Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#1 Post by John Morris » October 13th, 2016, 11:03 am

I just spotted "I Taste Red: The Science of Tasting Wine" at Barnes & Noble yesterday and grabbed it. I've only briefly skimmed it but it looks fascinating -- topical questions for wine geeks and lucid prose coupled with deep coverage of current research. In other words, Jamie at his best. It starts with neurological pathologies and what they can reveal about our sensory experience and goes on to talk about the chemistry of different smells, cognition and the language we use to discuss wine.

It looks like it should be required reading for Berserkers.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#2 Post by Peter Petersen » October 13th, 2016, 6:16 pm

Saw a review and I'm tempted to read it.

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#3 Post by ColinH » October 14th, 2016, 2:23 am

Cool, looks interesting for the wine geek, indeed! Will try to grab it....
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#4 Post by Doug Schulman » October 14th, 2016, 4:43 am

Sounds great. I just ordered a copy. Thanks for mentioning it.

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#5 Post by John Morris » January 15th, 2017, 10:30 am

I’ve finally found a little time to read more of Jamie’s book. I’ve only scratched the surface, and my (distant) high school chemistry isn’t much help with the more technical parts. But the chapter on wine flavor chemistry is fascinating. Here are some highlights, some of which are counter-intuitive.

• Some grapes have “impact compounds” – volatile chemicals that correspond to specific aromas and give that grape their character. These include compounds that yield green/grassy/green pepper; linalool, which gives the floral/citrus scent to muscat; one that yields the flowery, rosy smell of gewurtz; and one that produces the pepper in syrah; and tropical fruits/passion fruit/grapefruit (e.g., sauvignon blanc). I think we all know how easy it is to recognize a grassy sauvignon blanc or the orange peel of a muscat.

• Not all grapes have impact compounds. This may explain the lack of a distinct fruit profile for grapes like chardonnay.

• Both (a) low-level volatile compounds (at too low a level to be perceived) and (b) non-volatile compounds (things we can’t smell or taste) can markedly affect the perception of volatile compounds, including impact compounds. Add or eliminate these in the lab and it can alter the smells and tastes of the wine.

• Alcohol increases the solubility of volatile compounds and aromas therefore decrease as alcohol increases. Past 14.5%, there is a sharp fall-off in aromas.
This is quite counter-intuitive to me. I had assumed that alcohol might accentuate aromas. But, on reflection, it squares with the fact that some of the most aromatic wines, such as red Burgundy and nebbiolo, are very high in acid.

• (In a magazine article a year or so ago, Jamie explained that sweet wines are more intense aromatically for the opposite reason: The wine is relatively (or completely) saturated with dissolved sugar. That causes the volatile aroma compounds to evaporate quickly with the wine is opened. This explains the night-and-day difference in aromas between sweet and dry rieslings, even when picked at similar sugar levels.)

• Acid levels affect color: High pH/low acid wines are darker (e.g., big cabs, syrahs, zins), while the pigments in high acid wines tend to be lighter (think nebbiolo, pinot, tempranillo). Of course, the chemistry of the individual grape types is important, too.

• Someplace in the book that I can’t now find he says that acid/pH also affects the fruit profile. Higher acid/lower pH wines are perceived as red-fruited, while lower acid/higher pH wines are more dark-fruited. I’m not clear on whether this is simply a reflection of riper red grapes tending to be darker in flavors. But I think he was sayting that the red/dark scale is partly a reflection simply of acid levels.

Anyway, lots of interesting, explanatory stuff there that should be of interest to Berserkers.

I still haven't found a section explaining the pros and cons of decanting. [stirthepothal.gif]
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#6 Post by TomHill » January 15th, 2017, 10:34 am

John Morris wrote:I’ve finally found a little time to read more of Jamie’s book. I’ve only scratched the surface, and my (distant) high school chemistry isn’t much help with the more technical parts. But the chapter on wine flavor chemistry is fascinating. Here are some highlights, some of which are counter-intuitive.

