Join vigneron Olivier Humbrecht MW, of the famed estate Zind Humbrecht in Alsace, for a deep dive into one of the key building blocks of wine: acidity!
Olivier will also illustrate his talk with some real-life data and text-book examples of acids measured in various types of wine depending on various variables such as grape varieties, vintage, ripeness, with/without malolactic fermentation and terroirs. Sharpen your tasting skills by understanding one of the key parameters that makes up the structure of a wine!
Olivier Humbrecht studied wine together with wine marketing and wine business for five years in Toulouse, and then got the chance to do his ‘military service’ working for Sopexa in London.
He learned about and enrolled on the MW course, becoming France’s first-ever Master of Wine in 1989. He began to work with his father and converted the family domaine to biodynamics in the early 1990s. His father had painstakingly built up a unique collection of hill-site vineyards over the decades, notably clearing and replanting a quarter of the great historic Grand Cru of Rangen de Thann with Olivier in his later school years.
Olivier has continued to build on this, notably with the recent acquisition of a parcel of Sommerberg to complement the family’s Grand Cru holdings in Brand, Hengst and Goldert, and to complement its other holdings of Rotenberg, Clos Hauserer, Clos Jebsal, Heimbourg, Herrenweg and Clos Windsbuhl.
Olivier’s respectful, non-interventionist winemaking, combined with his and his father’s fastidious viticulture, has given the world vintage after vintage of magnificently differentiated, nuanced bottlings: global white-wine references. He has never stopped experimenting and improving on his work, using biodynamic practices, changed row orientations and re-thought canopies recently to produce a much greater percentage of dry wines than before.
Did you enjoy reading our Great Debate blog on The Language of Wine, Tasting Notes & Scores with Andrew Jefford and Dr William Kelley?
The challenge of how we might best describe wine aromas and flavours continues to fascinate wine students and enthusiasts alike: this is your chance to question both a wine-writing veteran and one of the most talented of the new generation of wine critics about their work in this field The scoring of wines is now universally practised and the use of scores as a sale aid is ubiquitous. Is this a good thing -- or does it impoverish wine culture? Can we trust scores? Is there score inflation at work, and if so how can we re-set scores to optimise their usefulness? More broadly, can we trust wine journalists and wine critics to work ethically?
William Kelly studied history at St John's College, Oxford for nine years, between 2008 and 2017. After completing his doctorate (D.Phil) at Oxford, he joined Decanter magazine as its North American correspondent, and since 2017 he has worked for The Wine Advocate, initially reviewing Burgundy -- where he also makes wine, and where he has one of his two homes (the other is in Texas). He has now added Champagne, Madeira, English sparkling wine and, most recently, Bordeaux to his list of duties.
Andrew Jefford is the Academic Advisor to the Wine Scholar Guild and has been writing about wine since 1988, notably for The Evening Standard and The Financial Times, among other UK newspapers. He has columns in every edition of Decanter magazine and World of Fine Wine magazine and is co-chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards. His books include The New France, Whisky Island and Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course.
The WSG Tasting Lab® is an interactive online tasting platform. It was initially designed as a tasting data collection and analysis tool as part of the Guild’s Architecture of Taste Research Project, which is aimed at developing a new and enhanced wine-tasting method.
The Architecture of Taste Research Project aspires to find a way to empower the individual to taste and describe wine with an enriched and universal lexicon that not only dives deeper into assessing the qualities of a wine’s building blocks but also into the nature of a wine’s personality and, where relevant, its corresponding terroir signature.
In this webinar, Julien will introduce WSG members to the interactive tasting application that has been developed as well as one of the tasting grids developed by WSG and focusing on a wine’s energy, shape, texture and induced salivation.
Julien worked as Trade Attache for wines and spirits at the French Embassy in Washington DC from 2004 to 2006. In this role, he recognized the need for French wine education as a means to spur consumer demand and interest in his countrys wines.
To that end, in 2005 he founded the Wine Scholar Guild, an organization dedicated to the promotion of French wine and culture through education.
After leaving the embassy, he has devoted his energies to developing the Wine Scholar Guild and its network of program providers around the globe. Julien holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration with a major in International Marketing from the Strasbourg Management School.
