictures. The gustatory, olfactory, and tactile impressions along with their dynamics over time are the key. Once they are matched with their corresponding schemes of color and shape, the design of a sensory wine picture becomes possible.

A verbal description is least  useful to adequately illustrate the dynamic interactions of the ingredients on the sensory areas of mouth and nose, however it remains none the less an important feature of recognition. Depicting the dynamics by means of color and shape complexes makes matters much easier and creates those sensory wine pictures that have an impressively high rate of recognition.

The above method in its current version allows for a correct recognition index of up to 80% even among inexperienced wine consumers. Practically this means that if a selection of 5 different wines are presented along with their corresponding pictures, an unknowing observer has virtually no difficulty matching each wine correctly to its individual picture.

The conclusion offers itself that a certain preference for a particular wine is represented in that wine’s corresponding picture. An observer who feels an attraction to the sensory picture will most likely enjoy its wine as well.

If the outer product design could visibly communicate these sensory effects, for example by means of displaying the wine picture on the label of a wine bottle, it would create an intuitive and emotional connection  to the content. The question of whether a customer would enjoy a certain wine could simply be answered visually.

Improved marketing support of a product could be accomplished in like manner, if the sensory colors and shapes were known to the consumer. The significant gap existing today between  development and marketing could thereby be breached. The development of any smell or taste based product could be accelerated and simplified. Visual depictions of perfumes, detergents,  foods and like products provide intuitive support for any verbal description.

Anybody striving to create reliable sensory pictures must be able to understand the product in question on a sensory level and objectively focus on nothing but the events taking place in the confines of mouth and nose. Only then will a third party observer, using the sensory wine picture, be enabled to relive the sensory experience of the artist in its full objective richness.