Thursday, August 25, 2011

(Eno)Logically Speaking - "Knowing and Making Wine" by Emile Peynaud

Some quotes from "Knowing and Making Wine" by Emile Peynaud. This French oenologist and researcher died in 2004, but he has been credited with revolutionizing winemaking in the latter half of the 20th century, and has been called "the forefather of modern oenology".
  • Wine being made to be drunk and appreciated, it is only logical that tasting should be the most valid means of judging its quality. Chemical analysis, however detailed, is insufficient. It throws light on the act of tasting and supports it; it cannot replace it. A routine analysis can make no distinction between an exceptional wine and an ordinary wine; every enology laboratory is well aware of this
  • Only wines of great quality maintain their pleasant impression to the end
  • Aroma refers to the odor of a young wine, whereas bouquet is only acquired through aging. According to this definition, a new wine cannot yet have bouquet and a wine that has aged in the bottle has no more aroma
  • In wine, the sweet taste of alcohol counterbalances the taste of the acids and phenolic compounds
  • The enologist's work begins with maturity control (of the grapes)
  • It is well known that old vines, richer in reserves, give more regular maturity and a better and more consistent quality
  • The grapes, the vintage, and the crop are what are vinified. You do not vinify wine; wine is the result of vinification
  • Red wine is macerated wine. It is made up of substances extracted from the juice of the grapes and also those found in the solid part, the matter from the pulp, skins and seeds
  • Aroma and fruitiness (of the wine) are generally in inverse proportion to the level of phenolic compounds
  • White wine is made by fermenting just the grape juice in its own, that is to say, without extraction of the solid parts of the bunch
  • It's more important to make dry white wines with perfectly healthy crops than with perfectly ripe ones
  • Treat the grapes and process the must in order not to have to treat the wine
  • Apart from a few cases of special wines, it must be considered that air is the enemy of white wine much more so than of red wine
  • The best way of growing old, which also holds true for wine, is to keep one's qualities of youth for a long time
Here are links to some of his books:
The Taste of Wine: The Art and Science of Wine Appreciation
Knowing and Making Wine
Le gout du vin (French Edition)
Le Goût du vin : Le Grand Livre de la dégustation


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