Why chemical analysis is not enough

“It is the concentration of (complex flavor compounds alongside sugars, acids, and polyphrnols) that creates fine wines. The complexity of these components makes it almost impossible to define the quality of wine in terms of chemical analysis. The simple analysis of Chateau Latour of a good vintage, for example, would be identical to that of a basic vin de table. The difference lies neither in the alcohol, nor total acidity, not any of the other basic components, but in the myriad constituents that make up the flavor of the wine.”


That’s charted chemist David Bird on the complexity of wine. Just digging into his legendary book: “Understanding Wine Technology”. So far so good. What I liked about this quote is that it underlines how wine is, in essence, a beautiful combination of art and science, and that it’s evaluation therefore must always be looked at through such lens. To me this resonates true for much of life, or at least when attempting to understand any complex human production.