AUG 02, 2016 7:32 AM PDT

The Chemistry Behind Being a Wine Expert


For some, a glass of wine is just a nice drink that goes with a meal or a chat with a good friend. For others, it's about complex flavors, pairings with certain foods and a ranking system that makes the NFL draft look like a first grade gym class picking sides for kickball. At the bottom of every wine bottle, it comes down to chemistry. How a wine tastes, how strong it is and what "notes" it might have are all related to the chemistry of the kind of grapes, the type of soil in which they are grown and the weather in the vineyard.

When grapes are harvested and crushed, yeast that is either present in the grapes, or added by the vintner, begin to eat the sugars in the grapes and this process begins fermentation. Without this process, it would all just be grape juice. It's the fermentation that gives the wine its alcoholic content. Acetic acid and pyruvic acid are produced in red wine, giving it deep color and tartness. In white wine, it's ethyl acetate and diacetyl that result in the golden color and buttery flavor. It might seem that understanding wine is merely a social skill, the truth is it's just chemistry in action.
About the Author
English
I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
Noise Pollution Threatens Norway's Orcas
NOV 12, 2020
Noise Pollution Threatens Norway's Orcas
Orca pods heavily depend on vocal communication for survival. Their unique ability to communicate with other pod members ...
JAN 21, 2021
Plants & Animals
Western Monarch Migration Near Extinction
JAN 21, 2021
Western Monarch Migration Near Extinction
Earlier this week, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation reported that the western monarch butterfly populati ...
APR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Speedbumps Reduce Endangered Red Colobus Deaths
APR 09, 2021
Speedbumps Reduce Endangered Red Colobus Deaths
The endangered Zanzibar red colobus is a rare primate that lives only in the Zanzibar archipelago. New research from Ban ...
MAY 13, 2021
Plants & Animals
Brood X Cicadas Are Here - Help Scientists Track Them
MAY 13, 2021
Brood X Cicadas Are Here - Help Scientists Track Them
Download this smartphone app to help document one of North America's natural wonders.
JUN 28, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Yeast Engineered to Produce Biofuel from Previously Unusable Biomass
JUN 28, 2021
Yeast Engineered to Produce Biofuel from Previously Unusable Biomass
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to expand biofuel production with geneticall ...
JUL 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Giant Plumes on Saturn's Moon May Hold Signs of Life
JUL 08, 2021
Giant Plumes on Saturn's Moon May Hold Signs of Life
Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, has giant erupting plumes of water that, scientists say, can not be explained by known g ...
Loading Comments...