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5 Reasons Why Smoking Kills Wine Appreciation

(images: wiskirchengallery.com, farm3.static.flickr.com, smokingkills.com)

Guess what?

Smoking sucks donkey butt.

Hardly a news flash, right?

But what you might not know already is that, aside from the fact that smoking kills more people per year than alcohol & drug abuse, homicides, suicides, car accidents, fires, and AIDS-related deaths - combined - it also kills something else near and dear to our hearts.

Smoking totally kills your ability to truly appreciate wine.
You want to learn to appreciate wine like a pro? Then you'd better quit smoking, pronto...

1) Smoking impairs your sense of smell.
This is a well-known effect of smoking. Considering that almost all of your ability to taste wine stems from your ability to smell, this makes smoking pretty much the death knell of your wine appreciation pursuits. And it will stay that way until you quit smoking.

2) Smoking impairs your sense of taste.
According to TheScoopOnSmoking.org, "If you smoke, you won't be able to taste your food as well as nonsmokers do." That's because smoking damages your taste buds. So, what smoking doesn't kill in terms of your ability to appreciate a wine's aromas, it will kill in your ability to savor its flavors on your palate. You might as well be drinking water (or grain alcohol) instead.

3) Smoking creates off-odors that interfere with your (and others) ability to appreciate wine in the glass.
When you smoke, you stink. Your clothes, hair, and breath all suffer from off-odors when you're a smoker. The kind of strong off-putting odors associated with smoking are absolute murder for the appreciation of wines with delicate aromas. What's more, nothing will piss off other wine geeks more than your smelliness impairing their ability to appreciate the wine in their glasses!

4) Smoking is boku expensive.
The money that you spend on smoking (current estimates put this around $200 per month, on average) is money that you can't spend on good wine. I don't know about you, but I consider $2000+ a year a good deal of money; after all, that's almost 225 bottles of tasty Centine (or maybe 1.5 bottles of Chateau Petrus - in an off-vintage). Aside from the large personal expense of the smoking habit, it could also be argued that you have a civic and moral duty to quit smoking, to promote the public good. Why? Smoking increases general medical expenses, even for non-smokers. For example, treatment costs and rising insurance rates (even for non-smokers) are being driven up due to smoking-related health costs. Not really related to wine, I know, but since I had your attention I couldn't resist mentioning it.

5) Smoking will kill you.
While there has been past publicity given to medical studies that claim wine drinking can counter some of the arterial damage caused by smoking, there is no evidence to suggest that drinking wine can help counter any of the dozens of other negative health impacts of smoking. The bottom line is that smoking will kill you.

And I'm fairly certain that death seriously imparis your ability to appreciate fine wine.




Anonymous said...

Great topic, Joe, and a post I wish I'd written!

Question: did you or members of your family ever smoke?

I lost my dad at age 70 to a life-long cigarette habit. I occasionally would volunteer to cook for both he and his second wife, who also smoked. After taking pains to shop for and craft a fine dish, only to see them both pour gobs of salt at the table, I would find myself offended nearly as much by this as by their tobacco habits. I tried in vain to salt their thinking with the many promises of adopting healthy habits, but alas, 'twas not to be.

I'm the winehiker today because of my intrinsic desire to reverse the unhealthy and sedentary course of my upbringing. And I LOVE the fine points of tasting wine, simply because I can.

Joe Roberts said...


I've never smoked. However, a few of my family members did and I am sure it played a part in the death of my grandfather.

I also play music from time to time in very smoky bars - which is probably the equivalent of me smoking 2-4 (or more) cigs during those gigs...

Anonymous said...


Good post!

In the tasting room, we can't stand it when people smoke outside and then come up to taste. The smell seems to permeate everything. As with too much perfume, it ruins the whole experience for everyone, just as you say.

I was a smoker for a while but finally quit for good a few years ago due to improving my health. When I started back a little, it was my wine tasting skills that quickly nipped that 'in the buds' as it really does affect your sense of smell and taste.

I'm e-mailing this to my boyfriend (who's trying to quit) right now.

Joe Roberts said...

Thanks, farley.

I was taught that Love and Hate are strong words, and should be used sparingly and with consideration.

I HATE smoking.

Anonymous said...

There are many aids like gums, patches and pills on the market that will help people to stop smoking. A lot of people are helped by these products, but they do not work for everyone. If you’re a smoker who has tried to quit time and time again, but have not been helped by other methods, chantix may be a welcome alternative. http://www.chantixhome.com/

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