Does the Phase of the Moon Effect the Way Wine Tastes?

First as a distributor rep, and then as a retail wine buyer, I noticed that wine tastes different on different days.  Early on, I associated this solely with the fact that wine does not taste good on hot days. reds being more sensitive to the temperature outside than whites. Then an old industry salt, Don Beatty, told me it was barometric pressure that effects how a wine tastes.  At that time I was tasting

French wines are usually made to accompany food.
Would this wine have tasted differently if I had opened two days later? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

roughly six wines a day. OK, I could buy that… maybe. Still, some days, regardless of the moderate weather, my palate would just be seem off.

Later, I was buying wine and tasting seventy wines a day, (or more). I was my palate was super-tuned, and I was really confused by the fact that some days wine really just didn’t taste right. I had already learned to be very careful of the foods I was eating for lunch.  I had learned that using mouthwash trashed the palate.  Yet, the problem of having a palate that was ‘off’ occasionally persisted. Sometimes, wines would start tasting better by the end of the day… sometimes, they didn’t.

It wasn’t until talking to Jerred Wolff from Palm Bay Imports, perhaps one of the straight-up, most intelligent and knowledgeable guys in the wine biz, told me about root days being bad days to taste wine. Finally, this was something that might make sense.  It all had to do with the phases of the moon.  These cycles last two and a half days each, so mid-day, or mid-evening, so the story goes, your perception of how a wine tastes can change as the day changes, from say, a root day to a flower day.

wine babes
Some wines will never taste good! (Photo credit: brendaj)

Fruit Days:  Wine tastes its best on fruit days.

Flower Days: are neutral in the taste of wine and not effect the wine negatively.

Leaf Days:  Leaf days are neutral-negative days for tasting wine.  Not the best.

Root Days: Wine will generally not taste good on root days.

While I can buy the concept of the moon, I have yet to put it to the test. If it’s not the phases of the moon, I can’t think of any other rational explanation.

Maria Thun has written a book (that I admit I haven’t yet purchased) on the subject, called When Wines Taste Best: A Bio-dynamic Calendar for Wine Drinkers.  It’s on my to-do list.


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Diary of a Winebuyer

About Me: Thirty years ago, I graduated with a degree in political science from the College of Letters and Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Having grown up at the height of the Cold War, I still have vivid remembrances of being instructed to hide under our elementary school desk, covering our heads. The young, white, female teacher, training us without explanation, to face away from the windows. I suppose it is not all that surprising that I had a particular interest in the realpolitik of international relations. My fascination grew with the discovery that certain conditions almost uniformly exist where all revolutions ferment. Did this mean that the revolutions which had occurred in the first half century were revolutions which had been usurped by Marxists who were in the right place at the right time? Probably. A favorite professor was A. J. Gregor. This was a man who, while rakishly wearing a Gestapo-styled black leather motorcycle jacket, exuded expertise on fascism (which he looked the part) and Marxism. Improbably, he did it with a significant swagger. Then in my last semester, I had the blind luck to take a class on Asian Marxist revolution, and the professor, who just happened to be visiting that year while he worked on some unnamed project, was Chalmers Johnson. In retrospect, I should have known his name, as he was a luminary in the political science community but at that time, I did not. It was a remarkable opportunity to experience the ivory tower, but I seem to remember being anxious to get on with life. After college, I drifted through a few of jobs that were of interest to me. One of my former high school teachers said to me. "If I were in your shoes, I'd get a job as a flight attendant." So in order to be young while I could still afford to, I accepted a job serving chicken or beef at Pan American. With that airline losing money faster than it could sell its routes, I got a job doing cellar work at David Bruce Winery. This was the beginning of my wine career. All during this period, I wrote a still unpublished novel about homegrown terrorists the U.C. Berkeley campus, attempting to use some of what I learned in school, weaving in the Vietnamese political and military strategies of Dau Tranh as professor Johnson had lectured years before. Since the early 1990's, I have been involved in the wine industry, selling fine wine in both the retail and wholesale arenas. I have approached learning about wine, by always challenging myself to question how I know what I think I know? And in an effort to try to find answers I've turned, with varying degrees of success to wine books. Overall, I've not been happy with the quality of most wine writing, finding the authors either to lack any deep knowledge, or unable to move much past what I consider to be superficial information. I recognize that wine writers have to monetize their work, but I believe this has dramatically held back our knowledge and understanding of wine. I have set out to add to our industry's base of knowledge where I can. My first series, 'The Terroir of Burgundy' (which I should probably re-edit and complete some kind of conclusion, but I got involved in this project), can be viewed here. I currently work as a sales and marketing manager for a Burgundy and Bordeaux importer based in Atherton, California.

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