• Some grapes have “impact compounds” – volatile chemicals that correspond to specific aromas and give that grape their character. These include compounds that yield green/grassy/green pepper; linalool, which gives the floral/citrus scent to muscat; one that yields the flowery, rosy smell of gewurtz; and one that produces the pepper in syrah; and tropical fruits/passion fruit/grapefruit (e.g., sauvignon blanc). I think we all know how easy it is to recognize a grassy sauvignon blanc or the orange peel of a muscat.

• Not all grapes have impact compounds. This may explain the lack of a distinct fruit profile for grapes like chardonnay.

• Both (a) low-level volatile compounds (at too low a level to be perceived) and (b) non-volatile compounds (things we can’t smell or taste) can markedly affect the perception of volatile compounds, including impact compounds. Add or eliminate these in the lab and it can alter the smells and tastes of the wine.

• Alcohol increases the solubility of volatile compounds and aromas therefore decrease as alcohol increases. Past 14.5%, there is a sharp fall-off in aromas.
This is quite counter-intuitive to me. I had assumed that alcohol might accentuate aromas. But, on reflection, it squares with the fact that some of the most aromatic wines, such as red Burgundy and nebbiolo, are very high in acid.

• (In a magazine article a year or so ago, Jamie explained that sweet wines are more intense aromatically for the opposite reason: The wine is relatively (or completely) saturated with dissolved sugar. That causes the volatile aroma compounds to evaporate quickly with the wine is opened. This explains the night-and-day difference in aromas between sweet and dry rieslings, even when picked at similar sugar levels.)

• Acid levels affect color: High pH/low acid wines are darker (e.g., big cabs, syrahs, zins), while the pigments in high acid wines tend to be lighter (think nebbiolo, pinot, tempranillo). Of course, the chemistry of the individual grape types is important, too.

• Someplace in the book that I can’t now find he says that acid/pH also affects the fruit profile. Higher acid/lower pH wines are perceived as red-fruited, while lower acid/higher pH wines are more dark-fruited. I’m not clear on whether this is simply a reflection of riper red grapes tending to be darker in flavors. But I think he was sayting that the red/dark scale is partly a reflection simply of acid levels.

Anyway, lots of interesting, explanatory stuff there that should be of interest to Berserkers.

I still haven't found a section explaining the pros and cons of decanting. [stirthepothal.gif]
Been carrying that book around in my car for 4 weeks now & haven't yet got started on it, John. Thanks for the briefing...sounds like a book I'm
going to really like.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#7 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » January 15th, 2017, 10:35 am

I have to get a copy of this.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#8 Post by John Morris » January 15th, 2017, 10:39 am

It's denser and more technical than his Science of Wine but, as a writer and editor, my hat's off to him for his lucid, lucid writing about technical topics. All from a wine lover's perspective.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#9 Post by John Morris » February 2nd, 2017, 8:17 pm

So... has anyone else actually turned a page of Jamie's new book? It's dense enough that I'd love to hear what nuggets other people have found in it.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#10 Post by R Roberts » February 2nd, 2017, 9:09 pm

I enjoyed Science of Wine, but just like wine, I've promised myself I need to cut through the Tsundoku before buying more.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#11 Post by Brian Ojalvo » February 7th, 2017, 8:34 pm

Just got my copy. Will start reading tonight and report back later.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#12 Post by Bryan Carr » February 9th, 2017, 12:41 pm

I've had it checked out from my library for a couple of weeks but haven't cracked it yet. Will do so soon as it's got to go back!
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#13 Post by John Morris » February 10th, 2017, 3:08 pm

Enough of the good intentions! Someone else needs to start reading!
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#14 Post by Alan Rath » February 20th, 2017, 4:33 pm

John Morris wrote:Some grapes have “impact compounds” – volatile chemicals that correspond to specific aromas and give that grape their character. These include compounds that yield green/grassy/green pepper; linalool, which gives the floral/citrus scent to muscat; one that yields the flowery, rosy smell of gewurtz; and one that produces the pepper in syrah; and tropical fruits/passion fruit/grapefruit (e.g., sauvignon blanc). I think we all know how easy it is to recognize a grassy sauvignon blanc or the orange peel of a muscat.

