Wine’s dark se­cret: it’s all in the fungi

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Variety -

Be­ing a wine­maker is a spe­cialised call­ing, re­quir­ing in­ti­mate knowl­edge of soil com­po­si­tion, sea­sons and weather, chem­istry, flavour, even mar­ket­ing and sales.

Yet, the dis­tinc­tive bou­quet and flavour of a Ch­ablis or Chardon­nay could not be achieved with­out the in­put of a brain­less, sin­gle-celled or­gan­ism, claims a new study.

The pre­vi­ously over­looked vint­ner, a type of yeast called Sac­cha­romyces Cere­visiae, re­port­edly makes a “small but sig­nif­i­cant” con­tri­bu­tion to a wine’s flavour and taste, sci­en­tists re­ported in the jour­nal Sci­en­tific Re­ports.

This makes the fun­gus a key to that enig­matic wine con­cept ‘ter­roir’ — ev­ery­thing from the soil, to­pog­ra­phy, cli­mate and agri­cul­tural pro­cesses that go into pro­duc­ing your favourite Bordeaux. “I was sur­prised that we de­tected any sig­nal at all from these

Yet, the dis­tinc­tive bou­quet and flavour of a Ch­ablis or Chardon­nay could not be achieved with­out the in­put of a brain­less, sin­gle-celled or­gan­ism, claims a new study

ge­o­graph­i­cally dif­fer­ent yeast pop­u­la­tions in the aroma pro­file of the wine — I thought we would not,” co-au­thor Matthew God­dard of the Univer­sity of Lin­coln in Eng­land said. “The sig­nal is small, but de­tectable,” he said. Ge­o­graphic dif­fer­ences in wines were pre­vi­ously as­cribed mainly to plant ge­net­ics, lo­cal soil and cli­mate, and farm­ing meth­ods. “The idea that mi­crobes might play a role in ter­roir is new, and we think this is the first time that it has been ex­per­i­men­tally shown that this is the case,” said God­dard.

PHOTO:SHUTTERSTOCK

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