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Winemaker’s Bookshelf

Jacobson provides a thorough discussion of the basics for those who don’t have a strong background in chemistry.

seldom published. It’s a lot of work to write them. I was surprised to run across this one, because I know there are three very good analysis manuals already available and I wondered what could be added to them.


Jean Jacobson has done an excellent job of identifying fundamental material that is not included in the previously published wine analysis texts. Perhaps it’s an indication of the rate of evolution of winemaking practices, when I consider that the two standard texts on my bookshelf have been there for over 20 years. It’s reassuring to know I can reach out to my copy of Ough and Amerine or Zeocklein whenever I want to convert Oechlse to Brix or look up the composition of a reagent.

In case you don’t already have them they are: Methods for Analysis of Musts and Wines, 2nd Edition (1988). C.S. Ough and M.A. Amerine, 377 pp. ISBN 0-471-62757-7, and Production Wine Analysis, B.W. Zoecklein. K.C.Fugelsang, B.H.Gump, andF.S.Nury (1990). 475 pp.ISBN0- 442-23463-5.

The third, more recently published,

is Chemical Analysis of Grapes and Wine: Techniques and Concepts (2004), by P. Iland, N., G. Edwards, S. Weeks, and E. Wilkes. ISBN: 0- 9581605-1-1. This manual is obviously intended for the lab bench. It is spiral bound to lie flat and is printed with plastic coated paper to make it resistant to laboratory chemicals. Jacobson’s text is: Introduction to Wine Laboratory Practices (2006) J.L Jacobsen. 374 pp. ISBN-10: 387- 24377-1.

The major difference between Jacobsen’s text and the earlier ones is that Jacobsen’s is written at a more

part from bare-bones manuals for student laboratories, new wine analysis manuals are

By Gary Strachan A new manual for wine analysis

rudimentary level. It contains an introduction to concepts such as valence, redox, and the Periodic Table, whereas the earlier texts assume that the user already has a strong background in

chemistry. There is also a good discussion of safety in the lab and the chemical hazards of wine analysis. One area that is covered in this text that is lacking in the earlier texts is the fundamental microbiology of winemaking. Most of the

microorganisms that are used in or occur in winemaking are described. Practical advice with regard to safety,

measurement errors and sanitation is given throughout the text. One practical piece of advice that I enjoyed: Use old shoes and clothing that can be

discarded at the end of crush! Another section of this text that is absent in the earlier texts is a discussion of the advantages and problems of maintaining wine in good condition during storage and maturation.

The final section of the text contains point by point descriptions of the usual laboratory procedures of a winery. Each procedure has a discussion of possible errors, and cautions about the handling of instruments and reagents. My overall impression of the text is that it is practical and easy to follow. An introduction to each topic is included to provide an understanding of the material without going into the details of the chemical theory of the procedure. For this, I recommend Zoecklein.

There are a few wine analysis manuals posted on the web. These are generally a free download. They will mostly show up during a search for

methods, wine analysis, but it requires patience to find them among the pages posted by equipment manufacturers and winery service laboratories. I found that preceding the search with methods was better than preceding it with wine analysis.

The most comprehensive of these is the 619-page Compendium of International Methods of Analysis- OIV. This pdf is a manual of standard methods approved by an international committee of wine chemists. It is written in a very concise and accurate manner because these are the standard methods used by European Community legislation and the international Codex Alimentarius. If you ever have aspirations to export to Europe, you should be familiar with this manual. It is clearly written and comprehensive, but not as user friendly as Jacobsen: A_2012_VOL_2.pdf . A shorter version is posted at: http://eur- ex. uri=OJ:C:2010:043:0001:0060:EN:P DF .

In the United States, a brief list of fundamental analyses is required for ATF compliance records. The ATF manual of methods can be downloaded at : ages/TTBRequiredAnalysis.aspx Napa Valley College has a small manual which was drafted by students and is available for download at: vila/Public/NVC%20Winery%20Folde r/Laboratory%20Analyses%20Manual. doc .

I found it to be concise and easily followed. Since it was written by and for students, it is user- friendly with no unnecessary material. One of the nice features of this file is that it’s written in Word format so you can edit the material, search it, add notes, or abstract individual methods to be bound into your own lab manual when you set up your quality control system. No winemaker should ever take the risk of being unaware of the fundamental composition of his wines. — Gary Strachan is listed on LinkedIn

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2013 27

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