In 2019, Julien was one of the "Future 50" award winners, an award created by WSET and IWSC to acknowledge professionals under 40 who have made a significant contribution to the industry. Since 2021, Julien has been teaching tasting as part of the University of Strasbourgs degree in GeoSensorial Tasting.
This article is the first of an upcoming series by French neuroscientist Gabriel Lepousez. Gabriel is part of the Scientific Committee formed by WSG in the context of its "Architecture of Taste Research Project". He has also presented a fascinating segment on "The Neuroscience of Wine Tasting" as part of The Science of Wine Tasting Webinar Series which will resume with new episodes in the Spring of 2022.
There is a real paradox in the experience of tasting a product like wine. Tasting is such a familiar, instinctive, and seemingly obvious act; something that we take for granted. At the same time, wine is a one of the most complex sensory objects that we put into our mouths.
Indeed, wine is one of the rare sensory objects of our daily life which solicits all at the same time:
On the 6th of September 2021, Wine Scholar Guild hosted the first large-scale blind-tasting panel as part of its recently announced The Architecture of Taste Research Project.
Hosted at the Bristol Hotel in Colmar, Alsace, this panel tasting launched WSG’s research on the tactile and geosensorial tasting approach it developed over the past year.
The tasting was designed specifically to assess the experimental and innovative tasting grid that had been developed as part of the Architecture of Taste Research Project. Its eventual aim is a tactile and geosensorial tasting method which focuses on a wine’s energy, induced salivation, geometry/shape, texture, and consistency.
Such a tasting method would provide students of wine with an enriched and universal lexicon that not only assesses the qualities of a wine but also dives into the nature of a wine’s personality and, perhaps, its corresponding terroir signature.
The panel of tasters included owners or representatives of twenty top Alsace estates such as Albert Boxler, Weinbach, Marcel Deiss and Albert Mann. They were joined by a dozen wine professionals, including Pascaline Lepeltier MOF, a member of the ATRP Scientific Committee, as well as a dozen serious wine lovers. All in all, over 45 panelists participated in the tasting.
Join Andrew Jefford and guests Gabriel Lepousez, François Chartier, Nick Jackson MW and Dr Jamie Goode as they exchange about the recent Wine Scholar Guild’s Science of Wine Tasting course with a special round-table discussion designed to draw the threads of the series together and give a few teasers about next year’s course.
Gabriel Lepousez is a French neuroscientist and an international expert on sensory perception and brain plasticity. He received his doctorate in Neuroscience from the Paris Sorbonne University and holds a research position at Institut Pasteur in the Perception and Memory Lab.
For more than fifteen years, Gabriel Lepousez has been exploring the function of brain circuits involved in sensory perception, memory and emotions, uncovering the key role of neuronal plasticity in olfactory learning and perception.
As a wine passionate, Gabriel also offers his scientific expertise to the world of wine education, sharing his extensive knowledge of the brain, this essential tool for wine tasting. In addition to international lectures and contribution to wine education programs, he has co-founded in 2016 LEcole du Nez, a neuro-sensory training for wine professionals to understand how the brain works during wine tasting and how to improve our sensory performance.
Francois Chartier has been on an aromatic quest since the late 1980s to understand the impact of aromas in our daily lives, more specifically in the world of gastronomy, wine and beverages. The Quebec native has been living in Barcelona since 2016, with his wife and partner, sommeliere Isabelle Moren.
A sommelier, cook, columnist, author, researcher, consultant, trainer and lecturer, he has had a unique and brilliant career.
His passion led him to follow his own path by bypassing some of the rules of his profession. In 2004, he created a new science: that of "Molecular Harmonies", based on the potential for aromatic synergy between foods which has redefined haute cuisine , as well as between foods, wines and different beverages. In doing so, he successfully explained and deepened the impact of aromas on the world's gastronomic heritage, as well as the harmony between food and wine and other drinks such as sake and beer.
Today, Francois Chartier is an advisor on the research committee for the new SONY AI: Artificial Intelligence & Gastronomy project in Tokyo, and "Master Blender" at one of the country's oldest sake breweries, Tanaka 1789; he has launched his first sake Tanaka 1789 X Chartier.
