Tasting Grapes for Maturity
Grapes Changing ColorClick thumbnail to view full-size
Like virtually all healthy plants, grapevines convert sunlight into energy. At a certain time of year, the plant starts storing the energy in its fruit to make delicious grapes. Early in the summer the grapes are very bitter and literally green. By the fall, the grapes are and start to taste sweet.
Since fermentation turns sugar into alcohol, winemakers can predict how alcoholic wine will be by looking at the sugar level of the grapes. There are a lot of very advanced methods to determine the sugar level and potential alcohol, but one of the best tests is a good old-fashioned taste test.
How to Taste Grapes for Maturity
In this day and age, there are lots of ways to figure out the sugar content of a grape and you can easily estimate the sugar content of a whole parcel of vines. Tools like refractometers measure the amount of sugar in your grape's juice just by measuring how much the juice refracts light. This refraction reveals density, sugar level and potential alcohol.
So why rely on taste buds which aren't as scientifically accurate or precise?
- Tasting grapes is fun and yummy
- Testing more than sugar content
First of all, it's fun and easy to go out and plop a yummy grape in your mouth. Of course, if the grapes aren't very mature they'll taste very bitter and wine grapes are often less appetizing than the table grapes you buy in the store. But a really mature grape will have a lot of attributes other than sweetness.
You can taste distinct types of acids and sugars that come from the skin, pips and flesh of the grape separately. Sometimes, you can even get the undertones and flavor profile that the grape will eventually contribute to the finished wine. After all, the qualities of a wine start on the vine.
Pure sugar tests are no longer the norm for most winemakers who know that you gotta have a lot of things other than sugar to make good wine. If you've got healthy, mature grapes then they will benefit from extended contact with the skin and seeds during fermentation.
Other Reasons to Taste Your Grapes
- Grapes Health Benefits for Vegetarians
Grapes Health Benefits for Vegetarians
- Enhance Your Health with Grapes
If you are looking for ways to improve your diet you may want to consider adding grapes to your diet on a regular basis. Grapes have many health enhancing ingredients including saponins, resveratrol,...
More by this Author
The Count of Monte Cristo is a serialized novel that has been adapted many, many times. It is often seen as a classic tale of revenge in which a young, promising and innocent youth is wrongly imprisoned for life. He...
Green harvest involves pruning grape vines to artificially limit the yield and increase maturity, sugar level and potential alcohol for the true harvest in the fall. If your yields are too high, green harvesting will...
This is a hub about Bach Flower Remedies (not essential oils). I cite some studies that show they don't have clinically proven track records, but it doesn't hurt to explore them anyway. This is a fun primer to read...