Not all grapes have impact compounds. This may explain the lack of a distinct fruit profile for grapes like chardonnay.

Both (a) low-level volatile compounds (at too low a level to be perceived) and (b) non-volatile compounds (things we can’t smell or taste) can markedly affect the perception of volatile compounds, including impact compounds. Add or eliminate these in the lab and it can alter the smells and tastes of the wine.

Alcohol increases the solubility of volatile compounds and aromas therefore decrease as alcohol increases. Past 14.5%, there is a sharp fall-off in aromas.
This is quite counter-intuitive to me. I had assumed that alcohol might accentuate aromas. But, on reflection, it squares with the fact that some of the most aromatic wines, such as red Burgundy and nebbiolo, are very high in acid.

(In a magazine article a year or so ago, Jamie explained that sweet wines are more intense aromatically for the opposite reason: The wine is relatively (or completely) saturated with dissolved sugar. That causes the volatile aroma compounds to evaporate quickly with the wine is opened. This explains the night-and-day difference in aromas between sweet and dry rieslings, even when picked at similar sugar levels.)

Acid levels affect color: High pH/low acid wines are darker (e.g., big cabs, syrahs, zins), while the pigments in high acid wines tend to be lighter (think nebbiolo, pinot, tempranillo). Of course, the chemistry of the individual grape types is important, too.

Someplace in the book that I can’t now find he says that acid/pH also affects the fruit profile. Higher acid/lower pH wines are perceived as red-fruited, while lower acid/higher pH wines are more dark-fruited. I’m not clear on whether this is simply a reflection of riper red grapes tending to be darker in flavors. But I think he was sayting that the red/dark scale is partly a reflection simply of acid levels.
I've stopped chasing after every wine book that comes out, but looks like I need to get copy of this one. What I can't tell from your brief snippets is if these points are based on in-depth research that Jamie is quoting or referencing, or if they are somewhat his theories of wine. Some are pretty obviously true (like the points about impact compounds, and how other compounds in small quantities can make big differences in how we perceive a wine - but good to be reminded).

The point about alcohol and aromas is an interesting one, but also one where I think there may be competing factors at work (and easy to over-simplify): I suspect most people know that different solvents have the ability to dissolve different kinds of compounds, depending largely on how "polar" or "non-polar" the solvent is. Water, for example, is quite a polar compound, and is thus very good at dissolving ionic compounds (salts), and other polar compounds (like acids, and compounds that have asymmetry in how positive/negative charge is distributed). Oils are very non-polar, and good at dissolving other non-polar compounds (that's why a lot of flavor can be found in the oil layer during cooking, where lots of flavor compounds are more soluble than they are in water). Ethanol is a bit of a chameleon, having properties that allow it do do a bit of both (and it's why alcohol dissolves so easily in water, while it can also can be used to dissolve things like oily paints). But I wonder if this is a chicken/egg argument, where wines with higher alcohol have different composition to begin with, because of the ripeness level of the fruit (same for the acidity point about red vs. black fruits).

Acidity and color: another chicken/egg dilemma. Do higher acid wines have different pigments to begin with, or does the acidity itself affect the state of the pigments in a wine? I don't know the answer, but this is one where I have a feeling he is claiming a causation link where there may be none. Same with the red/black fruit profile. I've always just ascribed the darker fruit profile to higher ripeness, which tends to go hand in hand with lower acidity. But it's not acidity that causes a difference in profile, it's ripeness level that causes both (if what I'm saying is correct).

Anyway, I need to read it, because I'm sure there is a lot of interesting stuff in there.

