WELLINGTON, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Don't look to the moon when deciding what wine to drink, New Zealand researchers said Monday.
Researchers at Lincoln University said they had worked with colleagues in France and Australia on a study that debunks the 50-year-old "biodynamic calendar" for wines.
The calendar for wine drinkers, first published in Germany, promotes the notion that wines taste different in systematic ways on days determined by the lunar cycle.
It is now published in English and is available also in phone app form.
The study had 19 New Zealand wine professionals blind-taste 12 Pinot noir wines at times determined within the biodynamic calendar for wine drinkers as being favorable (fruit day) and unfavorable (root day) for wine tasting.
The tasters rated each wine four times, twice on a fruit day and twice on a root day, and the wines were perceived as different in a variety of ways, but the specific day on which they were tasted did not affect how they were rated.
"Anecdotal evidence suggests that some professionals in the wine industry, in particular wine producers and retail outlet and wine distribution company staff, appear to accept that the moon may exert some sort of influence over how a beverage tastes on a particular day, despite the lack of scientific evidence," researcher Dr. Wendy Parr said in a statement.
The controversial philosophy had steadily increased in influence within the international wine industry, she said.
"For example, a wine may be perceived as tasting different across two successive tastings of the same wine, or 'not showing well' on a particular day," said Parr.
Many reasons could underlie such perceived differences, including wine composition factors, weather and atmospheric pressure, and human perception factors, including memory and mood of the taster, she said.
The findings highlighted the importance of testing experimentally practices that were based on anecdotal evidence, she said, stressing the study did not investigate or debunk biodynamic agriculture in general.