Posts Tagged ‘aroma’

 

Selling commodities is difficult because people buy on emotion, or instinct if you will. Want and desire are powerful emotions that can stimulate the release of endorphins. It’s why some people are shop-a-holics. It feels good to buy. But it’s not that easy to get emotionally worked up about borax, chlorine, and salt. As an economic good, a commodity has no real differentiation, so small price differences in competing products can make huge differences in total sales.

Think about how you won’t buy gasoline at one gas station because it’s four cents cheaper around the corner. That’s a commodity. Ever buy a piece of art that way? Of course not because art’s value is in the eye of the beholder, is easily differentiated, and consequently will have wide price ranges. When art is sold, it’s sold on the artist’s reputation or the emotion the piece evokes for someone. Marketers work overtime to take commodity-like goods and then pretend they aren’t commodities by creating and building an emotional appeal around the brand.

 Take the above deodorant commercial. Did you hear mention of the product characteristics as a differentiator? Nowhere does this commercial say Old Spice is made with orange, lemon, clary sage, heliotrope, pimento berry and musk, even though those were the original Old Spice ingredients. The creative team instead focused on delivering an emotional image; something with a human connection that ties back to the product.
 
In this case in a humorous way, they are talking about sex-appeal and are really targeting women who are by far the larger purchasers of family groceries still. The subliminal note is if you get Old Spice for your husband, he will look like this …….. or maybe the message is he will ride a horse? I don’t know but I am wearing Old Spice and on a horse right now. Look at me….

 

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This list of wine terms and definitions will give you a head start at your next wine tasting. It is often helpful to carry a small notepad with you to tastings so you can jot down your impressions of wines. Develop your own list of wine terms: using your own words to describe different tastes and aromas will help you to remember and apply them.

Wine Definitions: Nose

  • Acetic Wine smells and or tastes of vinegar.
  • Aggressive Harsh tastes or impressions due to excesses of tannin, acid or alcohol.
  • Aromatic Used to describe perfumed or very distinctive aromas such as from Gewürztraminer.
  • Blackcurrant Aroma associated with Cabernet Sauvignon often referred to as cassis.
  • Body Impression in the mouth of weight and consistency mainly due to alcoholic strength and extract.
  • Bouquet Smells / aromas that develop as a wine matures.
  • Buttery Smell and flavours of butter. Sometimes seen in heavily oaked Chardonnays.
  • Caramel Taste and or smell of caramelised sugar.
  • Cardboard Smell of damp papers or cardboard.
  • Cedar Smell associated with many red wines that have been matured in oak. Similar to the smell of pencil shavings.
  • Corked Wine fault recognised by a distinctive mouldy rotting smell.
  • Crisp A marked level of acidity.
  • Ethyl Acetate Smell of solvents such as some glues or lacquers or pear drop sweets.
  • Eucalyptus A pleasant aroma sometimes found in red wines from Australia.
  • Farmyard Vegetal or animal odours.
  • Flinty Mineral aromas and flavours usually associated with dry white wines.
  • Flowery / Floral Fragrant scents like fresh flowers.
  • Geraniums Smell of geranium leaves, usually associated with excess sorbic acid.
  • Gooseberry Often used to describe the aroma of young /sauvignon Blanc.
  • Grapey Smell of grapes – often found with Muscat.
  • Herbaceous Vegetal, grassy and smell of leaves.
  • Musk Heavy waxy / vegetal aroma of mature Semillon and Sauternes.
  • Nose Bouquet or aroma.
  • Pear Drops Smell similar to nail polish remover or acetate.
  • Perfumed Fragrant

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The future of smelling your wine...

The future of smelling your wine…

 

Wine experts point out that while the device could pick out smells, it can’t determine if the wine is actually good or not.
For winemakers (and wine drinkers), a keen sense of smell is essential. Without smell, one can taste little. Now researchers have devised what they call an “electronic nose” that they say detects fruit odors more effectively than the human sense of smell and could someday be used in the winemaking industry.
 
Spanish and Swedish engineers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain and Sweden’s University of Gävle have created an electronic nose with 32 sensors that can distinguish pears from apples, which contain similar chemical compounds called esters. The researchers said the technology could eventually be used to distinguish the quality or type of grape or recognize a wine’s vintage.
 
