Category Archives: Tasting and taste

Volatile acidity – what it is, and what it isn’t

If a wine’s smell reminds you a bit of nail varnish, nail varnish remover, Airfix glue or car touch-up paint, then that will be volatile acidity, often abbreviated to VA. If you are not sure what I am talking about then try … Continue reading

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The Grand Cork Experiment – stunt or science?

At the end of July, The Grand Cork Experiment was launched with as much fanfare as could be mustered in the wine media. According to an article in The Drinks Business “a space in Soho was transformed into a laboratory to test whether … Continue reading

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Wine appreciation and architecture

I’ve been taking a bit of a break from wine recently and catching up on an old interest of mine – architecture – and eventually came across my copy of Andrea Palladio’s The Four Books on Architecture. Here I paused, partly because I … Continue reading

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Wine, ideology and quality

Particularly in recent months this topic has been on my mind a lot, as I have been drinking more natural wines, thinking about them, and listening to what others have to say. I’ve been wanting to write about it for a while, but couldn’t … Continue reading

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More on aroma perception by sniff and sip

I am again writing here about comparing orthonasal and retronasal olfaction – smelling things through the nostrils, compared with through back of the mouth. If having two modes of smelling is a new concept for you, you might like to refer to an earlier post on … Continue reading

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Neuroenology, and I Taste Red – two book reviews

Here I review two recently published books that cover similar ground. Both describe the science of how we perceive wine. As is made abundantly clear in both books, we use all our senses in wine perception, not just smell and taste, and we … Continue reading

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How big are your bubbles?

In the pre-Christmas dearth of news, when all serious journalists seem either to be at their Christmas parties or on their way home for the year, comes the widely reported story that champagne is better with bigger bubbles. This assertion … Continue reading

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Minerality in wine update

The discussion, or debate as many would like to see it, about minerality has moved on considerably since my post on the subject back in 2012, as evidenced by the Institute of Masters of Wine seminar about a month ago, which … Continue reading

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Subjectivity in Wine Appreciation article

Just a quick post to say that my Subjectivity in Wine Appreciation article, published in The World of Fine Wine Issue 51 Q1 2016, is now available here.

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Why four’s the aroma limit

I recently had an article published in Circle Update (the magazine of the Circle of Wine Writers). It concerned the number of aromas used in wine tasting notes. If you are interested you can view and download a PDF offprint … Continue reading

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