The moon is believed to play an important part in our lives, affecting everything from our moods to our tastebuds.
Many farmers and gardeners believe the welfare and success of their plants depends on the phase of the moon in which they are planted.
A recent experiment showed that the moon even influence the way we taste our wines.
Those who know about these things say there are four specific cycles in the lunar month: fruit, root, flower and leaf days. Wines are said to taste different, depending on the phase in which they are tasted.
In an attempt to test this the Luna Taste Test project was set up by Avondale wine estate in conjunction with the Platter’s South African Wine Guide.
The last of their tasting was held on May 24.
The biodynamic calendar was developed in the 1950s by Maria Thun.
A panel of experienced wine tasters was offered a selection of Avondale wines at various phases of the lunar cycle. Theoretically wine should taste best during the fruit and flower cycles.
Only after this final tasting did Avondale proprietor Johnathan Grieve enlighten the team as to the order of the test cycles, the first being the Fruit (14th May), the second the Leaf (16th May), the third the Root (22nd May) and the final tasting being held in the Flower cycle (24th May).
At the end of the trial it was unanimously agreed that the cycles did affect the quality of the wines tasted.
In the fruit cycle the panelists found the wines to be at their most overpowering – full bodied and rich.
At the leaf phase tasting the wines appeared less sweet, with a dominant minerality. Apparently the panel were amazed at how different the wines tasted.
The third tasting was during the root phase and panelists found the wines to be less assertive, they described the wines as “subdued” and said they tasted as if they had “gone to sleep”.
The panel all agreed that the flower day was the best tasting day overall for the wines. The wines were described as “expressive”, “elegant” and “more structured with a fresh, fuller-bodied character”. The biodynamic lunar calendar can be found on Johnathan Grieve’s blog.
Sellers of wines might like to make a note of good days.