BTW, in doing a little googling for this reply, I found this very cool site that has lots of interesting tidbits on all kinds of chemistry, suitable and hopefully interesting to anyone: http://www.compoundchem.com/
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#15 Post by John Morris » February 20th, 2017, 4:59 pm

Alan Rath wrote:What I can't tell from your brief snippets is if these points are based on in-depth research that Jamie is quoting or referencing, or if they are somewhat his theories of wine.
He's summarizing research, which he cites.
Alan Rath wrote:The point about alcohol and aromas is an interesting one, but also one where I think there may be competing factors at work (and easy to over-simplify): I suspect most people know that different solvents have the ability to dissolve different kinds of compounds, depending largely on how "polar" or "non-polar" the solvent is. Water, for example, is quite a polar compound, and is thus very good at dissolving ionic compounds (salts), and other polar compounds (like acids, and compounds that have asymmetry in how positive/negative charge is distributed). Oils are very non-polar, and good at dissolving other non-polar compounds (that's why a lot of flavor can be found in the oil layer during cooking, where lots of flavor compounds are more soluble than they are in water). Ethanol is a bit of a chameleon, having properties that allow it do do a bit of both (and it's why alcohol dissolves so easily in water, while it can also can be used to dissolve things like oily paints). But I wonder if this is a chicken/egg argument, where wines with higher alcohol have different composition to begin with, because of the ripeness level of the fruit (same for the acidity point about red vs. black fruits).
That's useful explanation, Alan.

Here's what he says:
"An analytical chemistry experiment by R.S. Whiton and Bruce Zoecklin in 2000 showed that as alcohol rose from 11 to 14 percent, there was a reduced recovery of typical wine volatile compounds."
He also cites two other experiments. In one, researchers added esters but found that aromas did not intensify with the increase because alcohol and other elements suppressed their scents. In another experiment by the same group, he says, "they added increasing levels of ethanol to a solution of nine esters at the same concentration that they found in wine; they discovered the fruity scent quickly fell as the alcohol rose, to the point that, when alcohol reached 14.5%, the fruity aroma was totally masked by the alcohol."
Alan Rath wrote:Acidity and color: another chicken/egg dilemma. Do higher acid wines have different pigments to begin with, or does the acidity itself affect the state of the pigments in a wine? I don't know the answer, but this is one where I have a feeling he is claiming a causation link where there may be none. Same with the red/black fruit profile. I've always just ascribed the darker fruit profile to higher ripeness, which tends to go hand in hand with lower acidity. But it's not acidity that causes a difference in profile, it's ripeness level that causes both (if what I'm saying is correct).
I'd always assumed as you do. Here's what he says: "The color of pigments depends on the acid of the grape must and the concentration of sulfur dioxide: they tend to be redder at lower pH (higher acid) and more purple at higher pH."

The italicized phrase suggests he's implying causation. But there may be an implicit "other things being equal" here.
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#16 Post by Alan Rath » February 20th, 2017, 5:27 pm

Cool, the fact that he's including a lot of published research is pretty exciting. Looking forward to getting this and reading it.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#17 Post by Steve Slatcher » February 21st, 2017, 2:41 am

Yeah, I've read it. Didn't like it, but I have never been a fan of Jamie's writing.

There is a bibliography for each chapter, but I would have appreciated more direct references. I understand Jamie's point about not making the book look too scary, but there are an awful lot of statements in the book that IMO are questionable, and I would love to know how Jamie arrived at his conclusions.

There is a lot of reporting of experiments and what other people say, but his understanding of perception is poor. He seems to take the view that the eye acts like a camera, and all the processing is done in the brain. Likewise for smell. This not the case, not for vision, and not for smell. This has been know for vision for decades. Only more recently for smell. But Jamie references a book where this is discussed, so he should be aware of it. Not sure how important it is for wine tasting, but if it isn't important why do we need to be told anything about it at all?

