The magazine Molecules has published an article in which scientists are publishing a new model that allows winemakers to obtain the wine they want or hope for and improve its quality without the need for long and expensive batteries of tests.
A team of researchers at Washington State University has been working on the subject, working on the premise that wine is only chemistry and that processes must be optimized to achieve better taste and color. Jim Harbertson, associate professor of oenology at WSU and co-author of the article with colleagues Chris Beaver and Tom Collins said that “Some of the test methods are very difficult to perform in a vineyard laboratory during the harvest.”
So the method had to be easy to use and it had to be much easier for winery technicians and winemakers to test and obtain useful and workable results.
Thus, the resulting model allows winemaking laboratories to make measurements of phenolic compounds that are generally out of reach or impossible for most people to make.
The prediction of phenolic compounds in red wine is done through the analysis of visible ultraviolet spectra.
These phenolic compounds give red wine its sensory characteristics, such as mouthfeel and colour, but they also provide the wine with antioxidants.
According to Harbertson, “This is essentially a simplification of long tests”. “It took us several years and a huge amount of work and calculations, but we’ve corroborated the results of the model and it works well.”
Winemakers can now perform relatively simple tests and run the results through the new algorithm created by Washington State University to get accurate predictions of mouthfeel and color of wine produced for consumers.
To make this work more useful to winemakers, Harbertson used research funds to make the academic paper available online in an open-access format.
While an algorithm for wine is a concept that lacks a bit of poetry, the goal is to help all wineries in Washington and the United States to produce better wine …
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