In anatomy and physiology, the term (also sensory, sensory) is a generic term for various sensory modalities. It means "the reception of sensations by sensory organs" (sensor = feeler). Sensory testing means the olfactory, gustatory and optical analysis of an object by a person who is competent on the basis of his scientific and technological knowledge combined with regular practice. The sensory organs are areas of the cerebral cortex in which the sensory stimuli received by the receptors are perceived. The term organoleptic means the same thing.
In connection with the qualitative testing and evaluation of wines, there is also sensory testing in addition to analytical testing using technical measuring instruments and chemical aids. This is performed exclusively by means of all five sensory organs. A distinction is made between gustatory for taste (palate, tongue), olfactory for smell (nose), visual for appearance (eye) and trigeminal (nasal-trigeminal). The latter concerns the sense of touch in the head area, which is also used to perceive certain sensations associated with smell when tasting.
The only non-participant of the five senses is thus the auditory (ears). However, one can also add the "pop" when uncorking, the "bubbling" when pouring and the noise when toasting as sensual pleasures when enjoying a wine. A sensory test is an obligatory standard procedure for quality tests in all wine-growing countries. In Germany and Austria a positive result is a prerequisite for the allocation of the official test number or state test number.
See also under wine appeal, wine evaluation and wine enjoyment. Regarding the development and maturation of a wine, see ageing, bottle-ageing and shelf life, and regarding the time of consumption, see drinking maturity.