To the ancients, the idea that plants are formed from the soil would have seemed self-evident. The communion between the roots and the earth suggests that the composition of plants, and by extension the fruit they produce, is determined largely by the composition of the soil. Modern science, however, paints a rather different picture. The [...]
Unloading a wine flextank after shipping
I have just taken some time to answer an email from a TV researcher about wine and oxygen, specifically related to shipping and bottling wine. Because it took a fair while to answer the questions, I thought I’d share my responses here. Yes, geeky technical stuff indeed, but I [...]
With Marimar Torres
I’ve been visiting Torres today, one of Spain’s strongest wine brands, making not only very good commercial wines, but also some fairly serious high end wines, too.
I spent some time with the boss, Miguel Torres, and also with Marimar Torres who is based in the USA and runs Marimar Estate, in Sonoma, [...]
If you can, take some time to read this great article in a Nature supplement by wine-loving philosophy professor Barry Smith. It discusses whether the flavour (or taste) of a wine is the property of the wine or not.
This may seem a slightly self-indulgent academic discussion, but it has important implications for how we approach wine [...]
In short, no.
I have just written up Tuesday’s presentation and tasting on the results from research carried out by Bordeaux first growth Chateau Margaux. This was presented by Paul Pontallier, and he displayed an incredibly open and thoughtful attitude in sharing details of the in-house experiments that have been going on there for a decade.
Grape juice concentrate is a controversial topic in winemaking. It’s widely used, but people don’t really like to talk about it, because it sounds a bit like cheating. It’s a brave winemaker who shows journalists this widely used trick of the trade. Normally, it’s kept hidden away.
Most controversial of all is a substance called Mega [...]
It’s a bad idea to plan travel to the southern hemisphere during the heights of a lovely English summer. I’ve traded sun and 28 degrees for wind, rain and grey skies here in Auckland. Still, I’m glad to be here. I’ve just skyped home, and getting ready for a busy day interviewing scientists about the [...]
Nomacorc is based in the wonderfully named town of Zebulon, which sounds like something from a Flash Gordon movie. I spent the day here yesterday, visiting Nomacorc’s headquarters. I have just a few minutes to blog, so I won’t go into any great detail, other to say that it’s a big operation, with 10 extrusion [...]
I’m listening to some of the reports coming out of Bordeaux with alarm. The 2009 vintage has a dark side: high alcohol. The wine of one famous chateau weighs in at a heady 15.6% alcohol. In Bordeaux? This is a region that used to make great wines at around 12% alcohol. Not any more.
There are [...]