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Wine Quality: Tasting and Selection

ISBN: 978-1-4051-1366-3
184 pages
February 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Wine Quality: Tasting and Selection (1405113669) cover image
WINNER OF A GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARD 2009!
B
EST WINE EDUCATION BOOK (THE BEST IN THE WORLD)

"I really enjoyed this book … A constant feature of this book is how well Keith balances his mastery of the technicalities with a certain 'common touch', the ability to explain sometimes complex issues in easy-to-understand terms."
Association of Wine Educators 

"… an ideal book to accompany a WSET course."
Harpers Wine and Spirit

Throughout the eight thousand years of vinous history wines have been tasted and their qualities examined in at least a basic way. Today producers can control the growing and winemaking processes, and the consumer may choose from a vast array of wines, both fine and ordinary. Tasting and evaluating these requires knowledge, skill and diligence.

Part of the Wiley-Blackwell Food Industry Briefing Series, this book provides a concise, easy to use and clearly presented understanding of the techniques of wine tasting, quality assessment and evaluation. The reader is taken through the various stages of a structured and professional approach to tasting and the book examines the questions as to what constitutes quality in wines, how quality can be recognised and how it is achieved. Also discussed are the faults that can destroy wines at any quality level, and misconceptions as to quality and guarantees.

Clearly presented and easily readable the book includes:

  • Diagrams
  • Tables
  • Tasting vocabularies
  • Colour Plates

Written by Keith Grainger, highly regarded international wine educator and wine consultant, this book provides a concise, quick reference for busy wine industry professionals, students or others who wish to gain a detailed knowledge of the concepts of wine tasting and quality assessment.

The Wiley-Blackwell Food Industry Briefing Series
Devised to increase the effectiveness and efficiency with which knowledge can be gained of the many subject areas that constitute the food industry, and on which the industry relies for its existence, this important series is intended expressly to benefit executives, managers and supervisors within the industry. Each book distils the subject matter of the topic, providing its essence for easy and speedy assimilation.

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Series Editor’s Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Wine Tasting 1

