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."
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
Life & Style blogs
- 1 Bonuses for goals and top four finish as Luiz Suarez joins Premier League's top three earners
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Food & Drink
£18000 - £21000 per annum + Basic salary +incentives: FCm Travel Solutions: FC...
£54000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: Flight Centre Glo...
£27000 - £27500 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: Flight Centre Glo...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Corporate Traveller: Flight Centre's e-c...