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The World of Wine

Can chemical analysis confirm a wine's authenticity?

5:20pm, May 30, 2002

There's a romance to wine unmatched by most agricultural products. Making wine, with all its complex flavors, remains as much an art as a science.

Hints of citrus, peach, raspberry, pear, oak, grass, or flowers may show up in the taste or smell of wines. The catalog of factors that determine the flavor and bouquet is almost as long as the list of adjectives that connoisseurs use to describe them.

Rain before the grape harvest, for example, bloats the fruit and makes the wine's flavor less intense. Long growing seasons enable rich, complex tastes to develop. The slope of the hill where the grapes grow, its drainage, and

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