Category Archives: Tasting and taste

Intrinsic wine faults – do they exist?

As discussed by Jamie Goode in his book Flawless, a wine flaw may be said to be a characteristic of wine that is present to such an extent that it impacts on quality – it causes a wine to be less attractive … Continue reading

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When is a flaw not a fault? When it’s a taint

I have been doing a lot of thinking about wine faults recently – firstly as a result of attending a wine faults workshop organised by Jancis Robinson and her team, then through considering some comments about homemade wines in Eastern Europe … Continue reading

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Wine experts, and the wisdom of crowds

It’s a strange thing, expertise. In many areas, I think to call yourself an expert in a very broad subject would sound rather silly. I used to work in engineering research and I don’t recall anyone calling themselves an engineering expert, but there … Continue reading

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Foxiness, foxy grapes and foxy wines

The first time I came across the idea of foxiness was when I was reading about the battle against Phylloxera. One proposed solution was to switch to American grape species, which were resistant to the disease, or perhaps hybrids between … Continue reading

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

If a wine’s smell reminds you a bit of nail varnish, 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 some Chateau Musar, … 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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