Their setup bears no resemblance to an actual nose, rather it is a desktop apparatus connected to a computer.
 
“The fruit samples are placed in a pre-chamber into which an air flow is injected which reaches the tower with the sensors, which are metal oxide semiconductors that detect odorous compounds such as methane or butane,” José Pelegrí Sebastiá, co-author of the paper, said in a statement.
Read on …

Brettanomyces.

Brettanomyces.

 

 

UC Davis researchers create Brettanomyces aroma wheel

As much as it’s reviled, Brettanomyces still has its supporters in those who think a little bit of barnyard or wet dog imparts a distinct identity to their wines.

 

The clean, modern winemaking practices of the sort espoused by the University of California, Davis, have put Brett squarely in the menace category. Dr. Linda Bisson, who studies the metabolic pathways of yeast at UC Davis, however, likened Brett to a color in an artist’s palette.

 

Granted, it might be a color similar to a brash, fluorescent green that is best used sparingly, she told Wines & Vines.

 

Bisson and UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Department staff member Lucy Joseph released a Brett aroma wheel around the start of the year. The wheel is the result of a study the two performed on a collection of 83 Brett strains, of which 17 were identified as positive and five as negative by a sensory panel.

 

Aroma Wheel.

Aroma Wheel.

 

 

Strains that garnered a negative reaction were those that generated more aromas in the rotten and putrid category, as opposed to positive characteristics such as floral and spicy. Some strains had no sensory impact even though the Brett population grew in the wine. Certain strains also exhibited a correlation of descriptors such as earthy and putrid or Band-Aid and soy.

 

The positive strains did add something good to the wine rather than just not befouling it, Bisson said. The finding would appear to underscore the essence of the Brett debate between those disgusted by its flaws versus others intrigued by its complexities.

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How do I buy a wine when I don’t know what it tastes like? Refer to the guide below to discover what wines have dominant red fruit flavors vs. dark fruit flavors. For example a pinot noir often has cherry flavors and a cabernet sauvignon often tastes like black currants.
Red Fruit Flavors in Wine Varieties

Gamay

Gamay is better known as Beaujoulais. Most Beaujoulais are meant to be drunk within the year after they were produced and are light cherry with sometimes a banana-like flavor. There are finer more age-worthy Beaujoulais referred to as “cru Beaujoulais” and these wines often have raspberry aromas. These wines often have a green stem bitterness. Tart Cherry, Raspberry

Pinot Noir

When pinot noir has a cranberry flavor profile it is from a cooler climate such as Oregon, Marlborough, New Zealand and Burgundy, France. Cherry is the most common flavor found in pinot noir ranging from red to black cherry. Dark cherry wines indicate a warmer region such as Sonoma, CA; Central Coast, CA; Central Otago, New Zealand; Warm vintages in Oregon and Patagonia, Argentina. Strawberry aromas are a characteristic often found in New Zealand pinot noir. When a pinot noir has Raspberry flavors and it’s from America, this often means the wine was blended with some syrah to add extra body. Cranberry, Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry

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My whole wine world is shaken.

What does Syrah taste like? Are floral aromas pretty? Is a “typical Bordeaux” supposed to taste like medicine and ashes? I don’t know anymore.

I’ve been to a Brettanomyces tasting at UC Davis. I described it on Twitter as spending a day in a room full of laboratory-created stink cells. I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth for hours.

But the psychological impact … well, I may be scarred for life. As I said at the tasting, “It’s like learning that Darth Vader is my father.”

The seminar was ground-breaking for UC Davis, which previously always called Brettanomyces in wine a “spoilage organism.” This was the first time the university acknowledged that brett is an important part of some wines’ terroir. UC Davis tested 83 strains of Brett and 17 — more than 20% — were regarded as giving more positive impact than negative.

Brettanomyces under the microscope.

Brettanomyces under the microscope.

That’s a big deal. Wineries are always looking for some way to boost the deliciousness of their wine. Here is the world’s foremost university on teaching clean winemaking, suddenly saying that Brett — previously derided as the bad yeast that makes your wine smell like rotting corpses — might actually add the scent of roses.

And that’s why I’m wondering whether roses in my wine — something I used to treasure in Gewürztraminer and Riesling, and to enjoy hints of in Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo — are actually the smell of, well, spoilage.
Read on …

The magical world of a barrel cellar.

