OWRI winemaker sensory panel update

Dr. Elizabeth Tomasino, Assistant Professor

The OWRI Winemaker Sensory Panel successfully met in summer of 2013 to determine which tests are most appropriate for future sensory evaluation of wines from the Statewide Crop Load Project led by Dr. Patty Skinkis, OSU Viticulture Extension Specialist. Panelists participated in sorting, ranking, preference and descriptive analysis tasks with Pinot noir wines. From the tastings, we determined the best array of sensory tests to answer the question: “how does crop load impact wine quality?” Panelists used descriptive analysis to characterize differences among the wines. They provided information on aroma and mouth-feel parameters and how these parameters relate to quality. Panelists also participated in a range of tasks evaluating Merlot wines from a collaborative project between the Deluc and Tomasino Labs.

The OWRI Winemaker Sensory Panel will meet once every two months from December to September each year but not during harvest from September to November. In the coming year, the Panel will evaluate wines from the Statewide Crop Load Project, develop thresholds for terpenes in wine, and evaluate wines from other research trials from the OWRI. The dates for 2014 will be provided in December 2013. Please contact me if you have any questions (email: Elizabeth.tomasino@oregonstate.edu, phone: 541-737-4866).

For those of you who are unable to participate in the OWRI Winemaker Sensory Panel, you can participate in other sensory analyses investigating regional differences in Oregon Pinot noir during winter and spring from 2014 to 2016. Stay tuned for more opportunities to be involved with wine sensory analysis!