I was also annoyed by his uncritical apparent acceptance of Barry Smith's idea of an objective flavour property - as distinct from the objective aromatic chemicals, and subjective perception. The idea for me is a total non-starter, so I would at least have liked a better attempt to justify that position.

Perhaps the most interesting stuff I picked up from the book were the sections about multi-modal perception, which I kind-of knew about before, but Jamie has convinced me that it is more important than I thought.

I suppose it is also good in that it brings a lot of information together in one place. A lot of it is not specifically about wine, which you may or may not see as a good thing. I would just caution about the quality of some of the information provided, not just what I mentioned above. Use it as a starting point for exploration rather than the ultimate reference on the subject.

Edit: I was shooting from the hip, with those comment typed hastily and soon after I had read the book. I was not quite right in saying some smell processing is not done in the brain. However, a lot of visual processing is done in the retina - it is not merely an array of pixels. The smell equivalent of that visual processing is done in the olfactory bulb, which is a strange protuberance from the brain, but still part of it.
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#18 Post by John Morris » February 21st, 2017, 7:37 am

Steve -- Thanks for the insights. Plainly, you're very knowledgeable.

On the eye-versus-brain issue, I think he is trying to counter the commonly held notion that sensation takes place in the sensory organs. Even I know from (distant) college psychology classes that that's not the case, but it's still a view that many people hold unconsciously and I think it's an implicit assumption behind a lot of discussions of wine.

I can see how for someone like you, a lot of the book may be ho-hum and old hat. But I don't think he was writing for specialists. The book doesn't profess to offer new research. I think he's attempting to sum up scientific research on perception for an audience of wine lovers who are curious about the science. The research he describes is certainly not old news to someone like me.
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#19 Post by Philip Ente » February 21st, 2017, 8:00 am

as per Steve's comment; multi modal perception is probably a major issue. A lot of this is based on the work of an Oxford psychologist named E T Rolls, and you can reference his work for more information.

A certain person in Burgundy who created a very elite wine club in an 800-year-old monastery in Beaune told me that major Burgundy winemakers have remarked that wines taste better in this monastery than elsewhere. I'm currently writing an article to explain this from the multimodal perception standpoint, has probably been empirically/intuitively optimized by the monks over hundreds of years.

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Hmmmmm...

#20 Post by TomHill » February 21st, 2017, 8:33 am

Steve Slatcher wrote: Perhaps the most interesting stuff I picked up from the book were the sections about multi-modal perception, which I kind-of knew about before, but Jamie has convinced me that it is more important than I thought.
Not familiar w/ this term, Steve. Has this anything to do with Tim Gaisers revolutionary/breakthrough discovery of use of sub-modalities, developed w/ TimHalbom
of the EveryDay Genuius Institute; a tasting system that is taking the wine-world by storm (according to Tim's WebSite)??
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#21 Post by Steve Slatcher » February 21st, 2017, 9:08 am

Tom

Just done a bit of googling about Tim Gaiser, and I don't think it is the same thing. The modes of perception are I think the 5 senses we normally talk about. And the point is that we see the wine, taste it through chemical sense on our tongue, feel it physically in our mouth, sense it chemically in our nose, and even hear it. Our perception of wine is a combination of all these sensations - hence multi-modal - and form part of a single experience of the wine. The most obvious example with wine is how we assume that fruity flavours are sensed in the mouth, because that is where the wine is, and with combine them with the sweet and acidic flavours.

The idea seems often to be linked with synaesthesia which is another example of how the senses interact.

All that is from memory, and from Jamie's book. I had not heard the term multi-modal before in this context, even though I knew the basic idea.

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#22 Post by Steve Slatcher » February 21st, 2017, 9:16 am

John

I appreciate what Jamie is trying to achieve, but I would contend that it is possible to write at an introductory level and still be more rigorous with the facts.

I am not at all concerned about some of the book being old news, just that some of the old (and new news) is not correctly conveyed.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#23 Post by larry schaffer » February 21st, 2017, 9:16 am

Wow - you guys love the geeky stuff, eh?!?!?

