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C O U R S E 
Wine Tasting: Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis
John Buechsenstein, University of California
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Sensory Experience of Wine
Notes taken on June 21, 2017 by Edward Tanguay
what is wine
the self-preserved juice of the grape
a pleasant alcoholic beverage
a complex liquid sensory stimulus
grapes used for making wine seldom taste like the wine they are going to make
walking through the vineyard tasting grapes, they're delicious
but they don't specifically taste like Cabernet or Pinot or Chardonnay or Zinfandel
people often think that the grapes and the knowledge of when their ready to pick and harvest, is automatically implied by the flavors we are tasting in the grape at that stage
wine is a complex translation, transformation, biosynthesis of elements found in the grape into the final product that we love as wine
Gay-Lussac (1778-1850)
knew about sugars
wrote the first balanced equation to transform sugar to wine
sugar is converted into alcohol with some gas escaping (CO2) and heat
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
confirmed the existence of yeast as a transformative microbe
raw material stage of the grape
energy source for yeast is glucose and fructose
contains much more
tannins (makes wine taste dry)
flavor precursors that the yeast will use
yeast are the biosynthesizers
creating a medium that is more and more alcoholic
final product
not just ethanol and water
flavor in wine
has many parts
mouth feel, oral sensations
weighty or watery
four senses used
to evaluate viscocity, density, smoothness, roughness, temperature
they overlap
when I look at a glass of wine, I can already smell it
when I bring it up to my nose, I'm still looking at it
I see it
pull some air through it to make it turbulent and pop off some aromatic
all of our senses are used when we taste a glass of wine critically
wine tasting
tends to be social
while visiting wine country
while at a friend's house
sensory evaluation of wine is a more focused activity
every time you taste a wine, you can acquire a large amount of sensory information
in a more rigorous setting when you are wanting to learn about a wine
characteristics of being a good wine taster
knowledge of basic sensory properties
knowledge of flavor and odor components
critical wine tasters spit, wine-tasting party goers swallow
wine has quite a bit of alcohol in it
some insist that they cannot grasp the full sensory experience of beer unless they sip a little bit at the end
beer is effervescent and perhaps they like the feedback they get from that
but most wines are 3 to 4 times the alcohol of most beers
not compared to modern craft beers which can be 15% alcohol, but in general
if wine tasters started sipping they were very quickly lose their focus, probably after the second sip
spitting is important
there are no taste buds down your throat
keep a spit cup and pure water handy to rinse in between wines
what you need to taste and smell in the wine can be perfectly derived while the wine is on your palate