Staff Writer

A GROUP of South African neuromarketers and neuroscientists have launched the world’s first wine inspired by analysing brain activity.

NeuroWine was developed through the technology used in neuroscience and applied to the wine-making process. Red and white wines were blended according to what appealed to the subconscious mind.

The groundbreaking development was born from a partnership between neuromarketing consultancy Neural Sense and BLANKBottle label wine maker Pieter Walser.

Using neuroscience and biometric technologies, 21 different white wines and 20 red wines from different vineyards across the country were used during testing.

Walser’s emotional and cognitive responses to each taste experience was assessed to create the NeuroWine (one bottle of red and one white).

Neural Sense director David Rosenstein said the process involved the use of a device which fits around the head and picks up the electrical activity on the surface of one’s scalp.

“It looks at how the brain is functioning and the associated brain waves, which tells us various things about brain activity. Back in our laboratory, we built a model of Pieter’s brain activity with Dr Lester Ryan John, and together with the other biometric data we were able to uncover his unconscious responses to the wine tasting experience,” said Rosenstein.

This model enabled the team to determine the best performing aspects of the various varietals he was tasting, and identify the top wine varietals that appealed to his unconscious.

Walser admitted he sometimes struggles to make his blends due to his own preconceptions of what the wine should taste like, given his knowledge of the vineyards from which the grapes are sourced. However, he said this neuromarketing approach allowed his subconscious to do the talking.

Mark Drummond, from Neural Sense, said: “Our job as neuroscientists and neuromarketers is to build an understanding of how people experience things and that could be the taste of a wine or it could even be the experience of looking at a wine label or bottle shape. Using neuromarketing techniques and technologies, we are able to explore the subconscious and the underlying emotional drivers that drive decision-making.

“This allows us to see into the hearts and minds of consumers, or winemakers giving us new insight into their experiences, which can then be optimised.”