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Minerality in wine: a geological perspective

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Tasting ‘minerality’ in wine is suddenly highly fashionable. And unusually for a wine-taste descriptor, the term is very often taken to imply a genesis: the sensation is the taste of minerals in the wine that were transported through the vine from the vineyard rocks and soils. However, there is an array of reasons why this cannot be. The minerals in wine are nutrient elements – typically metallic cations – and only distantly related to vineyard geological minerals, which are complex crystalline compounds. The mineral nutrients in wine normally have minuscule concentrations and they lack flavour anyway. Although attempts to explain the perception of minerality involve allusions to geological materials, these are irrelevant to its origin. Whatever minerality is, it cannot literally be the taste of minerals in the vineyard rocks and soils.
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Keywords: flavour; geology; mineral; minerality; taste; vineyard

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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