for Wine Aroma
With 1,000 bottles of aged wine in Purdue’s
Enology Library for education and research
use, Christian Butzke and former graduate
student Alyssa Beatty had the perfect
material for their research. They removed
minute samples through the wine corks,
keeping the bottles intact and unopened,
then analyzed the aromas and published an
expanded Savory Wine Aroma Wheel.
“We are interested in what happens as wine
ages over long periods of time,” says Butzke,
a professor of enology and a winemaker,
who is researching ways to replicate aromas
and tastes of old wine without requiring
the aging time.
Their new descriptors go beyond traditional
terms, such as bacon, soy sauce and beef
broth, to include nontraditional scents.
Among them: grilled red beets, potato chips
“Our next step is to determine the
precursors that cause those savory aromas,”
says Butzke. “Every winery wants to make
more complex, and thus more valuable,
wines, so understanding the mechanisms
is very important,” he says. “Ours is applied
research, with true economic impact.” | K.M.