Flesh Versus Computation- The Enological Struggle


Does the pulp fall off the seed like an exhausted creature?  Do the seeds crunch like hazelnuts or are they ungraciously potent with banana peel bitter?  Does the thick skin push back with a fight against the gnashing teeth or does it fall limp and apologetic?  Does the bite salivate?  Is curiosity ignited? Are the juice flavors nuanced? Do I taste anything other than plum?  Anything?  These are the questions of the artist/winemaker, the poet, the fiery flagrant.

The scientist, the holder of the master’s degree or the phD in enology, might conversely ask, do the brix measurements fall between (reds) 23-27 brix, is the TA (titratable acidity) within the range of 3.5- 6.9 g/L and is the pH below the disease giddy 4.0 pH but above the malolactic-bacteria-leery 3.0.  The true calculator might have access to a spectrometer, run YAN measurements or test malic acid levels.

For so many of us, who you are and who you wish you were, battle along a spectrum, points finding each other and veering, nearing and jolting.  Harvest is rampant with those moments that illuminate where you are within that range.     Are you the gut-trusting artist or the cautious, detail oriented scientist?  To truly learn the science takes (endless) time and to have faith takes… faith.  Both are difficult.

I hope you had a great weekend, Ashley