Lightstrike – Richard of York Gave Battle In Vain

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Lightstrike Prism Spectrum

Lightstrike – Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain Incidences of lightstrike seem to be becoming an increasingly commonplace wine fault. At least, that’s my experience over the past couple of years. Whether at home, in restaurants, at tastings and even when wine judging. You may have noticed it too, as it’s foul-smelling. Curiously, it’s also a fault that’s less …

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Nadsat and Newspeak – Words for Wine

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Nadsat and Newspeak

Nadsat and Newspeak – Words for Wine Are you self-isolating in Airstrip One, watching our dystopias unfold? Choose from climate emergency, the covid-19 pandemic, surveillance society, social media hate-crimes, fake news, or 1001 other worrisome issues (add your own here).  Our world can sometimes seem like it’s becoming a combination of two classic books: George Orwell’s 1984 and Anthony Burgess’s …

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Senses Working Overtime – how we taste wine

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Senses Working Overtime

Senses Working Overtime – how we taste wine We call it wine tasting, yet a glass of wine can engage with all our five human senses. Moreover, it uses up more of the human brain than most other behaviours. Most of us have these senses in working order, and normally we take them for granted. Other animals may have different …

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Serving Temperature – What’s Ideal For My Wine?

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Wine serving temperature

Serving Temperature – What’s Ideal For My Wine? “What’s the ideal serving temperature for my wine?” is one of the questions I get asked often. That’s usually followed up with “and what’s the best way to achieve it?” Both questions are important because the smell and taste of any wine are dependent on serving temperature. Consequently, getting that right heightens drinking pleasure …

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Silly Tasting Notes and Neuroenology

Paul Howard Articles, Blog, Book Reviews, Wine Tasting 3 Comments

Faces - silly tasting notes

Silly Tasting Notes and Neuroenology It might seem obvious, but the taste of wine occurs in the human brain. Indeed, there is a good deal of scientific research that’s gradually revealing how this works. A terrific book called Neuroenology, by Gordon M. Shepherd, explains this in detail. So why also include the Silly Tasting Notes in this article? Well, once the taste …

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A Haiku for Pointless Wine Scoring

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O Ren Ishii. © Miramax. Kill Bill. Haiku

A Haiku for Pointless Wine Scoring Some recent correspondents have asked why I don’t append a points score to the wines I recommend. Well, I’ve always preferred words to mere points when evaluating wine. So I prefer reading to seeing yet another naked 90+ point score. They’re just noise. Instead of being part of the equation, now they are the equation. Points …

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Corks Out! Diam Bouchage fights back

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Corks Out! DIAM Bouchage fight back

Corks Out! Diam Bouchage fights back. Hands up who has had a bottle of corked wine? Ok, that’s most of you. And I don’t mean wine with a few bits of cork floating in it. It’s the awful smell and taste of musty or mouldy cardboard. The culprit is TCA, short for 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole. It forms when airborne bacteria and fungi …

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Breaking Glass – which fizz glasses are best?

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Breaking Glass

Breaking Glass – which fizz glasses are best? One rainy Sunday afternoon I tested the suitability of various stemware for fizz in an experiment called Breaking Glass. What works best for bubbly? Admittedly my Breaking Glass test was conducted without much scientific rigour. Different glasses were hand-washed beforehand to ensure there were no lingering traces of detergent, which kills bubbles …

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