I will definitely have to get a copy of the book - sounds quite interesting.

Always 'challenging' to read a book like this that quotes studies done a decade or two ago, though, since technology has allowed us to do a lot better job of capturing and categorizing things than ever before.

I also agree that there are most likely competitive factors for each of the claims Jamie makes and that things are not black and white. For instance, the 'markers' that each variety may contain will be masked or magnified by so many characters that it's not necessarily possible to pick them out (think Cab Franc and most US producers, for instance).

Still, I hope to read soon and get into the discussion :-)

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#24 Post by Steve Slatcher » February 21st, 2017, 9:23 am

BTW, I also thought it was very interesting to learn how in general there is no simple mapping from the many chemicals in wine to aroma sensations. Occasionally there is a one-to-one mapping, but often it is extremely complex.

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#25 Post by CWun » February 21st, 2017, 9:24 am

have a copy now on hold at the library =)
Looking forward to reading it.
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#26 Post by TomHill » February 21st, 2017, 9:24 am

Steve Slatcher wrote:Tom
Just done a bit of googling about Tim Gaiser, and I don't think it is the same thing. The modes of perception are I think the 5 senses we normally talk about. And the point is that we see the wine, taste it through chemical sense on our tongue, feel it physically in our mouth, sense it chemically in our nose, and even hear it. Our perception of wine is a combination of all these sensations - hence multi-modal - and form part of a single experience of the wine. The most obvious example with wine is how we assume that fruity flavours are sensed in the mouth, because that is where the wine is, and with combine them with the sweet and acidic flavours.

The idea seems often to be linked with synaesthesia which is another example of how the senses interact.

All that is from memory, and from Jamie's book. I had not heard the term multi-modal before in this context, even though I knew the basic idea.
Thanks for checking, Steve. IMHO, Tim's "system" strikes me as a bit of flim/flam...having watched his video.
I'll just have to get going & read Jamie's book to find out.
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#27 Post by Steve Slatcher » February 21st, 2017, 9:32 am

Philip Ente wrote:as per Steve's comment; multi modal perception is probably a major issue. A lot of this is based on the work of an Oxford psychologist named E T Rolls, and you can reference his work for more information.

A certain person in Burgundy who created a very elite wine club in an 800-year-old monastery in Beaune told me that major Burgundy winemakers have remarked that wines taste better in this monastery than elsewhere. I'm currently writing an article to explain this from the multimodal perception standpoint, has probably been empirically/intuitively optimized by the monks over hundreds of years.
Not heard of Rolls before. I wonder if he talks to Charles Spence in Oxford, who is widely quoted on the perception of food and drink.

Would be interested to see your article, Philip - though I of course realise it might be a problem, depending on who you are writing for.

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#28 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » February 21st, 2017, 4:49 pm

I bought the book, but was disappointed. It really seemed like more a general book about the nature of sensory perception than it was about wine tasting specifically. If you are seeking a general book on sensory perception you could find better than this I think, and that was not in any case what I was looking for.

I would have loved to have seen a book that took a deep dive into wine chemistry and how that chemistry translates into tasting perceptions. Including the chemistry of wine aging, which seems very mysterious and interesting. This is far from that book.

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#29 Post by Philip Ente » February 21st, 2017, 7:17 pm

I do feel environment and multi modal/multi sensory factors play a major role in the wine experience.

You can imagine the difference the tasting experience in these two pictures .

