A lot has been written about the impact altitude has on taste. How being inside a noisy metal tube with lots of other people, at a lower air pressure and humidity than normal, greatly affects the ways we experience food and drink. In truth, most of this is based on guesswork and personal anecdote.
With his long hair, Matt Goddard looks a bit like a bass player from a progressive rock band. But he’s a scientist, and his field of interest is microbial ecology. Goddard’s particular interest of late is wine yeasts. He uses modern genetic techniques to answer one of the long-standing controversies in the wine world: Can […]
It’s one of the most divisive areas in winemaking. Fermentation, by either wild or industrial yeasts, has become synonymous with the battle between all that is natural, and the convenience and consistency of man-made machination. If natural wine risks becoming a runaway train, then wild fermentation is a flag you wave as it passes by. […]
Ten years ago, if you traveled to any wine region and visited its cellars, you’d likely find a barrel hall stacked high with small oak barrels. Not anymore. Now you’ll find these small oak barrels, called barriques, alongside a variety of others. Even the most traditional cellars might also have a concrete egg or two, […]
There is no official Natural Wine Movement. I think that’s why so many people struggle with it. Natural wines are not as codified as, for example, biodynamic farming, where in order to use the term you need to undergo rigorous certification. There are no rules for what constitutes “natural.” Tracing the movement’s origins is difficult […]
A while back I was chatting with a few colleagues about the business of wine criticism. I suggested that certain critics seem to have preferences that come across in their assessments. I picked out one in particular and suggested, rather bravely, that I didn’t think their ratings of certain wines were very reliable, and that […]