Media Collections
Videos of Class Lectures for Viticulture and Enology 125: Sensory Analysis of Wine

About Maynard Andrew Amerine. 1911-1998.

Dr. Amerine was an acknowledged authority on both the cultural and technical aspects of grape growing and wine making. Over the last half century, he made the most singularly significant contributions of any one individual to the California wine industry. His accomplishments have been a major factor in California wines gaining their present status in the world community. Dr. Amerine was initially engaged to explore the question of which grape varieties were best suited to the wide range of climatic conditions in California. The results of this work were published in the journal Hilgardia in 1944. Over time, the determination of grape growing regions and the adoption of recommended varieties resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of grapes grown for wine production and a corresponding improvement in the quality of California wine. Another major work, Wines: Their Sensory Evaluation, co-authored in 1976 with mathematician Edward B. Roessler, initiated the objective study of taste analysis. Dr. Amerine is recognized as an outstanding teacher and he has left a legacy to the state of California and the world through the hundreds of students he has trained who have become wine makers and grape growers.

About this course

VEN 125 Sensory analysis of wine

Building on the sensory work of Rose Marie Pangborn and his collaboration with Edward B. Roessler, this course lays the groundwork for sensory evaluation of wine. The ability to evaluate wines, identify defects and understand sensory qualities is critical to the success of winemakers and to the ongoing improvement of the quality of California wines. This series of lectures was part of an effort to capture in video tape, the lectures of the core courses of the Viticulture and Enology program as taught at UC Davis in the early 1970’s. The faculty teaching these courses in many ways represent the Golden Age of winemaking at UC Davis.

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The videos are viewable by QuickTime or any player than can play H.264 files. This includes modern OS X and Windows 7 computers, and many mobile devices.
Title Description
Lecture 1 Course introduction, outlines course requirements and expectations. Overview of wine sensory analysis, including some historical information.
Lecture 2 Finishes course introduction. Methods and factors in judging wine. Types of tests/comparisons used in judging, including importance of panel standards and ranking procedures.
Lecture 3 Continues ranking procedures. Discussion of ranking systems and scoring methods. How to score wines using the Davis 20 point system.
Lecture 4 Lab procedures, finish lecture on types of judging. Development of tasting panels and flavor profiles. Wine literature.
Lecture 5 Call for volunteers for experiment by Tom Selfridge. Importance and use of statistics. Key compounds and threshold levels.
Lecture 6 Remarks on first lab report and upcoming quiz. Research on taste. Discussion on effects of land and other geographic factors on wine (terroir). Wine types.
Lecture 7 French wines. France is great, partially because it produces French wine
Lecture 8 French wines. France is great, partially because it produces French wine
Lecture 9 Alsatian wines. German wines. Swiss wines. Austrian wines. Hungarian wines (present state of grape growing and wine making under socialism and historically)
Lecture 10 Review of lectures so far. Lessons from Europe as to application in California. Continues Hungarian wines. Soviet wines. Bulgarian wines. Israeli wines. South African wines. Australian wines. Brief comments on other regions: Spanish wines. Portuguese wines. Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian & Moroccan wines (problem is that the winemaker does not drink the wine), Mexican wines, Peruvian wines, Chilean wines, Argentinean wines
Lecture 11 Italian wines. Vermouth.
Lecture 12 First half is Q&A in preparation for quiz. Questions include; effects of different yeasts, kosher wines, Chaptalization in Germany and issues involving native North American varieties. Starts lecture on special wines beginning with Marsala. He has a brief interjection where he goes back to earlier lecture (10) with comments on South African wines. He ends with flavored wines (Gallo?).
Lecture 13 Comments on upcoming quiz. Comments on scoring total alcohol in rankings. Comments on California wine labeling. California wines, white wines first, discusses wine by wine.
Lecture 14 California wines, red wines.
Lecture 15 Comments on final exam. California wines, dessert wines. Lengthy discussion of solera system.