Archive for the ‘wine’ Category

Figure 1. Sala Vivé Semi Seco

Introduction

Dolores Sala Vivé co-founded Freixenet in Spain with her husband Pedro Ferrer Bosch.  The winery history claims that the sparkling wine was made in homage to her, the “Grande Dame of Sparkling Wine” (salavive website, 2010). The winery itself is in the Mexican state of Querétaro (see salavive website for more information, 2010) and was constructed at the beginning of 1980. Drawing on the experience and tradition gained at the Spanish sparkler producer, Freixenet, the Mexican winery has added an excellent location, featuring a claim for some of the “best geo-climactic characteristics for producing quality sparkling wine 2,000 meters above sea level with unusual and extreme conditions for the maturation of the grape (25ºC during the day and 0ºC at night)” (salavive website, 2010).  Confirmation of these claims is beyond the scope of this present research.

Aim

This experiment, conducted by two researchers, was designed to investigate the characteristics of  the Sala Vivé Semi Seco sparkling wine and to follow up on and corroborate earlier research (unpublished).  Researchers in this experiment investigated aroma, flavor, color, vessel design, bubbles and overall drinkability, culminating their experiment with a satisfaction evaluation.

Method

A 750 ml bottle of Sala Vivé was obtained as a gift from a wedding reception.  The bottle was chilled for 24 hours to a temperature of 3 degrees centigrade (producer recommends 6 to 8 degrees) and opened under controlled conditions: removal of the plastic covering and cage, tipping the bottle to a 45 degree angle and pulling the cork while rotating the bottle but not the cork.  Approximately 75 ml of liquid was poured into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the wine.  Flavor and other attributes (see Aim above) were analyzed by tasting the wine and discussing it amongst the research team at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to outdoor lighting to evaluate the color, and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered. The experiment was considered to be concluded when the bottle had been drunk.

Results

The results for Sala Vivé Semi Seco are shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Sala Vivé Semi Seco.

Characteristic Result
Aroma Strong wood/cork with stale breath
Flavor Sweet with hints of shampoo, and conditioner finish. Label (in Japanese) suggests flavors of apple and pear. This research suggests that another conclusion could be drawn and cannot confirm the fruit elements in the flavor.
Color Conventional sparkling blanc de blanc wine color where if 1 is pale and 5 very yellow, this wine would be a 4.
Satisfaction Might do to replace some beers (Bud?) on a hot afternoon.  Perhaps not.
Vessel Design The picture of Granny Sala Vivé crowns an otherwise conventional label (see figure 1)
Bubbles The bubbles did not overfoam or fade.
Drinkability The researchers could not complete the experiment, choosing to refresh their palates with a different wine before the bottle was finished.  As the wine increased in temperature – from the 3degrees C on opening to the 6 to 8 degrees recommended by the producer, the desire to continue the experiment on the part of the research team declined dramatically.  While the subject wine was willing (and able) to continue the experiment, the research team was unable to pursue it to the set conclusion.

The average of scores given to this wine by the research team was 2.

Conclusion

The research team assigned to do the follow up research on Sala Vivé has confirmed that initial investigation (unpublished results).  This study itself, however, might have been tainted by exposure to the previous research on the wine subject.  The Rosenthal Effect (Wikipedia, 2010) might have come into play, leading the team in this inquiry to expect the wine to fail to live up to sparkling wine standards (established through extensive previous research experiments).  The wine under investigation in this experiment thus might have fallen to the low expectations of the researchers.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_wine#Wine_producing_areas_and_vintages_in_Mexico

http://salavive.com/svi_ha_e.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_effect

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Figure 1. Wyndham Estate Bin 444 Cabernet Sauvignon

Introduction

Wyndham Estates, located in the renowned Hunter Valley of NSW, Australia, pride themselves on the intensity of their wines (see Wyndham estate website, 2010).  They classify their cheaper wines by “Bin” followed by a triple digit number, which designates the grape varietal.  Cabernet sauvignon, the grape that makes in Bin 444, is “one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties”, and has apparently only existed since the 17th century when a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc varietals occurred (Wikipedia, 2010).

The Wyndham Estate website (2010) shows images of large marsupials wandering amongst the vines.  It is unclear whether the beasts are browsing on the grass between the rows of vines, helping themselves to the ripe fruit, or attempting to steal a few bottles of product, stowed safely in their pouches while sproinging away at high speed.

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007 wine including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 750 ml bottle of Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007 was obtained from a local supermarket for NZ$11.99.  The bottle was opened under controlled conditions.  Approximately 100 ml of liquid was poured into clean glass vessels.  The contents of the can were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the liquor.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the wine and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results for Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007 are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007.

Characteristic Result
Aroma Summer fruit pudding with a suggestion of charred woodiness.  Similar to  those Japanese fruit candies which are wrapped in rice paper you can eat
Flavour Chunky with obvious tannins and slightly tart and bitter, but not unpleasant.  A conglomeration of red, summery fruits finished off with a splash of black pepper
Colour Deep ruby red
Satisfaction Suitable for chilly evenings while watching cooking shows on TV
Vessel Design Uncomplicated black, cream, red and gold label wrapped around a classically shaped, green wine bottle.
Legs The glass was vigorously swirled, the liquor began to form distinct rivulets after 19 seconds
Drinkability 6

Conclusion

Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon does comply with the company mandate of producing wines “for people who want more intensity and sensation from their wine experience” (Wyndham website, 2010).

Having assessed the characteristics of the beverage, a more urgent line of inquiry needs to be addressed, that being the question of how a large marsupial which had stolen a bottle of wine would gain access to the liquor contained within the bottle.  Fortunately, Wydham Estate Bin 444 is secured by the use of a twist off cap.  However, with their crap forearms, twist caps could still provide problematic for the marsupial.  It is postulated that, through past experience being passed down through the generations of marsupials, they may collaborate to achieve the desired outcome.  However, it is beyond the scope of this study to confirm this hypothesis.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabernet_Sauvignon

http://wyndhamestate.com/Wyndham.html#/Home/