Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review of the chart work on this blog in 2013

As the year wore on, I turned more and more to the use of charts and infographics (i) as a means of boiling down massive amounts of information (see for example, capturing a significant portion of the key concepts of TONG #16 in ten or so charts in Mapping Nebbiolo) or (ii) as a way of simplifying complex concepts. Some of the presentations are relatively simple while others require a lot of noodling around before I am satisfied enough to let the chart see the light of day. I hope that you found some utility within these charts when you first encountered them and that they continue to serve some type of reference function.

The below chart is from the Mapping Nebbiolo post and attempts to show that the traditional and modern styles co-existed post-1970 and that the respective practitioners have learnt from each other and have incorporated elements from the other side that allow them to make the best wine possible. Hence what TONG calls the Contemporary winemaking style in The Langhe.

The chart below attempts to establish a framework within which to evaluate cellar operations and for reporting data associated with each of the major steps in the winemaking process.

New World winemakers have mostly conquered the production and marketing of their varietal wines and many of them are now pursuing improved quality and new customers by increasing the number of blended wines in their portfolio.  This chart sought to capture, in one place, the reasons why winemakers have sought blends historically, the types of blends, the mechanisms that winemakers utilize for developing blends, and identification of some of the more successful blends that are in the marketplace.

Murli Dharmadhikan (Yeast Autolysis, defines yeast autolysis as "... self-destruction of the cellular constituents of a cell by its own enzymes" following its death. At a high level, autolysis encompasses (i) the degradation of intracellular materials and (ii) degradation of the cell wall and the lees-aged wine is enriched by the compounds released during the constituent-degradation process. The below chart attempted to detail the yeast autolysis process.

Figure 3. Details of yeast autolysis

In his book Inventing Wine, Paul Lukacs tells the tale of wine through the ages in a comprehensive, multi-layered, multi-faceted treatise which organizes the history of wine into seven chapter-specific periods, all of which are connected by underlying themes of class, quality, taste, wine styles, and terroir, with today's wine as a constant reference point. I attempted to capture three key elements of that treatise in the charts below: The evolution of wine through the ages; the rise and fall of wine relevance and consumption between the 18th and 20th centuries; and the anthropological aspects of wine through the ages.

There are, of course, many charts and graphs and tables utilized on this site but theses are the ones that I go back to constantly to help me to understand things that diminish in intensity with distance and time.

©Wine -- Mise en abyme

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