The magical world of a barrel cellar.

 

I have often wondered why winemakers put their wines, white or red, in oak barrels and age them for sometimes months at a time.

The University of California Davis recently conducted a seminar on oak management and wine sensory issues. It looked at the use of oak barrels and oak adjuvants such as oak staves and oak powder with regard to how the oak may affect the wine’s chemical composition, aroma and flavors.

To me, the aroma of a wine is the “smell” of the specific grape varietal. But this very sensitive element can be easily influenced by the winemaking techniques and the use of oak barrels.

One obvious question is: why were oak barrels chosen to store wine in the beginning? The barrel is a perfect container to age wine in and is easily moved around manually. The answer seems to be related to the fact that oak barrels do not leak if properly coopered.

One of the most intriguing questions that was discussed at this seminar was what would have been the impact on wine tastes and wine’s appeal if a different tree had been chosen for barrel production. Has the effects of the oak barrel basically defined our tastes for different styles of wine?

Most European oak barrels are made from the Quercus petrea or Quercus robur while Quercus alba or the white oak is the main species used in American oak barrels. Today a good French oak barrel sells for around $1,000 a barrel and many of these barrels can only be used for several years before they lose their ability to enhance the flavors of the wine.

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A Cosmos of Life!

 

 

The yeasts and fungi that are common in every vineyard may have a role in the taste of wine.

Wine producers often report that parcels of fruit from the same vineyard are as different as chalk and cheese. But if the soil is the same, the climate is the same, and the winemaking is the same, what could be causing this?

There are a number of solutions to the mystery, but a new study suggests that invisible-to-the-naked-eye microbes in the vineyard could play a large part in determining the aromas of the wine in your glass.

Stellenbosch-based researchers have been examining the microbial diversity of cabernet sauvignon grapes obtained from conventional, biodynamic and integrated pest management-run (IPM) vineyards. Not only were there significant differences between these vineyards in terms of microbial life, but diversity within each vineyard was equally important.

“Yeast species distribution is subject to… read on

Also Read the full scientific report:

article-kiwi-wine-420x0

 

 

New research “empowers” sauvignon blanc producers.

It’s hard to believe that New Zealand sauvignon blanc didn’t exist before 1973. Local winemakers were more interested in turning out bulk-produced Müller-Thurgau. How times change.

Today, sauvignon blanc is one of the country’s major exports, along with lamb, Flight of the Conchords and “The Lord of the Rings.” The aromatic varietal represents four out of every five bottles of wine that leave New Zealand shores. With such a reliance on this cat’s-pee-in-a-gooseberry-bush grape, the industry launched extensive research to explore its key aroma and flavor compounds, and how they relate to viticulture and winemaking.

“In our research program, we wanted to understand the unique characters of New Zealand sauvignon blanc,” explains Dr Simon Hooker, general manager for research at N.Z. Winegrowers. “What are its sensory attributes? Can they be linked back to viticultural management? Are they generated in the vineyard, through winemaking processes, or by the yeasts?”

The findings of six years of research are revealed in a new book, “The Science of Sauvignon Blanc,” authored by U.K. wine writer – and plant biologist – Dr. Jamie Goode.

Hooker says the book presents a “very user-friendly” overview of the questions that prompted the research, and provides the wine industry with “new tools for driving flavor.”

So what did the study program reveal?

Read on …

 

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wine

 

When reading anything about wine, whether on wine lists, in wine columns, magazine ads or on those little shelf talkers in the wine shop, you have to know that hyperbole is the insincerest form of flattery.

This also refers to some of the descriptors used by wine collectors for the wines they buy and serve. In most cases, the phrases used about wine are sheer gobbledygook.

We all know the justifiable lie, and the two that define the genre: “The check is in the mail,” and “The chef is in the kitchen this evening.” The euphemistic language used by some of today’s wine ad copywriters is equally fictitious.

Such language helps wine collectors discuss their purchases using many of the same phrases. The problem comes when unskilled newcomers to wine wield them. Then the terms sound silly. Here are a few of the euphemisms/lies and what they really mean:

“This wine has a hint of smoke.” It’s so oaky that Greenpeace has demanded the winemaker sign a reforestation pledge.

“It’s a big, bold wine.” It has 16.5% alcohol and ought to carry a warning label that says “Flammable.”

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