Waiter, this wine tastes like cat pee
A C Grayling
A. C. Grayling is an English philosopher and founder of independent undergraduate college, New College of the Humanities. He is the author of several books including The Refutation of Scepticism (1985), The Meaning of Things (2001) and The Good Book (2011).
Tuesday 12 May 2009
New Zealand's crisp white wines are justly famed, particularly those from the South Island's Marlborough region. Now a study has analysed the taste of the country's most popular wine, sauvignon blanc – and those who quaff it might wish they hadn't.
Asparagus, one of the flavours identified by a team of researchers, might be just about acceptable. Passionfruit sounds fine. But cat's pee ... well, you could be forgiven for deciding to have a beer instead.
It seems, though, that drinkers, in New Zealand at least, are not deterred by such findings. One vineyard, Coopers Creek, is marketing its sauvignon blanc under the name "Cat's Pee On A Gooseberry Bush", calling it "a youthful, kittenish wine, full of zing and zip".
The wine scientists spent six years and more than £6m studying the unique character of sauvignon blanc, New Zealand's leading grape variety.
The "expert sensory panel" was trained to distinguish between 16 flavours, including canned and fresh asparagus, stone fruit, apple and snow peas.
Sue Blackmore, a wine science lecturer at New Zealand's Lincoln University, reassured wine drinkers that such flavours were present only in very small quantities.
"We are talking about parts per billion, very tiny amounts to make the wine more complex and interesting," she said. "If you had a lot of the compounds that give you cat's pee, it obviously wouldn't be great, but it's amazing what a little can do."
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6 'catches on fire and burns man's leg after bending in his pocket'
The hoverboard is real, and it could give rise to hoverhouses
Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Lynda Bellingham dead: Bowel cancer - what is it and what are the symptoms?
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
iJobs Food & Drink
£30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...
£13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...