1.1 Wine tasting & laboratory analysis 1

1.2 What makes a good wine taster? 2

1.3 Where and when to taste – suitable conditions 4

1.4 Appropriate equipment 5

1.4.1 Tasting glasses 6

1.4.2 Water 10

1.4.3 Spittoons 10

1.4.4 Tasting sheets 10

1.4.5 Tasting mats 12

1.5 Tasting order 12

1.6 Temperature of wines for tasting 13

1.7 Tasting for specific purposes 14

1.8 Structured tasting technique 14

1.8.1 Appearance 14

1.8.2 Nose 16

1.8.3 Palate 16

1.8.4 Conclusions 18

1.9 The importance of keeping notes 18

Chapter 2 Appearance 21

2.1 Clarity 21

2.2 Intensity 22

2.3 Colour 24

2.3.1 White wines 25

2.3.2 Ros´e wines 25

2.3.3 Red wines 26

2.3.4 Rim/core 26

2.4 Other observations 28

2.4.1 Bubbles 28

2.4.2 Legs 29

2.4.3 Deposits 33

Chapter 3 Nose 35

3.1 Condition 36

3.2 Intensity 36

3.3 Development 37

3.3.1 Primary 37

3.3.2 Secondary 37

3.3.3 Tertiary 38

3.4 Aroma characteistics 39

Chapter 4 Palate 43

4.1 Sweetness/bitterness/acidity/saltiness/umami 43

4.2 Dryness/sweetness 44

4.3 Acidity 46

4.4 Tannin 47

4.5 Alcohol 49

4.6 Body 50

4.7 Flavour intensity 51

4.8 Flavour characteristics 51

4.9 Other observations 54

4.10 Length 55

Chapter 5 Tasting Conclusions 57

5.1 Quality 57

5.2 Reasons for quality 57

5.3 Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing 59

5.4 Price/value 60

5.5 Identification/true to type? 60

5.6 Grading wine – the award of points 60

5.6.1 Grading on a 20-point scale 61

5.6.2 Grading on a 100-point scale 62

5.7 Blind tasting 63

5.7.1 Why taste blind? 63

5.7.2 Blind or sighted? 64

5.7.3 Tasting for quality 64

5.7.4 Practicalities 64

5.7.5 Examination tastings 65

Chapter 6 Wine Faults and Flaws 67

6.1 Chloroanisoles and bromoanisoles 67

6.2 Fermentation in the bottle and bacterial spoilage 70

6.3 Protein haze 70

6.4 Oxidation 70

6.5 Excessive volatile acidity 71

6.6 Excessive sulfur dioxide 72

6.7 Reductivity 73

6.8 Brettanomyces 74

6.9 Dekkera 75

6.10 Geraniol 75

6.11 Geosmin 75

6.12 Ethyl acetate 76

6.13 Excessive acetaldehyde 76

6.14 Candida acetaldehyde 76

6.15 Smoke taint 77

Chapter 7 Quality – Assurances and Guarantees? 79

7.1 Compliance with ‘Quality Wine’ legislation as an assurance of quality? 79

7.1.1 The European Union and third Countries 79

7.1.2 Table Wine and QWpsr 80

7.1.3 The concept of Appellation Contrˆol´ee 81

7.2 Tasting competitions as an assessment of quality? 84

7.3 Classifications as an official assessment of quality? 86

7.4 ISO 9001 Certification as an assurance of quality? 87

7.5 Established brands as a guarantee of quality? 88

7.6 Price as an indication of quality? 91

Chapter 8 Quality – The Natural Factors and a Sense of Place 93

8.1 Typicity and regionality 94

8.2 The impact of climate upon quality wine production 95

8.3 The role of soils 96

8.4 Terroir 97

8.5 The vintage factor 101

Chapter 9 Constraints upon Quality Wine Production 105

9.1 Financial 105

9.1.1 Financial constraints upon the grower 106

9.1.2 Financial constraints upon the winemaker 107

9.2 Skills and diligence 109

9.3 Legal 110

9.4 Environmental 111

Chapter 10 Production of Quality Wines 113

10.1 Yield 113

10.2 Density of planting 114

10.3 Age of vines 115

10.4 Winter pruning 116

10.5 Stressing the vines 116

10.6 Green harvesting 117

10.7 Harvesting 117

10.7.1 Mechanical harvesting 118

10.7.2 Hand picking 119

10.8 Delivery and processing of fruit 120

10.9 Selection and sorting 120

10.10 Use of pumps/gravity 121

10.11 Control of fermentations 121

10.12 Use of gasses 124

10.13 Barrels 124

10.14 Selection from vats or barrels 125

10.15 Storage 126

Chapter 11 Selection by Buyers 129

11.1 Supermarket dominance 129

11.2 Price point/margin 131

11.3 Selecting for market and customer base 132

11.4 Styles and individuality 132

11.5 Continuity 133

11.6 The place of individual wines in the range 134

11.7 Exclusivity 135

11.8 Specification 135

11.9 Technical analysis 136

Appendix 141

Glossary 145

Bibliography 149

Useful Websites 151

Wine Exhibitions 155

Index 157

A colour plate section appears between pages 28 and 29

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Keith Grainger, Wine Educator, UK
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  • Part of the Wiley-Blackwell Food Industry Briefing Series
  • Author is consultant to the wine industry
  • Succinct, user friendly and easy to assimilate information
  • Essential cutting edge information for the food industry
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"A detailed consideration of tasting including a chapter on wine faults as well as looking at production and the notion of quality plus the sorts of criteria professional wine buyers use when selecting wine." (Circle Update, March 2009)

"Keith Grainger's Wine Quality: Tasting and Selection is an ideal book to accompany a WSET course." (Harpers Wine and Spirit Weekly, February 2009)

"I really enjoyed this book … .A constant feature of this book is how well Keith balances his mastery of the technicalities with a certain “common touch”, the ability to explain sometimes complex issues in easy-to-understand terms." (Association of Wine Educators, January 2009)

See More
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