When Wine Tastes Best app is a handy Biodynamic wine calendar that some believe indicates the optimal days and times for tasting and enjoying wine. Some in the wine industry swear by it, with wine sales reps and store owners choosing the days for wine tastings and to present wines to potential buyers based on the calendar. According to the creators of When Wine: “Based on 50 years of research by biodynamic expert Maria Thun, the calendar was developed to discover which days are good (fruit and flower days), and which are less good (root and leaf days).”
Biodynamic Wine Calendar Applies Lunar Cycles to Tasting Wine
The lunar calendar has been used in farming and gardening for centuries. According to Farmer’s Almanac.com: “Gardening by the Moon, or more specifically, according to the phases of the Moon, is an idea that has been around for as long as humans have been growing their own food. It’s becoming more and more in vogue, cropping up (no pun intended) in books, blogs, and other educational materials coming out of the permaculture movement, ‘a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature.’ ” But can lunar cycles really affect the taste of bottled wine?
Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, was the founder of the Biodynamic agricultural movement in the early 1920s. He brought forth a unique and comprehensive approach to soil, plant, animal and human health that recognizes the importance of the healthy interplay of cosmic and earthly influences. A student of Steiner’s, Maria Thun, created the Maria Thun Biodynamic Almanac and Calendar, and her son Matthias Thun, authored the book When Wine Tastes Best: A Biodynamic Calendar for Wine Drinkers, based on her philosophies. It was later turned into the When Wine Tastes Best app. “(this) guide tells you which days are optimum wine-drinking days, and which days to avoid if you want to get the most out of your glass.” “If we consider the wine in the bottle as a living organism, which matures over time, then it makes sense that it too, should respond to the rhythm of the moon.”
The Philosophy Behind the Biodynamic Wine Calendar
The Biodynamic calendar is made up of four types of days that are determined by both Lunar cycles and astrological signs: Root, Flower, Leaf and Fruit.
Root Days – when the moon is in any Earth sign: Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo. Following the philosophy of the Biodynamic calendar, these days are the worst for tasting wine as the wine will appear more subtle on this “earthy” day.
Flower Days – when the moon is in any air sign: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. These days are said to be better days for tasting aromatic wines, especially those white wines with floral aromas.
Leaf Days – when the moon is in any of the water signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Wines are experienced to be less sweet, with a dominant, earthy minerality. This could be due to the fact that according to the Biodynamic calendar, the plant is more focused on producing chlorophyll on Leaf Days.
Fruit Days – when the moon is in any of the fire signs: Aires, Leo and Sagittarius. Fruit days are said to be the optimal days for tasting wine as the fruit flavors are more vibrant, and the wine is rich and full.
‘David Motion, owner of The Winery in London’s Maida Vale is now a convert and stocks a range of biodynamic vintages. “A root day won’t make a good wine taste bad, but on a fruit day the wine is almost leaping out the bottle and singing ta-dah!’
— Jessica Fellows, Telegraph.co.uk
Scientific Study Shows Biodynamic Wine Calendar May Not Work for Everyone
A scientific study was conducted in 2016 to help determine if the philosophy behind the Biodynamic Wine Calendar is real or merely power of suggestion. The study, Expectation or Sensorial Reality? An Empirical Investigation of the Biodynamic Calendar for Wine Drinkers “aimed to investigate a central tenet of biodynamic philosophy as applied to wine tasting, namely that wines taste different in systematic ways on days determined by the lunar cycle. Nineteen New Zealand wine professionals tasted blind 12 Pinot Noir wines at times determined within the biodynamic calendar for wine drinkers as being favourable (Fruit day) and unfavourable (Root day) for wine tasting. Tasters rated each wine four times, twice on a Fruit day and twice on a Root day, using 20 experimenter-provided descriptors. Wine descriptors spanned a range of varietal-relevant aroma, taste, and mouthfeel characteristics, and were selected with the aim of elucidating both qualitative and quantitative aspects of each wine’s perceived aromatic, taste, and structural aspects including overall wine quality and liking…Results demonstrated that the wines were judged differentially on all attributes measured although type of day as determined by the biodynamic calendar for wine drinkers did not influence systematically any of the wine characteristics evaluated.”
Biodynamic Wine Calendar – Helpful or Hooey?
We have the When Wine app and use it periodically to consult the calendar while presenting our organic wines to buyers, conducting tastings or simply enjoying a glass. Like others, we have noticed that wines do indeed taste different from day to day, sometimes vastly different. Maybe there is some truth to this reasoning, explaining in part why a wine can be “showing well” one day, while not the next. Take note while tasting your favorite wines if there are key differences from one day to the next, then check out the free app to see if your taste buds agree that the moon is right for enjoying your favorite wine tonight.