[URL=http://s322.photobucket.com/user/e ... .jpg[/img]Image
[/url]

As opposed to the picture of a Rouseau tasting in this post
http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 1&t=138118

 

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#30 Post by Alan Rath » February 21st, 2017, 7:37 pm

Philip Ente wrote:I do feel environment and multi modal/multi sensory factors play a major role in the wine experience.
No question environment plays a role, but if I had to choose between "major" and "minor", I would definitely go with "minor". I'm trying to think of a sense that is affected by environment in a major way. I don't see differently when I'm sad vs. happy. I don't think my sense of smell changes that much in different environments (aside from, say, being outside in windy conditions); I know that environment, mood, other conditions can have an effect on our perceptions, but I'm not convinced that my perception of a wine changes dramatically based on environment (as opposed to how much wine I've had, which wines, what food I've eaten, palate saturation, etc., i.e., the physical and chemical condition of my palate).
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#31 Post by John Morris » February 21st, 2017, 7:50 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
Philip Ente wrote:I do feel environment and multi modal/multi sensory factors play a major role in the wine experience.
No question environment plays a role, but if I had to choose between "major" and "minor", I would definitely go with "minor". I'm trying to think of a sense that is affected by environment in a major way. I don't see differently when I'm sad vs. happy. I don't think my sense of smell changes that much in different environments (aside from, say, being outside in windy conditions); I know that environment, mood, other conditions can have an effect on our perceptions, but I'm not convinced that my perception of a wine changes dramatically based on environment (as opposed to how much wine I've had, which wines, what food I've eaten, palate saturation, etc., i.e., the physical and chemical condition of my palate).
You've never drunk that charming little local wine someplace in Europe that was so outstanding, only to bring a bottle home and finding that it was just, meh?
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#32 Post by Alan Rath » February 21st, 2017, 7:54 pm

Sure I have. And I've learned to pay more attention to the wine in environments like that, and be a little more critical before getting too enthusiastic ;)

Maybe we're saying the same thing: environment can indeed distract the mind, and make something more (or less) enjoyable. But I'm convinced that if you focus on whatever it is you're doing (e.g., wine tasting), environment fades into the background and becomes much less of an influence.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#33 Post by Anton D » February 21st, 2017, 8:12 pm

1) Alan, thanks for that chemistry link!

2) I think there is a big environmental effect on wine tasting. To start with the overly obvious, I bet we can all think of times when odors in an environment have skewed the taste and smell of wine. So, I would wager there are subtle effects we don't cognitively recognize. The example of a wine being great in a cellar but 'meh' at home might have been greatly influenced by the accompanying scents in the cellar. Wine at the beach vs. while sitting in a hot tub vs. home while cooking a meal - huge environmental impacts!
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#34 Post by Steve Slatcher » February 22nd, 2017, 2:30 pm

Anton D wrote:2) I think there is a big environmental effect on wine tasting. To start with the overly obvious, I bet we can all think of times when odors in an environment have skewed the taste and smell of wine. So, I would wager there are subtle effects we don't cognitively recognize. The example of a wine being great in a cellar but 'meh' at home might have been greatly influenced by the accompanying scents in the cellar. Wine at the beach vs. while sitting in a hot tub vs. home while cooking a meal - huge environmental impacts!
That was one of the points made in Jamie's book: Even if we are unaware of odours in the environment, they can influence the way we perceive the odours we are giving our attention to. Whether they are usually major or minor effects, I do not know, and I suspect no one else does. Also can't remember how well the research was referenced.

That is before we consider the effects of music, lighting, mood etc

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#35 Post by John Morris » February 23rd, 2017, 8:43 am

Alan Rath wrote: The point about alcohol and aromas is an interesting one, but also one where I think there may be competing factors at work.... But I wonder if this is a chicken/egg argument, where wines with higher alcohol have different composition to begin with, because of the ripeness level of the fruit (same for the acidity point about red vs. black fruits).
I came on Jamie's article on this topic in the August/September 2014 issue of Somm Journal. Sadly, it's not available on line. But he bases this on experiments he participated in at Conetech and with Clark Smith in which the same wine (ergo same original fruit) had its alcohol raised or lowered. Smith brought an Amador syrah that was originally 18% (!) that was reduced to 15.4%, 14.2% and 13.75%, shifting its flavor profile from "jammy and chocolaty" to darker fruits with tannins more apparent at 14.2% to something more peppery, with acid showing, at 13.75%. He quotes Smith saying: We do sweet spot tastings with 2,500 wines ayear and we never get a bell curve distribution of preferences.... It's like tuning into radio stations."
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Correction...

