Pop or Screw? Scientists to make sense of the cork vs screwcap debate, and invite the public to take part

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It’s a debate that has divided the wine world for decades but scientists from Oxford University are carrying out a ground-breaking experiment using brainscanning technology to determine whether screwcaps or cork stoppers are the best way to close a bottle of wine.
The unique experiment, developed by Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, aims to end decades of debate about which method actually makes wine taste better.
Exploring the effect that our range of senses have on our tastebuds, members of the public are being invited to take part in the research. The primary experiment will see participants undertake a series of tests to assess the impact that the sound, aroma, feel and sight of a series of different wine closures have on how they perceive the taste of a wine.
Researchers will also gather data on participants’ response to the taste and experience of the wine they are drinking by fitting participants with state-of-the-art brain-scanning headwear, monitoring their pleasure receptors as they take part in a further series of tests.
The experiment is being carried out in collaboration with world-renowned “multi-sensory architects” Bompas & Parr, and will be open to members of the public this Summer.
The cork vs screwcap debate has raged in the wine industry, with experts, sommeliers and producers from across the world deeply divided in their opinions. This experiment, however, marks the first interjection from the world of science to definitively prove which closure provides the most positive drinking experience.
Professor Charles Spence, head of experimental psychology at Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, comments “Our brains have a powerful hold over our taste buds, and it will be interesting to see the differing effects the multi-sensory aspects of wine drinking have on our perception of taste. This is a debate that has been ongoing in the wine industry for many years, and we hope this trial will go some way to providing a definitive answer to this fascinating question.”

Members of the public will be invited to partake in the pioneering experiment themselves this summer, as part of Neuroenological Tasting: The Grand Cork Experiment. Created in conjunction with Bompas & Parr, the live experiment will run from 28th – 29th July in London’s Soho.
To register to take part in Neuroenological Tasting: The Grand Cork Experiment, visit Billetto.
The Grand Cork Experiment takes place from 12:00 – 18:00 on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th July at 15 Bateman Street, 15 Bateman St, W1D 3AQ London. Strictly over-18s only.

Notes to Editors:
Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR)

Represents and promotes the Portuguese Cork Industry. It is an employers’ association, of national scope, founded in 1956 and based in the north of Portugal. APCOR’s mission is to promote and develop cork as a raw material of excellence, as well as all cork-based products. Cork stoppers are the most famous product of the cork industry, with more than 12 billion bottles of wine closed every year with cork. The cork stopper has been the closure par excellence of wine for many years due to its unique properties – helping to best preserve the natural characteristics of wine as well as offering a quality, premium wine drinking experience. The environmental benefits of cork stoppers, which are natural, re-usable and recyclable, have also contributed to it being the closure of choice for over 70% of wine producers.

About Bompas & Parr
Bompas & Parr is globally recognised as the leading expert in multi-sensory experience design. The studio works with commercial brands, artistic institutions, private clients and governments to deliver emotionally compelling experiences to a wide variety of audiences.
Sam Bompas and Harry Parr first came to prominence through their expertise in jelly-making, but the business rapidly grew into a fully-fledged creative studio offering food and drink design, brand consultancy and immersive experiences across a diverse number of industries.
The founders’ backgrounds in marketing and architecture play a key role in the positioning and nature of the studio’s output and, along with a diverse spread of talents among the 20-strong team, Bompas & Parr activations boast a bold ambition, distinct aesthetic style and interpretive vigour that’s unrivalled among creative agencies. The studio works to experiment, develop and produce projects and experiences as well as provide strategy, analysis and advice for brands to increase consumer engagement through experience design.

More info: http://bompasandparr.com/

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