Language and wine

I’m just preparing for this morning’s session at the International Pinot Noir Conference here in McMinnvilla, Oregon. I have to moderate the grand seminar, which will be repeated again tomorrow, with 400 delegates in each session. Our topic, on the perception of wine and the way we use language to describe it, is potentially quite [...]

Some thoughts on GM technology

York Station

So yesterday I took part in a careers session for the brightest and best undergraduates in plant sciences at the Gatsby summer school. Held at the lovely Hawkhills centre near York, the idea is to enthuse these students about a potential career in plant sciences, and area which is vitally important but which [...]

Introducing my new book, Wine Science, with a short video

Here’s a short video in which I introduce my new book, Wine Science/The Science of Wine

The UK version is available now; The US version will be available in April.

To buy from amazon.co.uk: Wine Science: The Application of Science in Winemaking

To buy from amazon.com: The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass

If Amazon doesn’t [...]

Music and wine (2), a practical session with surprising results

At Pegasus Bay winery earlier this week, as part of the summer of Riesling event we experienced a wine and sound tasting session with wine writer Jo Burzynska. It proved to be interesting and also a little disturbing.

I wrote a bit on the topic of music and wine just before Christmas, reporting on a research [...]

The new edition of my book Wine Science/The Science of Wine

I’m delighted to say that if you are as nerdy about wine as I am, there’s a new book coming out next month that will be just up your street.

OK, I am a little biased. It’s the new version of Wine Science, which in the USA is published as The Science of Wine. Both [...]

Wine and music, a scientific study

It is well known that context can affect our experience (and enjoyment) of wine. But how do you measure this?

In a paper published in open access scientific journal Flavour, Charles Spence, Ophelia Deroy and colleagues looked at potential crossmodal correspondences between classical music and fine wine. To put this more simply, does listening to music [...]

What is a grape variety? What is a clone?

We talk a lot about clones and grape varieties. But what, precisely, do these terms mean?

Let’s first define ‘variety’. A new grape variety is produced when a grape seed has grown into a plant. So the 1500 or so commercial varieties of the single species Vitis vinifera grown worldwide are all the result of the [...]

More on the MW dissertation claims about screwcap damage

I posted a few days ago on an article in a trade publication based on an MW dissertation by Alison Eisermann-Ctercteko that examined the extent of screwcap damage in the retail chain, and the implications for wine quality. This caused quite a storm, because it claimed that 26% of all caps showed some physical damage, and over 8% [...]

MW dissertation claims that screwcaps cause more wine damage than cork

The rise in screwcap use in Australia since 2000 has been remarkable. Now they are by far the majority closure, for fine wines as well as more commercial ones. But a Masters of Wine (MW) dissertation by Alison Eisermann-Ctercteko, which has been published in Australian trade publication Wine and Viticulture Journal, presents evidence that is [...]

A hugely interesting scientific paper questions what we know about musty cork taint

A scientific paper that has just been published in journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) examines the way that 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), the key compound responsible for musty cork taint is perceived. The results are surprising.

They suggest that TCA acts on olfactory receptor cells (the cells containing the proteins that detect smells) by suppressing protein [...]