Loss of smell is more crippling to the wine industry than was thought

Monday July 06 2020 by Vitisphere

 “Our concern, as an industry organisation, is to help our members. We work with our noses and tasting every day is a necessity”, stressed Didier Fages. “Our concern, as an industry organisation, is to help our members. We work with our noses and tasting every day is a necessity”, stressed Didier Fages. - Photo credit : Union des Oenologues de France

The French winemakers’ organisation has potentially uncovered a can of worms, due to the coronavirus crisis. “We have been hearing a lot about loss of taste”, explained Didier Fages, the organisation’s chairman, during its online AGM on June 25. In order to measure the true impact of Covid-19 on the sensory capacities of wine industry professionals, the organisation has launched an impact study on smell and taste. The survey, which can still be accessed online, has already received responses from 1,905 people, mostly winemakers (60%) alongside wine growers, sommeliers, wine merchants and wine marketers.

Only 53 people have been affected by Covid-19 (3% of respondents); 68% of them lost their sense of smell, and 5 respondents have not recovered it. But the most notable insight from the study is also the most unexpected: 273 respondents (or 14.2% of the sample) stated they had already lost their sense of smell before 2020. Of these, 2% have never regained it. “The issue first arose because of Covid-19, but it goes beyond the virus”, said Professor Pierre-Louis Teissedre, first vice-chairman of the French winemakers’ organisation.

It is estimated that between 15 and 20% of human beings have total or partial loss of the sense of smell”, explained Professor Pierre Bonfils, head of the ENT department at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital, during the AGM. He specified that there are 80 causes for loss of smell: nasal (polyposis), mucous membranes (rhinitis), viral (on olfactory cells), nerve (head trauma) and neurodegenerative diseases (with age). “There are many cases, but there are ways of stabilising the sense of smell by consulting an ENT specialist”, pointed out Bonfils, who reported a “serious psychological impact, requiring significant moral support to cope with this major handicap” among his winemaker and chef patients.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Copy the code :
Processing
© Vitisphere 2020 - Tout droit réservé