Browsing All Posts filed under »SOMM Journal«

A Sparkling Continuity: Jordan Cuvée Champagne by AR Lenoble

May 31, 2017

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In more ways than one, Champagne has begun infiltrating wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties. With several unprecedented examples that include Napa cult wine producer Sinegal launching its brand in conjunction with a prestige Champagne house, Sonoma’s Buena Vista Winery–branded Champagne and the unique partnership between Jordan Winery and the grower Champagne house of AR Lenoble, there’s a trend in the making.

Pyrazines: A double-edged sword

April 17, 2017

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Pyrazines—too much of a good thing and they’re a fault; absent in varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and they leave something to be desired. In relation to bitterness, pyrazines can be the source of a flaw or fault, but that’s just one of many ways they can impact wine flavor. Ask any maker of Bordeaux varieties, […]

The good, the bad and the ugly

February 9, 2017

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Many who consider the sensory evaluation of wine to be a purely subjective exercise cite our differences in perception as the basis for that belief. While it’s true that our abilities to perceive aromas and tastes vary, using an olfactometer we’re able to accurately measure the thresholds at which different tasters perceive the volatile organic […]

Your glass is half full

October 28, 2016

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Minerality — Without question the most controversial and elusive of wine descriptors.   This comes as no surprise given that the exact definition of what minerals themselves are is still under debate and has been expanded as an element or compound formed through “biogeochemical” processes.  Nutrient or dietary minerals—single elements like manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, […]

Riedel celebrates 260 years of glassware expertise

June 28, 2016

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There’s no question that glassware can alter our perceptions of wine. It’s a phenomenon experienced by every resourceful consumer who has pressed a plastic cup into service when a wineglass wasn’t close. While the proliferation of shapes intended to complement or enhance specific wines has been met with skepticism from certain corners, without empirical evidence […]

Bitterness: Examing the chemistry behind the taste sensation

June 22, 2016

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Humans are particularly sensitive to bitterness. Thanks to a small but novel family of 30 genes, we can perceive thousands of bitter compounds. Our ability to discern bitter tastes evolved as a way to keep our early ancestors from eating poisonous plants. Bitterness is a taste sensation that we experience when monomeric flavonoid phenols, the […]

The Minor Components of Wine

February 14, 2016

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Wine is, for the most part, water and ethanol which in turn become vehicles for the minor components that are largely responsible for aroma, taste and texture. Through the efforts of researchers at the University of California at Davis and the University of Burgundy in Dijon, our understanding of wine’s biochemical landscape is expanding rapidly. […]