New wine training kit has experts raising their glasses

Date: 19/06/2002

Budding wine connoisseurs can now learn more about their favourite drop thanks to a new university wine training kit developed by international wine experts and the University of Western Sydney.

Designed for both novices and professionals, the kit has been designed to train the senses of sight, smell, touch and taste so that students develop a more disciplined approach to wine evaluation.

The kit has developed by the Centre for International Wine Studies (CIWS) - comprising the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and San Francisco's International Wine Academy (IWA).

UWS's chief winemaker, Professor Geoff Skurray, said the kit has taken three years to design and represents a world-first in wine training.

"There have been a number of fragrance kits on the market that have varying degrees of usefulness, but this is the first time that a kit has been developed to cover the training of all the senses used in wine evaluation," he says.

"Already we have had tremendous enthusiasm from universities in other states of Australia as well as from other countries like New Zealand and Spain."

Professor Skurray says the kit contains 36 common wine fragrances and a wallet containing six of the main wine components such as acid, tannin, oak chips, bitterness, astringency and a source of sulphur dioxide.

"The compounds are mixed in wine or water and enable the student to identify the main wine components and decide how much of each component they like or dislike," he says.

Included in the kit is a 75-minute video that covers subjects such as the philosophy of wine evaluation, the importance of sight, how to judge wine and how to make decisions about wine without being intimidated by so-called 'experts'.

It also contains an award-winning text book, a wine aroma wheel and a 32-page training guide. The kit can be used by 1-4 people.

The University wine training kit is being launched at the Australian Boutique Winemakers Show at Sydney's Cockle Bay on Friday 28 June 2002.

The kit costs $249 and can be ordered online from the CIWS website - - or by phoning Jonathan Auld on 02 4579 1150.

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