Knowledge Base

Welcome to the Knowledge Base, an in depth resource of information on wine, wine science, spectroscopy, and a little bit of physics.

Does wine really smell like blueberries?

Is there a scientific basis for the flamboyant aroma descriptions which can often be found on labels or in menus? Is it down to [...]

Wine Legs

What causes the formation of “legs” or “tears” in a glass of wine? Is it really and indicator of quality? Contrary to popular belief, [...]

Sulphur Taint

This term is used to describe wine faults caused by molecular compounds which contain sulphur. The term “reductive” is often used to [...]

Wine Characteristics

Wine is an incredibly complex substance whose production is an equally complex process influenced not only by nature, but also by [...]

Cork Taint

“Cork taint” is a term used to describe wine faults associated with the presence of certain organohalogen compounds which lend wine an [...]

Wine Faults Explained

Unfortunately, molecules which impart unpleasant olfactory and gustatory characteristics can occasionally be found in a bottle of wine. [...]

The role of SO2 in wine

In order to understand the role of added SO2 in the formation of volatile sulphur compounds, it is important to understand why it is [...]

Raman Spectroscopy

The comparative scarcity of Raman scattering means that it is more difficult to detect than Rayleigh scattering. Notwithstanding, the [...]

Infra-red Absorption Spectroscopy

As was discussed in the article Scattering and Absorption, a molecule will only absorb a photon and be promoted to an excited state if [...]


Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation (light). Spectroscopic data is often [...]

Rayleigh and Raman Scattering

For molecules, two types of scattering can occur. The first type of scattering, Rayleigh scattering, is an elastic scattering process [...]

Scattering and Absorption

At its most basic, the interaction of light with matter entails the interaction of a single atom with a single quantum of light, called [...]

The Interaction of Light with Matter

The interaction of light with matter is one of the most fundamental processes that occurs in nature. It is happening around us [...]

Oxidation (chemical reaction) and Oxidative Conditions

Technically speaking, oxidation is a chemical reaction in which a molecule, atom or ion loses electrons. Oxidation is a half reaction [...]

Reduction and Reductive Conditions

Technically speaking, reduction is a chemical reaction in which a molecule, atom or ion gains electrons. Reduction is a half reaction [...]

Oxidation (wine fault)

This term is used to describe wine faults caused by molecular compounds which require the presence of oxygen to develop. Technically [...]

How are Volatile Sulphur Compounds formed?

The appearance of volatile sulphur compounds in wine is a complex, multifaceted chemical and biochemical process.1 Volatile sulphur [...]

Beauty in Analysis

Would the quantitative analysis of a wine somehow detract from its perceived beauty? One of VeriVin’s ambitions is to go beyond fault [...]

The Mercaptans

The Mercaptans: Ethanethiol and Methanethiol The thiols are the most foul smelling of the volatile sulphur compounds. They are the [...]

Screwcaps and Sulphur Taint

Recommended: Read about the Formation of Volatile Sulphur Compounds first. The reduction of disulphides to the more offensive and [...]


Acetaldehyde is a volatile compound formed when ethanol is oxidised by bacteria and yeasts, especially acetic acid bacteria and film [...]

Acetic Acid

Acetic acid, often referred to as Volatile Acidity, results from the oxidation of ethanol by bacteria and yeasts, and can be formed [...]

Raman Spectroscopy v Infra-red Absorption Spectroscopy

In Raman spectroscopy, a single frequency of light is used to irradiate a sample, and radiation scattered from the molecules whose [...]

Ethyl Acetate

Ethyl acetate is formed by the esterification of ethanol and acetic acid, and is the most common ester in wine. It is produced by [...]

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