Always more often Sunrise , the city where I live, is invaded by eno-enthusiastic tourists who for a few days dedicate themselves to tastings of Barolo and Barbaresco, in the streets of the city or in the various cellars scattered in the Langhe. Observing all these people intent on tasting gave me the opportunity to reflect. In a tasting, the first contact with the wine is visual. Sight gives us the first information about its quality, by observing its color.
THE wine colors they vary from light straw yellow for white wines, to dark garnet red for red wines, with many variations in tone, intensity and transparency.
But how does color perception work?
The color of an object is given by the amount of white light that, for each wavelength, that object reflects or absorbs.
The reflected light radiation passes through a part of the eye until it is absorbed by the photoreceptors of the retina. THE photoreceptors they are sensitive to three different wavelengths which correspond to the three basic colors: red, green and blue. From here, nerve signals are generated which, sent to the brain through the optic nerve, give rise to the color stimulus. In our retina we have 2 types of photoreceptors: the cones, responsible for daytime vision and colors, more concentrated in the macula and fovea, and the rods responsible for night vision.
THE cones they are concentrated in the fovea and are responsible for (photopic) color vision and distinct vision; there are at least three different types, respectively for red, green and blue The retina is the most important part of our vision, that is the one responsible for transmitting the images received, and focused in it, to our brain, which will process all the data and will allow us to see the reconstructed, colored and recomposed image.
In conclusion, we see wine not as it really is, but through cerebral sensations that interpret reality by generating images, smells and flavors. This does not mean that our brain processing of sensory perceptions is illusory, but that what we perceive is the result of a transfiguration of reality, implemented by the brain in such a way as to be useful for evaluating its qualities.