#36 Post by TomHill » February 23rd, 2017, 8:50 am

John Morris wrote:
Alan Rath wrote: The point about alcohol and aromas is an interesting one, but also one where I think there may be competing factors at work.... But I wonder if this is a chicken/egg argument, where wines with higher alcohol have different composition to begin with, because of the ripeness level of the fruit (same for the acidity point about red vs. black fruits).
I came on Jamie's article on this topic in the August/September 2014 issue of Somm Journal. Sadly, it's not available on line. But he bases this on experiments he participated in at Conetech and with Clark Smith in which the same wine (ergo same original fruit) had its alcohol raised or lowered. Smith brought an Amador syrah that was originally 18% (!) that was reduced to 15.4%, 14.2% and 13.75%, shifting its flavor profile from "jammy and chocolaty" to darker fruits with tannins more apparent at 14.2% to something more peppery, with acid showing, at 13.75%. He quotes Smith saying: We do sweet spot tastings with 2,500 wines ayear and we never get a bell curve distribution of preferences.... It's like tuning into radio stations."
John,
I think that Syrah was the set that was made at FresnoState. The grapes were, in fact, CentralVlly and not Amador.
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#37 Post by John Morris » February 23rd, 2017, 8:57 am

The article specifically says Amador County syrah. If Smith is doing 2,500 such tests a year, why do you think it had to be that wine?

But perhaps you were there ... from the beginning. :)
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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#38 Post by Jamie Goode » April 5th, 2017, 2:32 pm

Just picked this up. Thanks for all the positive comments. The book was peer reviewed by two expert academics in the field, as is normal for UCP titles. I tried to be as rigorous as possible. I hope I've not offended Steve S in the past in some way, but I can understand that my writing style is not for everyone. This is not a textbook - unfortunately some people want textbooks when the content is based on science.

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#39 Post by Philip Ente » April 5th, 2017, 7:15 pm

Jamie

More of a science textbook in this field is this :

https://cup.columbia.edu/book/neuroenol ... 0231177009

Neil will be publishing my review of this book and in it I compare this book to yours.

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#40 Post by Sanjay Nandurkar » April 6th, 2017, 4:07 am

My book just landed. I will try and find some time to read it over Easter.

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#41 Post by Steve Slatcher » April 6th, 2017, 5:35 am

Jamie Goode wrote:I hope I've not offended Steve S in the past in some way
Not at all Jamie. As mentioned in my "update", I was shooting from the hip. The topic cropped up here, I had literally just finished your book, and I was in a hurry. My post was more-or-less what I would have said to a friend in the pub at the time, and some of it was wrong - also mentioned in the update. But details and tone aside, it did reflect my feeling at the time.

Hope you also picked up on the positive comments I made in this thread - it was not all negative

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#42 Post by Steve Slatcher » April 6th, 2017, 5:42 am

Philip Ente wrote:Jamie

More of a science textbook in this field is this :

https://cup.columbia.edu/book/neuroenol ... 0231177009

Neil will be publishing my review of this book and in it I compare this book to yours.
Neil? Neil Beckett of World of Fine Wine? If so, look forward to reading it.

I am literally in the middle of writing a review of the these books side-by-side on my blog. They make an interesting comparison.

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Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#43 Post by Alan Rath » April 6th, 2017, 9:40 am

Crap, now I have two books to buy and read. Can't these guys stop overthinking things, and just let us alone to pontificate wildly?
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Re: Anyone reading Jamie Goode's new book, "I Taste Red"?

#44 Post by John Morris » October 4th, 2018, 3:22 pm

Given the recent thread on evaporation vs oxygen interaction in decanted wines, I think it's time to bump this discussion up.
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