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The science of wine  

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Mr. McGee,
I'd just like to start by saying that your book is the best piece of literature to ever happen to the culinary arts.
My question is with regards to wine. How is it possible for a wine maker to produce flavors from a grape -- raspberries, allspice -- without actually introducing that product? Is there perhaps a formula or is it just plain luck? If there is in fact a science, would one be able to apply it to the culinary arts. Say a pear sauce that contains no pears?
In conclusion, thank you for your time, it is greatly appreciated.
Whenever we cook we become practical chemists, drawing on the accumulated knowledge of generations, and transforming what the Earth offers us into more concentrated forms of pleasure and nourishment.
Whenever we cook we become practical chemists, drawing on the accumulated knowledge of generations, and transforming what the Earth offers us into more concentrated forms of pleasure and nourishment.
post #2 of 4
That is a great question 100folds. I struggle sometimes trying to explain this to my students. I found pages 738/739 in Mr McGee's book very valuable. I look forward to his reply.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #3 of 4

Along the same lines...

What about artificial flavoring? So many don't taste very close to the real thing, have there been any advances and is it possible to truly duplicate, say the taste of a fresh strawberry?
post #4 of 4
Flavor is a wonderful and endless subject—which is why I want to write a book about it! Very briefly, the surprising aromas in wine are mostly the product of the yeasts that convert grape sugars into alcohol. Yeasts are amazing chemical workhorses, and they transform all kinds of grape components into new molecules. There is in fact a big business in flavor chemistry, and many flavors can now be bought off the shelf, some extracted from real ingredients, others totally synthetic (for example, true vanilla extract and synthetic vanillin, made from wood pulp). The chemists are getting better and better at imitating nature.

Harold
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