Key Figures in Naturalistic Epistemology a. Quine usually gets credit for initiating the contemporary wave of naturalistic epistemology with his essay, "Epistemology Naturalized. Quine's argument depends on three potentially controversial assumptions. First is confirmation holism - the view that only substantial bodies of theory, rather than individual claims, are empirically testable.
Unfortunately for this specific subject, science has only very limited evidence to present. The term minerality is very often used — or misused — not only as a wine descriptor but also in connecting a wine directly with the major soil components of a wine region.
For instance, in a Chablis wine or a Mosel Riesling some claim they cannot not only taste minerality but they can actually taste limestone or slate respectively. Teenck, Wikimedia Commons The unofficial definition of minerality adopted by quite a few wine gurus looks quite logical and understandable to my eyes.
In particular, they believe that minerality is the taste of stones or the smokiness usually accompanied by vivid acidity. But from research to date, it is suggested that the concentration of these minerals in wine is too low to noticeably influence its main organoleptic characteristics.
Consequently its impact is restricted to providing nutrients for vine growth. But this is not to say that scientific evidence exists pointing to a direct relation between the soil and the flavor of a wine.
In other words, even though, for example, intense minerality can be detected in the flavors of a Mosel Riesling, this flavor does not come directly from the slatey soils.
So it appears that the composition of the soil — whether it is clay, limestone, granite, etc. Therefore there is no chance of someone being able to taste the soil and identify its composition. He actually identifies one of them as Griotte-Chambertin. But that, of course, is a work of fiction.
But perhaps there is a very weak light somewhere in this dark tunnel of minerality — one which is provided by the only scientific evidence to be found so far. It comes from research on the role of mercaptans in wine aromas by well-respected professor Denis Dubourdieu and his team at the University of Bordeaux.
Mercaptans or thiols are sulfur-containing chemical compounds formed by yeast during and after the completion of alcoholic fermentation. Their formation is favored during reductive wine-making, contributing to foul smelling flavors of onion, garlic and cauliflower. Consequently, we see that minerality may be tied to the presence of sulfur compounds in a wine rather than influenced by the specific soil of a wine region — no matter how disappointing this may sound to soil theory aficionados.
Benzyl mercaptan, possibly responsible for the "gunflint" wine aroma Filip Verheyden, who is a respected wine personality in Belgium and editor of TONG magazine, took this one step further. He supported the very interesting theory that minerality develops in wines that come from soils that are rocky and especially poor in nutrients.
It is well known that lack of nutrients — especially nitrogen — during alcoholic fermentation forces yeasts to utilize sulfur-containing amino acids, generating mercaptans, which according to Dubordieu can give the impression of minerality in wine. So there may, after all, be an actual indirect linkage between soil and minerality.Epistemology of Memory.
We learn a lot. Friends tell us about their lives. Books tell us about the past. We see the world.
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