Comparing the same wine sealed with cork and screwcap

The closure debate has moved on quite a bit since the days when it was practically pitched warfare between the screwcap advocates (mainly Australia and New Zealand) and those who liked the traditional solution of natural cork. Now there’s a sort of truce.

For commercial wines, few have a problem with screwcaps. They’re taint free, they [...]

Pressing under nitrogen, the Inertys system

One of the things I saw in Provence was the way that many of the wineries are projecting the juice by pressing in the absence of oxygen. Pictured above is the press at Chateau Gassier, which has been fitted with the Bucher Inertys system.

The big bag (pictured below is one at Chateau Jas d’Esclans) [...]

Research suggests fruit flies could be responsible for wine's pleasant aromas

Could fruit flies be responsible for the nice smell of most wines? This is a really interesting idea suggested by a research paper just published in scientific journal Ecology Letters. It’s by a New Zealand group, led by Dr Mat Goddard, who have already published some really interesting research on yeast ecology, showing that the [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]