Tasting tips from Pascal Bouchet, sommelier teacher at the Tain l’Hermitage hotel-trades high school.
Take the time to examine this full-bodied liquid. Its green colour is so luminous it sticks to the glass. You can imagine its soft and mellow texture…
Slowly bring it towards your nose so you can inhale its numerous fragrances without being overwhelmed by the alcoholic vapours. You need to keep a certain distance in order to discover the full aromatic spectrum of Green Chartreuse.
Sipping the liqueur confirms these initial sensations, revealing new fragrances by retronasal olfaction (swallow, breathing through the nose with the mouth closed). All that remains is to savour the final bouquet!
The mechanism of taste
Taste, a sense that is dominated by smell
Human beings have approximately 4,000 taste-sensitive cells, 75% of which are on the tongue. Each taste receptor can be stimulated by a wide range of chemical substances, although each type of receptor is particularly sensitive to one basic category of taste, either sweet, salty, sour, bitter or umami (savoury). In all cases, the taste receptor liberates a neurotransmitter, stimulating the neurones that transmit the message to the brain. All this taste and odour information is processed by the cerebral cortex. The brain recognises complex tastes by combining the different messages sent by the five senses. Taste is mostly perceived through retronasal olfaction, in which odours freed in the mouth when we eat rise up into the nose, where they stimulate our smell receptors. Smell, either directly or indirectly via the retronasal route, is responsible for 90% of our sense of taste.