Nick is an independent fine wine advisor living in Florida. Through his company, Vintage Variation LLC, he advises private clients, retailers and other wine businesses on all aspects of fine wine. Nick's wine career began at the University of Cambridge where he was a member of the successful Cambridge University blind wine tasting team in the 2011 varsity match against Oxford. His first wine job was at Cambridge Wine Merchants. After graduating with a PhD in Theology, he started work as an auction specialist at Sotheby's in London, before moving to New York in 2012. There, he quickly became the buyer for Sotheby's Wine retail store. He left Sotheby's at the end of 2018 to start his own business. He published his first book, Beyond Flavour, in 2020. A guide to wine tasting, it has received critical acclaim from Wine Spectator and the Wall Street Journal among others.
Jamie Goode is a London-based winewriter who is currently wine columnist with UK national newspaper The Sunday Express. As well as writing he also lectures and judges wine.
He won the 2007 Glenfiddich Wine Writer of the year award, and contributes regularly to a range of publications including The World of Fine Wine, Noble Rot, Wine and Spirits (USA), Wine Business International, Drinks International, Wines and Vines and Vine Pair. His first book, Wine Science, won the Glenfiddich Award for Drinks Book in 2006, and a second edition was released in 2014. Jamie has also made numerous presentations and lectures, conducted many tastings and is an established wine judge (co-chair for the International Wine Challenge, among others). He was one of the organizers for the International Sparkling Wine Symposium (March 2009, November 2011, November 2013). I Taste Red, published in 2016, won the Roederer Award in 2017.
Jamie came to wine writing by a rather convoluted route, via a PhD in plant biology and several years of working as a book editor, before he began publishing wineanorak. com, which is now one of the leading wine websites. He has also appeared on TV (Richard and Judy, Sky News, BBC1, BBC Breakfast, BBC News Channel and Channel 5 News).
Did you enjoy reading our Great Debate blog on Ripeness and Balance with Andrew Jefford and Julia Harding MW?
In this written article, Andrew and Julia tackle the finer points of ripeness and balance in wine. Their back-and-forth covers a lot of ground: how to decipher balance on the palate, the differences between tasting wine and drinking wine, putting the value of alcohol levels into context and the role climate change is playing in defining our sense of taste.
In this episode of WSG Live, we are following up on their written debate with the two great minds in wine.
passed the Master of Wine exams at the first attempt in 2004 and was top student in her year. By training a linguist and a book editor, she has happily combined her first life in publishing with her second life in wine. She has collaborated with Jancis Robinson for over 15 years, editing and writing for JancisRobinson. com, and on several major wine reference books. Julia is co-author of Wine Grapes (2012) and map editor of the World Atlas of Wine (2019). She was co-editor with Jancis of the fourth edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine and has taken on the role of lead editor for the fifth edition (2023). Julia lives in London, tastes and travels as widely as she can, and keeps fit and sane thanks to bootcamp in the park, rain or shine, and yoga.
is the Academic Advisor to the Wine Scholar Guild, and has been writing about wine since 1988, notably for The Evening Standard and The Financial Times, among other UK newspapers. He has columns in every edition of Decanter Magazine and World of Fine Wine magazine and is co-chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards. His books include The New France, Whisky Island and Andrew Jeffords Wine Course.
Is a wine horizontal or vertical? Square or round? Hollow or dense? Relaxed or tensed? Grainy or smooth? This is a small sample of GeoSensorial Tasting vocabulary — a method that seeks to empower the taster to feel, interpret and give voice to wines of place.
By focusing on mouthfeel and assessment criteria such as energy, salivation, geometry, texture and consistency, this methodology helps you to better understand the nuances that a specific terroir, among other factors, brings to wine and helps you to express those nuances. It puts light on how, for example, Chenin Blanc wines from the schist soils of Savennières, the tuffeau of Saumur and the flint-clay and limestone-clay of Vouvray differ from one another. Quite an ambitious undertaking!
Ready for your next challenge? There's still time to join the upcoming sessions!
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