science

What Is Brix in Wine (And Beer)?

What Is Brix in Wine (And Beer)?

As you may recall from high school chemistry class, alcoholic fermentation is the conversion of sugars (like glucose, fructose, and sucrose) into ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide. Or, put simply, without sugar we wouldn’t have booze. The ability to calculate sugar levels in a liquid, such as grape must or a wort, allows winemakers and […]

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The Dirty Secret Ruining Your Draft Beer

The Dirty Secret Ruining Your Draft Beer

Anyone who’s worked in a fast-food restaurant or movie theater knows the fountain soda myth: Colas pumped fresh on site taste better than ones from the bottle or can. A similar belief exists in beer. Ask any beer lover, and they’ll tell you there’s something special about a beer poured fresh from the tap. In […]

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An Unscientific Experiment to Get to the Truth of Minerality in Wine

An Unscientific Experiment to Get to the Truth of Minerality in Wine

Like many in the hospitality industry, German sommelier Martin Riese aims to ensure each and every one of his guests experiences ideal pairings during their meal. Only Riese is just as concerned with pairing water as he is with wine. “In a restaurant, food is like your leading actor,” the 41-year-old sommelier says. Just as […]

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Is There Science Behind the Claim That Wine Tastes Differently at 35,000 Feet?

Is There Science Behind the Claim That Wine Tastes Differently at 35,000 Feet?

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.

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Americans Love Jammy Wines. Just Don’t Tell Them How They Were Made.

Americans Love Jammy Wines. Just Don’t Tell Them How They Were Made.

The term ”jammy” has become peak wine jargon. It’s used to describe all sorts of sweet and quaffable wines, including some of the most popular Zinfandels and red blends on the market. These wines have been trending for several years, but their common use of such additives as sugar, water, and copious quantities of crystalline […]

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The Role ‘Wild’ Yeasts Play in Terroir Is Finally Being Recast

The Role ‘Wild’ Yeasts Play in Terroir Is Finally Being Recast

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 […]

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Why Only Trashy Wine Bars Give You Giant Pours

Why Only Trashy Wine Bars Give You Giant Pours

If a goblet filled with seven fingers of Merlot is sloshed your way across an assumedly sticky bar, it might seem like the bartender has taken a liking to you. That may be true (you’re so great!), but, sadly, one thing is certain: The person pouring the wine doesn’t care about what’s in the glass.

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Wild Fermentation Is the Sexiest, Least Understood Technique in Winemaking

Wild Fermentation Is the Sexiest, Least Understood Technique in Winemaking

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. […]

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