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Oenology: A Few Notes

Oenology is the study of wine and its production from the vineyard to the bottle. It is the chemical and microbiological science of wine-making as well as the sensorial science of taste and smell. The word is derived from the Greek words “oinos” (vino) and “logos” (study of).

The characteristics of a wine are determined, in large part, by two factors: the type of grape used and the terrain upon which it was grown. Every vineyard has aromatic characteristics that influence significantly the taste of the wine that is produced from it. The term “terrain”, in this sense, encompasses within its meaning the type of land (rocky, damp, chalky etc.), the number of days of sun, humidity, altitude, temperatures and general environmental conditions. Each vineyard is adapted to the area it is grown in and is therefore influenced by it.

In order for the wine to maintain its appropriate characteristics it is vital that it be adequately preserved. The wine-cellar is very vital in this respect and must provide the right conditions. Temperature is the most vital factor, the optimum temperature being 50 to 55°F (10-12°C). Finally, the tasting involves a series of techniques designed to aid in its evaluation in as objective a manner as possible.

David Russo, VMD, PhD

Veterinary Scientist, Gourmet Lover and Amateur Cook
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1830 Pilgrim Ave., Bronx, NY 10461

718 8247308

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