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When Senses Fail

Tony S

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What is this thing that happens to me once in a while? Suddenly drinks don't smell or taste right. It comes without warning.

Tonight I poured a glass of wine from a bottle i knew was good because I'd opened it the night before and liked it. Tonight it smelled like melting plastic. Blech. I opened something else. It smelled like lacquer thinner. Blech x 2. That's when I knew it was happening again. Smell and taste meltdown. What is this phenomenon?
 

cantunamunch

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Seriously, aging can affect smell. COVID as well, or any infection. Sometimes I know I'm getting an infection because I smell onions.
Possible sub-clinical viral infection. Happens to, me when I'm cycling through an annoying chronic infection I've had since college.

I get this. I usually know I'm getting it because I also get colossal mid afternoon fatigue on the same day.
 

Philpug

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The greatest sense failure is common sense.
 

coskigirl

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Medications can also mess with taste. I’m on 3 meds that mess with me and it’s a crap shoot on whether something will taste okay on any given day. I currently have 3 open bottles of white wine, 2 of which I’m very familiar with. All taste more acidic than I expect. So annoying.
 

Paul Lutes

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I get this. I usually know I'm getting it because I also get colossal mid afternoon fatigue on the same day.
Yes! Do you by any chance have a virus that starts with H and ends in -erpes? I finally went on daily Valacyclovir (using it to only read outbreaks was completely ineffective) and have been happy with the results.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

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So, I'm a little skeptical about the virus thing in my particular case. The issue is gone today. This is generally the way this problem goes with me. It lasts twelve hours or whatever and then I'm back to normal. Oh well. Not the end of the world.

The acid thing thing that @coskigirl mentions happens to me even more often. In fact it is so prevalent that I've kind of gone off - or at least gotten much pickier about - many of the high-acid whites I particularly loved in my 20s and 30s. Loire whites and Alsace rieslings, for example. Even certain Champagnes.

In short, I suspect @scott43's comment about age was on the money.
 

cantunamunch

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The acid thing thing that @coskigirl mentions happens to me even more often. In fact it is so prevalent that I've kind of gone off - or at least gotten much pickier about - many of the high-acid whites I particularly loved in my 20s and 30s. Loire whites and Alsace rieslings, for example. Even certain Champagnes.

But not Cab Franc (or high acid Italian reds) or high-acid coffees or ciders?

If your acid thing is only reserved for high-acid whites, I suspect it's actually rolled up into your first complaint.

Phrased another way, during an episode, there's not enough else you're sensing in the whites to flood out or justify your acid trip.

Now, if you've also given up peasant-style reds and Latin American medium roast coffees, it might make a separate story. And yes, I am perfectly aware that different acids have different pucker factor, which is why Coke use phosphoric.
 
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Tony S

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
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If your acid thing is only reserved for high-acid whites, I suspect it's actually rolled up into your first complaint.
You're probably right about this.
 

Paul Lutes

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And if were "just" age :geek:, I wouldn't think it would turn on and off like that. I've certainly noticed a tendency to reduced taste sensitivity with age - things that I couldn't stand when I was younger thinking they were too overpowering now are relished, things that I thought were very tasty then are now pretty blah. An unexpected shift, however, has been becoming less tolerant of sweetness. Used to put a ton of sugar in any AM tea (triple strength), but now no more than half of what I had been using, and sweet, overly fruited wine is right out
 

Pat AKA mustski

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It could be a sinus thing. My sinuses act up periodically and make things taste differently. Often I don’t even feel congested; just a bad smell or loss of smell both of which affect how things taste.

the other question … you didn’t have a head injury or concussion in the last few months, did you? My son had a concussion and lost both his sense of smell and taste for a few years.
 

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