https://twitter.com/rolololand/status/252676618785542144 I just asked Dr Karl this (Triple J science guru who knows literally everything) so curious what OCAU's answer is. The question is do we actually enjoy the taste of beer and wine, or is it a learned response from our brain due to it linking the taste with pleasure. For example if you say drink an entire bottle of Jim Beam and become horribly ill for days, most people will say "I can't drink Jim Beam, just the smell makes me ill" because their brain has associated that smell/taste with poison, its a learned response. However on the flip side if people always drink small shots of vodka and have a great time, even though it literally tastes like petrol/poison they will enjoy the taste as they link it with the pleasure they expect to feel. Is wine and beer the same, are they actually just learned responses? They say our taste buds mature over time which certainly explains why we start to like things like vegemite, cheese, olives, pickles etc, but does it also explain beer, vodka, wine? I have even heard of people who do lots of ecstasy pills enjoy the taste of chewing them up, even though it tastes like burning chemicals they link the horrid taste with intense pleasure so enjoy the taste. It makes sense from an evolutionary point of view, sugars and fats are hard coded to taste nice as they are calorie dense, so if sugar tastes nice you will eat more of it and hence be more likely to survive, if your brain made dirt taste nice and fruit taste awful you would almost certainly die out and become extinct. Is there a short term dynamic/adaptive taste though, eg your body learns that things are good for you (the reward system creating pleasure) so it makes these tastes/smells nice for you? What about if we laced cats excrement with ethanol and gave it to a tribe of humans that had never found alcohol, would they slowly turn it into a delicacy and eat it like we do with wine/beer etc? Curious what everyone's thoughts are, discuss.