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You’ll often hear it said that if food is too spicy you won’t be able to taste the wine. It’s not true. The flavour of anything is largely a matter of taste and smell. The aromas from what you sip or chew reach the nose from the mouth and are experienced as tastes. When trying wines, professionals often spit out what they’ve swirled for the obvious reason, but they miss something: when we swallow, aromas are pulsed from the mouth up into the nasal cavity to intensify the resulting combination of tongue taste and smell that we call flavour.

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